For Thorough and Quick Background Searches
There are a ton of paid websites that offer quick online background check services, but not all of them offer the same features. Before you begin your search, visit UnMask. Read reviews and get accurate information on each site.
If you are on the look for the perfect balance between accuracy, quality, and fast turnaround, consider CheckPeople. Their service allows you to find personal information such as registered phone numbers, known addresses, and social media accounts. It can also find criminal records (only if they are available for public access) such as arrests, felonies, misdemeanors, and warrants. Finally, you can also have access to financial data from public records, such as bankruptcies and evictions.
Using most of these sites is very easy. All you need to do is tap a name in their search form, and their advanced technology will take care of the rest, including disregarding irrelevant or duplicate records.
If your background search is mainly for hiring purposes, sites like Trusted Employees are a good way to go. This Minnesota-based company is also accredited by the Fair Credit Reporting Act as a Credit Reporting Agency, or CRA, which are the only ones allowed to perform credit background checks. As a comprehensive solution for employee screening, they also offer drug testing and reference verifications.
There are a number of websites that allow you to perform a background check on someone, free of charge. The downside of these free alternatives is that you need to be very careful to organize and verify all the information. The best ones are:
Using Google for a background check can be tricky. If you don’t have the experience, you can end up “down the rabbit hole,” and more confused than when you started. So, if you want to search someone on Google, consider creating a spreadsheet with categories of interest and focus only on those. Google also allows you to perform reverse searches, so if all you have is a telephone number or an address, you can find out who registered them.
This is a great site to find professional information. LinkedIn works as a “digital resume,” and people list their professional history, including current and past employers, academic history, and contact details. In order to use LinkedIn for a background search, you will need to register to the platform, but it is free of charge. You can also look for information on companies and businesses, and cross-check your findings to determine if someone works or has worked there. Know that if you don’t change your privacy settings, people will know that you have visited their profile.
The largest social media site in the world, Facebook boasts over 3 billion users worldwide. Your chances of finding relevant information about someone through Facebook are hight. While users can control privacy settings and decide what information is publicly displayed, some data is always publicly available. Using Facebook for a background search also requires cross-checking information, as with such a high volume of users, you will find several profiles associated with the same name.
The Public Access to Court Electronic Records is a website created by the US courts system that allows you to find information regarding criminal history, bankruptcies, and state court records. Their service is not free, but if quarterly usage equals $30 or less, fees are waived. Depending on your needs, PACER offers different registration forms (for example, a simple registration is required if you will use PACER in a view mode, and does not allow you to file documents electronically).
Some Important Considerations
- Consider Legal Implications: if you are uncertain about how privacy laws work for a specific case, ask an attorney. Never use any service that offers to reveal sensitive or sealed information or whose research methods are outside the law. Also, understand the rules regarding how you are allowed to use the information you get from a background check.
- Protect Your Own Privacy: Use all the above-mentioned services to perform a background check on yourself and make sure that all information is accurate. Verify that no expunged records show in your search and if you find conflicting or false information, as for an immediate correction. Never give away financial information online (such as social security number, or bank account numbers).
- Agencies: If you don’t find enough information online, there are several agencies that can help you. Background checks are not easy, especially if you are looking for very specific information.
The internet offers a wide array of possibilities to find and corroborate data about someone. The only thing that you need, is to know where to look.