Best Background Check Services to Search Criminal Records of 2021
Why would you want to conduct a background check? With so much of our interactions completed online now, how do we keep ourselves informed against potential threats? Can we be sure this new suitor really is who they say they are?
Background checks are standard, especially with online dating and friendly internet meetups on the rise. If applying for a new job, some may conduct a background check on themselves just to get an idea of what their digital online footprint looks like. In this article, we have reviewed 10 best background check sites that help you get a lot of helpful details.
With internet privacy becoming more of a priority for many people, online background checks can be a way for you to monitor what is public or private information. Ensure that information readily available online is not anything that can be used to steal your identity potentially.
Best Background Check Sites & Services
#1. TruthFinder - Best For Criminal Records & Editor’s Pick
With published reviews in DailyMail, CNet, and Huffington Post, TruthFinder has grown to become one of the most popular background check tools. With over 60,000 five-star ratings from its users, there is no question why TruthFinder has climbed to the top of this list. With so many satisfied users and positive media publicity, TruthFinder delivers the most accurate contact information with a thorough background check. TruthFinder also offers a dark web scan to keep an eye on such relevant information.
• One of the most accurate online background check tools.
• Recent contact information provided.
• Unlimited background checks with a monthly subscription.
• Mobile-friendly website interface.
• Multiple search filters and options.
• Provides guides on how to use background check information.
• Monthly fee after the free trial.
• Search results are exaggerated for dramatic effect, primarily through the use of scare tactics.
• No single-search option.
The Best Thing About TruthFinder
TruthFinder is best for those who regularly conduct multiple background checks in a month. For a low subscription cost, you get an unlimited number of background checks every month. TruthFinder is also among the best background check websites that provide accurate, recent contact information. The background check is thorough, detailed and includes compiled personal records.
Overall, TruthFinder is easy to use thanks to its multiple search options and filters. The complete background check can also search for possible aliases and relationships. This has been helpful to many online dating participants. With its user-friendly search tool, you do not need prior experience or knowledge to conduct your own background check.
TruthFinder provides a toll-free phone number for clients to contact with any questions. For a nominal additional fee, you can also have the search results compiled into a PDF.
#2. Intelius - Best Trial for Social Media Checks
Intelius background check website conducts searches for criminal records and reverse phone number lookups. If you’ve ever received a call from an unknown number, doing a reverse phone number lookup will help track down the owner of the number that called you.
Intelius scans over 20 billion records while promising your anonymity as the background checker. Their background check tool provides property data, allowing you to monitor your own personal information online (should someone conduct a background check on you).
• Unlimited background checks with a monthly subscription.
• Encrypted connection keeps your privacy safe while you conduct background checks.
• Does not notify the person you searched.
• Over 20 billion public records scanned.
• Only a name, phone number, or address is needed to perform a background check.
• Thorough and detailed background check information.
• It only offers a monthly subscription model; some other sites provide a one-time use fee or free trials.
• They have limited customer support service availability.
The Best Thing About Intelius
Intelius protects you as the person performing the background check by ensuring a secure, 256-bit encrypted connection. Intelius prioritizes its customers’ privacy because it does not notify the person of whom you conducted the background search.
All you need is a name, phone number, or address for Intelius to provide a thorough, fleshed-out background check report. The report can include personal details, criminal or property records, or contact information.
With a paid subscription every month, you can conduct an unlimited amount of background searches backed by a secured connection to protect your privacy.
Intelius’ website design is intuitive and quick, taking only a few minutes to comb through over 20 billion public records.
#3. Instant Checkmate - Quickest Checks
Instant Checkmate specializes in conducting searches of a person’s criminal, arrest, and government records. It can provide social media links and photos with just a click of a button. Instant Checkmate also promotes an encrypted connection to ensure your privacy.
• Concentrates and specializes in criminal and arrest records.
• Simple search with the click of a single button
• Encrypted connection for your privacy
• Personal information included, such as ethnicity and financial data
• Unlimited background check with a monthly fee.
• Hit-or-miss results due to inaccuracy. Better used as a starting point.
• Few search options and filters compared to other sites.
The Best Thing About Instant Checkmate
Instant Checkmate is an excellent website to begin your background check on someone by concentrating on arrest and criminal records. If you suspect someone has a criminal history, Instant Checkmate includes public and government official information in its compilation record.
The encrypted connection protects your privacy and is backed with an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau.
#4. US Search - Reverse Email Checks
US Search is the industry-backed online website for standard background checks. US Search promotes its tools to include checking criminal, public, and property records. US Search is one of the few background check sites where you can search for a person with only an email address.
US Search has a Social Network Search feature that allows you to conduct a scan of a person’s social media accounts. A US Search background check report will also provide recent contact phone number information.
• Can use only an email address to perform a background check.
• Combs through criminal, public, and property records.
• Searches social media accounts.
• Provides recent contact phone number.
• Cumbersome, confusing website navigation.
• Lacking information on how to use background check results.
• No mobile app
The Best Thing About US Search
US Search is one of the few background check websites that allows you to conduct a search using only an email address. Sometimes, this may be the only information you have about a person, so US Search can prove to be very helpful.
In addition to background checks, US Search can provide criminal, public, and property records. In case you only have an email address for someone, US Search will provide you with current contact information and location.
US Search is best if you do not have a lot of information on the person you are searching for. With just an email address or phone number, you will find their social media accounts, criminal and property records, and recent contact information.
Although the website is challenging to navigate, US Search does provide friendly customer service to help you at any time. It is also quite comprehensive in its search, so you may find everything you need all at US Search.
#5. PeopleFinders - Best Choice for Basic Checks
PeopleFinders promises a search returned in just seconds after combing over 45 billion records for your background check. It will also return information on public records or can help you with a reverse phone number lookup. With access to over 6,000 data sources, PeopleFinders prides itself on delivering personal information and criminal records within seconds.
• One of the fastest background check search engines.
• Over 43 billion records in the United States alone.
• Offers public records, background checks, and reverse phone number lookup services.
• Flexible payment options, including a three-day trial or single report.
• Over 6,000 data sources mined throughout the United States for background checks.
• Unsecure, non-encrypted connection while performing a background check.
• Limited search options and filters.
• Cancellation fee
The Best Thing About PeopleFinders
PeopleFinders’ best asset is its speed. After only a few seconds, you can have an entire report and background information on a person. With access to 43 billion records and 6,000 data sources, the background check function provides personal information, criminal and public records, and reverse phone number lookups.
PeopleFinders is one of the few background search services that provide multiple payment options. Depending on your needs, you can pay for a single report or sign up for a three-day trial. During your trial, you can conduct unlimited searches or extend this benefit with a monthly subscription.
Because PeopleFinders scours its database of 6,000 data sources and 43 billion public records, their search offers a variety of record options, including bankruptcy and foreclosure statements.
It is easy to perform your first search with just one click of a button, backed by over 1,000 five-star ratings of its happy customers. The instantaneous results delivered in seconds make PeopleFinders a good choice for the busiest people.
#6. PeopleLooker - Best Value
PeopleLooker searches beyond a simple search engine query. With the experience of over a million background searches conducted, PeopleLooker prides itself on being accessible and convenient for its customers.
PeopleLooker has a simple, easy-to-use interface. It provides many times unknown, additional details such as court records or relatives. PeopleLooker is created for the people, providing informative, detailed guides for finding people online and avoiding scams.
• Extremely convenient.
• Over one million reports run.
• Comprehensive background report, including personal information, property, and court records.
• Additional information on avoiding scams and searching for people online.
• Helpful, friendly customer support.
• No variety of search filters.
• No customer service provided
The Best Thing About PeopleLooker
PeopleLooker is beloved by its customers for its accessible simple and convenient background check service. You do not need to be computer-savvy to know how to navigate the People Looker website and conduct a background check.
The customer service staff are amicable and accommodating. Peoplelooker bases its customer service agents in the United States, for those looking to support local business. Its simple interface provides a wealth of background information with just a single click.
If you only have the address of someone, PeopleLooker provides a reverse address search function. If you only have a phone number, it can give a similar thorough, detailed report.
PeopleLooker’s best asset is its extraordinary simplicity and convenience of design. All that’s needed is a first and last name of a person to conduct a background check within minutes.
#7. BeenVerified - Best for Beginners
BeenVerified has a niche market but is still a wealth of information for many. BeenVerified is used primarily by those in the market planning to purchase a secondhand vehicle. BeenVerified checks a person’s assets and property information.
BeenVerified is a treasure trove of information because it is seven services in one tool. Like the Swiss Army knife of background check services, BeenVerified produces one of the most comprehensive background check reports you can find on the internet. With just one tool, you get:
• Personal Information
• Reverse Phone Lookup
• Email Lookup
• Address Lookup
• Username Search
• Vehicle Lookup
• Unclaimed money Lookup
• One of the few sites that offer both phone and email address reverse lookups.
• One of the few sites that can conduct property information and vehicle lookups.
• Username search.
• Recent information provided for contact information and criminal records.
• Lack of filters
• Unsecure, non-encrypted connection
• There can be long wait times for results
The Best Thing About BeenVerified
BeenVerified has its corner of the secondhand vehicle market guaranteed. However, by combining seven services into one tool, you can save money by using BeenVerified for all of your background check needs.
Not many sites can conduct a username search, and BeenVerified is one of the very few that can. With only a username, you can find property information and court records. With the reverse vehicle lookup, you can find out personal data for the owner of the vehicle. If you have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or license plate, BeenVerified will scan for salvage records, recalls, and owner information.
Second Hand vehicle buyers appreciate the ability to have an accident report when researching a potential purchase.
#8. GoodHire - Easy To Use
GoodHire is the preferred background check website for those professionals that conduct background checks daily. GoodHire boasts the convenience and speeds of faster turnaround time with their convenient, user-friendly setup.
GoodHire is one of the fastest and most accurate online background check sites available. Most, over 85%, of the reports are compiled in less than a minute. Most impressively, the dispute rate for accuracy of information is less than 0.1%.
• Accurate and fast.
• Personalized dashboard.
• Innovative and modern system design.
• Multiple screening services for employers.
• Established trustworthy reputation across multiple industries.
• Not recommended for beginners.
• Complicated, complex system.
• More expensive than competitors.
The Best Thing About GoodHire
GoodHire is designed especially for businesses and employers needing screening services. Their innovative design and up-to-date systems contribute to their faster, more convenient screening times.
GoodHire is entirely customizable, curating a dashboard that works best for you. Search settings and preferences can be modified to your liking. Because every business is unique, GoodHire has a range of service options with add-on services like drug screenings, employment credit reports, or custom scalable quotes for larger corporations.
Trusted by corporate, professional industries, GoodHire provides the flexibility and versatility to tailor its services for multiple companies. It can provide a sort of a la carte option to give your company the precise services it needs with its screening software.
#9. RentPrep - Best for Criminal History
RentPrep is the trusted background check tool for landlords looking to screen tenants. Because each arrangement is unique, RentPrep offers various packages to tailor to each tenant screening need. Options include:
• Full credit report.
• Social security number verification.
• Eviction reports.
• Bankruptcy reports.
The RentPrep interface is easy and convenient to use. Tenants are screened in a matter of minutes. RentPrep also takes time to explain the data throughout the screening process thoroughly.
• Best for landlords and tenant screening.
• User-friendly dashboard and interface.
• Additional features available, such as rental background or tenant credit checks.
• Helpful, informative community in explaining the data.
• Not recommended for everyday people
• Tailored specifically to screen tenants, so may not provide essential information other sites offer, such as personal contact information.
• Credit checks are an extra cost but are sometimes necessary.
The Best Thing About RentPrep
RentPrep is an invaluable tool for landlords as they are screening for potential tenants. Getting a tenant’s credit report and eviction history helps landlords screen for more quality renters.
The user-friendly interface makes it easy and convenient for single landlords or property managers to use. If you are a less experienced property manager, the additional guides and information provided along the way during the screening process help you interpret the data.
The RentPrep customer service staff are extremely friendly, willing to help their community on Facebook.
#10. PeopleSmart - Best Customer Service
PeopleSmart is designed for small business owners looking to grow their company. PeopleSmart provides market information for entrepreneurs to get to learn a targeted audience and potential customers.
Marketing companies trust PeopleSmart for its recent, accurate targeted leads for new customers and sales. Employers depend on PeopleSmart’s LinkedIn search feature to recruit the best talent to join their team.
• Sales-driven system designed to boost metrics.
• Reduced search time with current targeted leads.
• Search for top talent as an employer.
• Connects businesses to bloggers and influencers.
• Learn about the target audience and potential customers.
• Not recommended for beginners.
• Complex market research data designed for businesses.
• Does not provide court or criminal history
The Best Thing About PeopleSmart
PeopleSmart is essential for any business looking to improve and increase sales. The site provides up-to-date, intentional, targeted leads to give you insight. PeopleSmart provides quality data critical for sales. The LinkedIn feature allows employers to recruit only the best candidates to fulfill a position within the company.
PeopleSmart connects your business and product to new customers using innovative technology. PeopleSmart saves you time with targeted leads but gives you all the information you need in just one report.
PeopleSmart is proven to help businesses grow, increase sales, and target marketing.
How To Conduct a Background Check?
If you are just starting out, you may just want to perform your own background check manually for free.
With just a name, Google will return over a million search results in nanoseconds. You will need additional information if you want accurate background checks. If you conduct a background check manually, you will spend a lot of time chasing vapors in the Google rabbit hole. You will need to filter through all of the search results of Google Images, News, Videos, and more.
Social Media Channels
With just a name or username, you can manually search each social media platform for the person you are looking for. This requires a lot of time and patience to sort through the thousands of results.
Conducting a manual social media search may not be fruitful because people have the option to keep their social media profiles private or available only to those they know. Social media accounts include Facebook profiles, Twitter history, Instagram photos, LinkedIn job profile, TikTok personal content, Pinterest hobbies, and Snapchat contact information.
PeekYou is a completely free background check website. However, much of the information is outdated and inaccurate. PeekYou lacks information regarding a person’s criminal records, address, or personal records. It can sometimes give information about a person’s social media presence.
If you visit the county clerk of records, they may be able to provide a person’s public records. However, this will only be useful if you know the person’s address and location. Court records only show a person’s government records in that specific city or state.
If you have multiple past addresses, each address will require a separate search for you to then compile together. Court records will not provide a lot of details, such as current contact information.
State Prison Records
If you use the corrections inmate tag on Google, you can see if a person has a prison record. By visiting the prison’s official website, you can check for a criminal record after inputting the person’s personal information.
However, official state prisons provide limited information and only include data for that specific state. If a person has lived in multiple states, each state would need a separate search.
You can only conduct a credit report on yourself. Submit a query to specific credit bureaus to request an annual personal credit report. Only one free credit check is allowed per year, whereas other credit services require identity verification and additional payment.
Some credit card companies or financial apps now offer free credit reports monthly or even weekly. You cannot conduct a credit report search on someone else, but this is an excellent option if you’re looking to monitor your credit score.
Is There a Background Check With a Trial?
Using a paid background check service saves you a lot of time since you will not need to filter through each individual search result. However, how are you to know which background service provides the best value? What if you are dissatisfied with the products or service? Some companies have abhorrent cancellation policies and termination fees. And don’t even mention the headache of needing to contact customer service.
With your money and valuable time at stake, the best background check websites offer free trials for their services. You can determine which site best suits your background check needs by opting in for a free trial.
Which Is The Most Accurate Background Check Website?
There are not many free background check sites, so you can conduct a manual background check if you really want to do the research for free. Manual background checks require a lot of time, patience, and effort.
TruthFinder provides an unlimited amount of background checks with a monthly subscription. You can get all of the information about a person in just one click.
InstantCheckmate offers flexible and affordable payment options, such as a single-person report or a three-day trial period. Professional background checks help save you time and energy you would otherwise spend searching individually and compiling relevant information.
Why Should I Conduct a Background Check?
A background check allows you to verify that someone is who they claim to be. This can be critical in the age of online dating or virtual company hires. You get complete and thorough information of a person’s criminal record, education, or employment history.
Background checks are helpful for potential tenants, employers, or those looking to purchase a firearm.
How Much Does It Cost?
There are many background check websites available, and some offer free trials. Some background check websites may require payment upfront before accessing the background check information or trying the service.
Should I Do A Background Check On Myself?
Conducting a background check on yourself can be invaluable. You are able to see what potential employers see and can fix inaccuracies if needed. Mistaken identity is not uncommon. Therefore you want to be sure that employers are not finding false information about you. Especially if it involves financial or legal matters, you do not want to fall victim to a preventable mistake.
Performing a background check on yourself can also help you prevent identity theft. Do not allow scammers to be able to see sensitive personal information, such as your social security number or financial information. Also, ensure that there aren’t any credit cards or warrants that are falsely committed with your identity.
If you do have any areas of concern that appear on your own background search, do not be afraid to anticipate questions that may arise with your employer or potential landlord. The best thing you can do is to be as honest and forthcoming as possible. Some background check companies allow you to enter explanatory notes if you conduct a self background check.
With the internet connecting us strangers more than ever, it is vital for us and our loved ones to feel safe when meeting a new romantic partner or bringing on a new employee to your team. Background checks are beneficial for people to even conduct searches on themselves, allowing them to monitor their digital footprint and online privacy.
There are numerous background checks sites available, and each one has its own benefits and niche market. Depending on why you are conducting a background search and what information it is that you are seeking, you will find different websites to suit your particular background check needs. Although from our R&D, we found Truthfinder to be the most efficient and accurate one and hence the clear winner.
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