(Pocket-lint) - How do you know if someone you know is trustworthy? You don’t. If things take their natural course, it takes years of continuous interactions to figure out if someone is worth your trust.
You can, however, speed up the process with a background check. History doesn’t lie. If they have a rap sheet a mile long and jail is their second home, you know you need to steer clear!
How do you conduct a background check? You hire a service to do it for you. It’s fast, painless, and anonymous. In this article, we bring you 10 of the best background check sites on the internet that are reliable and offer actionable data.
We've narrowed down the four best options for you to choose from in case you are in a hurry.
- TruthFinder – Amazingly accurate background check in minutes.
- Instant Checkmate – Get a trial at $1 for 5 days.
- CocoFinder – Fast, intuitive, and affordable.
- Intelius – Leading background check service.
TruthFinder is one of the most popular, reputable background check sites in the US. Over 9 million people run searches on TruthFinder every month. The company is based out of San Diego, CA, where it’s been in business for over 15 years.
With TruthFinder, you can get a full-fledged background report on someone in minutes. You just need to feed the engine some details about the person – like their full name and location. The search engine will do the rest.
What You Absolutely Must Know about TruthFinder
1. TruthFinder is arguably the most accurate, best background check site
TruthFinder is known for the depth and accuracy of its data. Usually, services pull data from public records, which aren’t always well-maintained or updated. TruthFinder, however, has its own private network of data brokers.
Consequently, you can expect detailed, up-to-date information on any person on this site. It’s more reliable and helpful than most other services.
2. The background checks are unlimited
Once you have a TruthFinder membership, you can make as many background checks as you like on any person. This is better than having to pay for a report separately every time you want one. The monthly membership costs about $30 at this point in time.
3. It offers interesting features
Finally, TruthFinder offers a couple of notable features: a genealogy report section and dark web protection opt-in. You can create a detailed, far-reaching family tree – for yourself or your target. It’s a good way to research someone’s roots.
The dark web protection feature, on the other hand, notifies you if your data has been stolen and is being sold on the dark web. Thieves often sell cards, IDs, and financial data here.
What Information Does a Background Check on TruthFinder Net You?
A background check report on TruthFinder is a full-fledged profile on the person. The information is pulled from public records as well as some private databases:
- Personal info: You can find out their personal data like full name, age, known aliases, and photographs.
- Jobs and education: If their job is listed publically, you’ll find out their designation. Further, the site shows you the school and colleges they went to, if applicable.
- Network: Who is the person in touch with? TruthFinder shows you their close friends, family members, and known associates. The site also shows you if they were in a relationship.
- Location history: The location history section shows you the person’s home address. It can also pull information like favorite places, local demographics, and census data.
- Criminal records: The criminal records section will tell you if the person was ever arrested and why. Further, the sex offender status notifies you whether they’re on a public watch list.
- Assets: What is the person worth? You can refer to their previous transaction records for an idea. It shows you their owned properties, public financial transactions, bankruptcies, owned vehicles, and other related information.
- Internet data: What kind of a presence does the person have online? TruthFinder will pull the person’s social media profiles and give you links to their websites, forums, blogs, and related things.
- You can also check this TruthFinder review post.
Watch Out for These Two Things
There are a couple of major drawbacks to TruthFinder:
1. It’s expensive
You won’t get any information from TruthFinder cheaply. Yes, you do get unlimited reports on TruthFinder for a monthly fee. But a “Premium” report with extra information will cost you an extra $14.95. And you’ll probably need it.
2. Criminal reports may be misleading
Finally, like other background check services, TruthFinder occasionally mistakenly claims a person has a criminal report when they don’t. You will need to verify the criminal report in the real world if you do find one on this site (you may have one yourself).
TruthFinder has a BBB rating of A+, which is impressive. A background check report you get here will be expensive, but it’ll be money well spent.
2. Instant Checkmate
Instant Checkmate’s USP is that it can give you the data you need almost instantly. In our experience, you do get the data, but you have to wait for it. This company has a solid reputation and is based in San Diego, CA, since 2010.
Besides background checks, Instant Checkmate offers the usual range of “people search” services: phone lookups, location checks, email checks, and financial history, among other things.
Instant Checkmate is good for background checks
You won’t be disappointed if you use Instant Checkmate for a background report:
1. You have a 5-day trial
You can try out Instant Checkmate for 5 days for only $1. You can get a feel for the service and the kind of information they offer before committing to a bigger purchase. A report on the site is also not too expensive, costing up to $22.86 for one.
2. It’s user-friendly
The Instant Checkmate user-interface is well-designed. The site is easy to use, and the reports are well-organized. They have apps for your iPhone or Android device, which means you can access any report on-the-go.
3. The background check data is reliable
Finally, Instant Checkmate is right up there when it comes to information accuracy. They rarely offer out-of-date or misleading information. Of course, no information retrieval service is flawless, so you may receive some inaccurate data on occasion.
Instant Checkmate could be improved
This background check site needs a little fixing:
1. There’s some scaremongering involved
Scaremongering is a cheap sales tactic some of these background services employ, and Instant Checkmate is no exception. It’s nothing overt. Just expect to see frequent messages, announcements, and warnings about “surprising info” and “graphic content ahead”.
2. It’s not really instant
Finally, Instant Checkmate is one of the slower background check services out there. Expect to wait several minutes for a report. It’s not a dealbreaker and doesn’t take away from the quality of the data, but it’s still something to note.
CocoFinder is an advanced, top-rated background check service. It receives positive reviews from its users and has been well received by several famous internet platforms, according to this CocoFinder review in TechTimes. You can conduct background checks on CocoFinder for any US-based person in minutes.
CocoFinder is an up-and-coming background check tool
CocoFinder isn’t as well-established as some of the other background sites on this list, but they make up for it in quality of data and ease-of-use:
1. The data is spot-on
The information you obtain from CocoFinder is exceedingly accurate. Some of the data you receive includes known aliases, arrest records, civil court cases, weapon permits, bankruptcies, liens, photos, names, professional licenses, and more.
2. The user-experience is excellent
3. It’s a cheap background check site
Finally, CocoFinder is one of the more affordable background check sites around. Their reports are priced affordably, and you can make as many background checks as you like. Further, they allow you to make free reverse phone lookups.
There are minor drawbacks
Note that there are some minor drawbacks to using CocoFinder:
You may have to pay a small additional fee for advanced information on your target. A background check site must pay to access public records or private databases. The more specialized the information you need, the higher the price.
You can’t use CocoFinder via a smartphone app at the moment. However, you can still access it from your smartphone web browser. It’s well-optimized for small-screens.
CocoFinder is one of the better sites when it comes to information accuracy and user-friendliness.
- It offers a useful mix of subscriptions and individual report purchases.
- It offers a diverse array of data, from phone information to criminal checks.
- The Premium membership costs a reasonable $19.95 per month.
- This site is a little sneaky about the pricing practices.
- The reports are sometimes misleading or exaggerated.
- The site has some mixed reviews as of late.
Intelius is one of the oldest, most well-established background check sites in the world. It was founded way back in 2003 by an expert team of professionals. It’s based out of Washington and enjoys a high amount of traffic.
This site operates one of the biggest information networks in the country. For the most part, you can expect diverse, in-depth information. You can learn almost everything about the person in question, from their assets to criminal history.
- It’s completely free, “no catches, no fees”.
- You can conduct a background check without signing up for an account.
- You receive some good data quickly.
- There is always a catch – in this case, it’s information.
- The customer service is unresponsive.
- They have had several complaints raised against them by irate users.
TruePeopleSearch is a completely free information retrieval and background check engine. It was founded comparatively recently in 2017 by a team of tech veterans, who worked in the business for over 20 years before founding this site.
With this free background check service, you don’t need to pay a dime. And you get comparatively in-depth background reports. However, your data is visible to everyone and sundry on TruePeopleSearch. This company is famously unresponsive to takedown requests.
- You will receive reliable reports.
- A subscription is reasonable - $22.86 per month.
- The service is in-depth and diverse.
- Some data requires a subscription.
- Hard to opt-out of personal data sharing.
- Poor BBB rating.
BeenVerified is a well-known background check site. It’s a New York-based company that’s been in the business for over 12 years. Any background report you get here will be comprehensive. The site also offers other services.
To receive a background report, you need a monthly subscription. And you may need to pay an extra fee for premium data. This service has received poor BBB ratings recently on account of bad customer service and the occasional refusal to take down personal information from the database.
7. White Pages
- You receive a truly huge amount of information.
- The accuracy is, for the most part, excellent.
- It costs about $30 per month for a subscription.
- You pay $18.95 for every advanced inquiry.
- The BBB rating is poor.
White Pages is one of the most popular and oldest people search engines on the planet. It’s been around since 1997 and always provides reliable, accurate data. The search network attracts over 35 million searches each month.
Unfortunately, White Pages has a terrible BBB rating as of late. We believe it’s just a lack of transparency in the pricing process. On the whole, this site is reliable, but you might want to give it a pass for now.
- There is an option to purchase individual background check reports.
- Membership costs only $9.95 the first month.
- Its reports are accurate and the customer service is amazing.
- A single report will set you back by almost $40.
- There is a hidden search limit of 150 searches.
- It’s expensive and the pricing isn’t transparent.
PeopleFinders is a top-tier background check service. It’s based out of Sacramento, CA, and has managed to snag an A+ rating at BBB. This service generally has positive reviews from customers and is praised by media channels.
You can expect amazingly accurate reports from this site. The customer service is a joy to interact with. However, a report here won’t be cheap. And it can be confusing to figure out how much you’ll actually end up paying in the end.
- Affordable pricing tiers – starting from $24.95 per month.
- It’s fast and easy to use.
- You receive a diverse array of data.
- You pay extra for court-related fees.
- The reports aren’t always accurate.
- Spokeo has some bad reviews.
Spokeo is a well-known background check site. It’s been around for 14+ years and is based out of California. This business has an A+ BBB rating. This service proves a fast, useful background check report in minutes.
Using Spokeo isn’t cheap, all in all. You have to pay a monthly membership fee of $24.95 per month to access the background check feature, and you may have to pay extra fees besides. They charge an additional fee for court expenses, for example.
- On-point data.
- In-depth reports.
- Free reverse phone lookups.
- No mobile app.
- You have to pay extra for advanced information.
- Doesn’t offer some advanced features.
ZabaSearch is a free background check site that has tie-ups with specialized information brokers and cell phone companies in the US. Consequently, this service can find and offers accurate, reliable data about any person in the country in quick time.
Using ZabaSearch is a breeze. It offers basic services like phone lookups for free. You have to pay extra for in-depth background information reports, which cover the person’s criminal history, location, personal details, and assets.
The 10 best background check sites above were arranged from the most accurate and value-for-money to the less so. For best results, we recommend sticking to the first few entries. But you will receive accurate information from most of these sites regardless.