Best Background Check Services for Criminal Checks & More [2022]

Have you moved out and are thinking twice about your roommate?
Best Background Check Services for Criminal Checks & More [2022]
Best Background Check Services for Criminal Checks & More [2022]
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Or, let’s just say, you’ve bumped into a potential online date and want to dig into their background? Or, maybe, you want to reconnect with an old friend and are unsure of how to go about it?

That’s where the best background check services come in.

But which ones tick the right boxes, considering there are countless providers online? Here we’ve listed the most reputable background check sites in various categories.

Let’s do it!

Best Background Check Services

  1. Truthfinder: Best background check service overall 
  2. Intelius: One-time background check tool
  3. Instant Checkmate: Best criminal background check website 
  4. Spokeo: Good for checking on personal relations 
  5. Infotracer: Best for specialized records
  6. BeenVerified: Top people search background check 
  7. US Search: Free background check service 
  8. Employee background checks for businesses 
  9. InfoMart: Reliable customer support 
  10. PUBLICSEEK: Top national background check company 

1. Truthfinder - Best Background Check Service Overall


  • Mobile app (Android only)
  • • Unlimited background checks
  • • Comprehensive reports
  • • A variety of search parameters
  • • Self-monitoring tools


  • • No trial period
  • • Unnecessary emphasis on horoscopes

If you’re after comprehensive reports, Truthfinder might be the place to be. This background checker turns up detailed reports. They let you run unlimited checks, too, provided you’re a premium member, which may be helpful if you’re looking to run frequent checks.

But what we like most about Truthfinder is its extensive sections. It could turn up things like a person’s possible associates. The platform also offers monitoring tools as well as a mobile app for Android devices.

To do a background check, you’ll need to sign up and subscribe for a plan, as there’s no free trial here. After which, you’re set to search, provided you have a few things on hand, including your target’s phone numbers, full names, and physical addresses.

However, because there’s no free trial, you might want to go premium to get the ball rolling.

Still, the broad range of search parameters – from address lookups to people searches and family webs – might make for an extensive search. And the Dark Web Scan feature may come in handy if you want to dig deeper into someone’s background (even your own).

**Truthfinder may not be used to provide information for decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance. TruthFinder does not provide consumer reports and is not a consumer reporting agency.**

2. Intelius - Best One Time Background Check Tool



• Some inaccurate info

Sometimes, you might just want to run a single background check. And that’s where Intelius might come in: they let you purchase an individual search. Plus, the reports here are packed with more info, including education and work history.

One of Intelius’ standout features is identity-theft protection, which could protect your info from third parties. Their subscriptions are priced reasonably, which might be a plus if you’re on a budget. And the easy-to-navigate interface could make for hassle-free browsing.

So, how do you run background checks here? The platform lets you run a range of background verifications, including addresses, reverse number lookups, and people searches.

Before you get going, you should have such things as your targets’ email addresses, full names, usernames of social-media accounts, etc. Every little piece of information can help!

**Intelius may not be used to provide information for decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance. Intelius does not provide consumer reports and is not a consumer reporting agency.**

3. Instant Checkmate - Best Criminal Background Check Service


  • • Multiple search options
  • • Mobile app (Android only)
  • v Affordable plans
  • • Membership with identity-theft protection
  • • Simple-to-use search tool


  • • Report loads slowly
  • • No individual reports

Want to determine if an acquaintance has a criminal history? You might want to give Instant Checkmate a try.

Their Android mobile app might make for a hassle-free quick search while on-the-go, too. And, like most entries on this list, they let you run as many searches as you’d like.

But how do you run background checks here, even?

Sign up and get your email address verified. Next, if you don’t want to go all-in immediately, you can take advantage of this platform’s affordable prices. The background checker boasts a range of search options: sex offender searches, criminal and traffic record search, reverse phone lookups, and more.

If you want to check for criminal and traffic records, Instant Checkmate is the place to do it.

**Instant Checkmate may not be used to provide information for decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance. Instant Checkmate does not provide consumer reports and is not a consumer reporting agency.**

4. Spokeo - Best Background Check Provider for Personal Relations


  • • Easy-to-use portal
  • • Reliable customer support
  • • A clean website design
  • • Free version available
  • • Anonymous searches


  • • A flat-rate charge for court records
  • • A subscription is required for full functionality

And if you’re looking to unearth the info of someone you’re close to, you might want to look no further than Spokeo. The platform is geared toward personal-based searches: lost friends, lost family members, and the likes.

Spokeo is easy to use, and its design is simple. The platform’s customer support might be reliable, too: it boasts various contact modes (email, phone, chat, etc.), some of which are available 24/7.

To get started here, simply register and complete your user profile accordingly. If you want, you can get into the action with a free version before opting for a paid membership. Spokeo lets you run background searches using various search parameters, including reverse address lookup, criminal records, reverse phone lookup, people search, etc.

Nevertheless, Spokeo charges a flat-rate fee for court records per person. This might be of concern if you’re on a budget. Also, the free version is limited; you’ll need to be a premium member to unlock full functionality.

5. Infotracer - Best for Specialized Records


  • • Affordable trial
  • • Extensive search options
  • • Uncountable records
  • • Innovative screening solutions
  • • Quick turnaround times


  • • No mobile app
  • • Delays on certain checks

One of the best background-check sites out there, Infotracer might be a good fit if you’re looking to access the hard-to-obtain info. This background checker boasts an overflowing database of public records, including assets, deaths, births, property, and more.

Infotracer boasts innovative screening solutions, including biometric identity screening. This might help boost the reliability of the background check reports, which are easy to read. The site’s quick turnaround times may be something you’d like, too.

But the thing is, how do you do background checks here? After you’re signed up, you might want to hop onto Infotracer’s trial version before becoming a subscribed member. Or, if you can’t help going all-in immediately, you’re free to do it.

This background checker’s extensive search options – social media searches, license-plate lookup, sex offender searches, etc. – let you run checks in several different areas:

There are two sides to every coin, though, and Infotracer is no exception. They don’t have a mobile app, which might be challenging if you want to run checks on-the-go. Some users find certain checks have delays, too. 

6. BeenVerified - Best People Search Background Checker


  • • Comprehensive reports
  • • Mobile app
  • • Court-runner service is included
  • • Multiple search options
  • • Membership includes unlimited reports


  • • No free trial
  • • System occasionally lags

Maybe you’re looking to reconnect with an old friend or distant family member? BeenVerified might be a good place to start. They let you investigate someone along the lines of their immediate and extended families – and even neighbors.

Access comprehensive reports of family members. If you want, you can monitor these (reports) on an ongoing basis. BeenVerified offers multiple search options, too. And you may want to run checks on the go, thanks to the platform’s app.

But what could make BeenVerified stand out from the pack is their court-runner service. Not every public record is available online. In such cases, BeenVerified sends someone to retrieve it for you at select courthouses.

Nevertheless, because there’s no free trial here, you need to be a premium member to access BeenVerified’s services. You might find the system occasionally lags, too, according to user reviews.

7. US Search - Best Free Background Check Service


  • • Simple-to-use portal
  • • A money-back guarantee
  • • Customized searches
  • • No subscription required for some reports
  • • Comparatively accurate results


  • • No mobile app
  • • Searches are unavailable in some states
  • • Pricing info is hard to locate

If you want to access reports without a subscription, US Search might be the place to be. The full-service background checker offers a myriad of check options for your pick, even if you just want to track that long-lost family member.

US Search is simple to navigate through, which might make for a hassle-free user experience. Their results are up-to-date, at least comparatively. It may not be a problem if you want your searches customized, too. And if you want out, they’ll happily return your money.

Nevertheless, they don’t have a mobile app: if you’re always on-the-go, you might be unable to access the platform. Searches aren’t available in all 50 states, too, which might be a pain if you’re residing in the affected areas.

8. - Best for Small Businesses


  • • Easy-to-use portal
  • • Additional services are included
  • • Direct searches at specific courts
  • • A variety of search parameters
  • • Comprehensive reports


  • • Some inaccurate results
  • • No mobile app
  • • Restricted customer support

Are you a business looking to run a comprehensive check on new hires? Whether it’s employment credit checks or education background verifications, your search could end with The platform boasts detailed reports: you might not miss a thing when screening new hires, ensuring a seamless onboarding process.

This background checker offers a variety of search metrics for your pick. They help you choose suitable courthouses for direct searches, too, just in case. Among other things, the platform is easy to use and boasts additional services, including bankruptcy reports.

While it comes with a higher price tag, reports thorough info, at least comparatively. You might find it’s challenging accessing the platform on-the-go, though – there’s no mobile app. 

9. InfoMart - Best Pre-Employment Background Check Company


  • • Unlimited searches
  • • Easy-to-use portal
  • • Transparent pricing
  • • Reliable customer support
  • • Extensive screening services


  • • No demo
  • • Set-up fee

InfoMart offers pre-employment screening on almost all niches – from automotive to healthcare and entertainment. This could make it a good fit for industry-specific employee background checks, something that startups and small businesses might like.

This employee background check service offers screening recommendations, too, which might save you the trouble of having to determine the types of screenings you need to run. Their transparent pricing policy could mean no hidden costs, and their quick turnaround times might come in handy.

Among other things, the pre-employment screening platform is easy to navigate through, and there’s no limit on the number of checks you might want to run. Also, while there’s no demo to help with the onboarding of new members, InforMart’s reliable customer support could help with it.

10. PUBLICSEEK - Best National Background Check Company


  • • Mobile app
  • • Detailed reports
  • • Easy-to-use portal
  • • Reliable customer support
  • • Individual searches are available


  • • No free trial
  • • You need to subscribe to get a report

Seeking a background checker that caters to all 50 states? PUBLICSEEK might not disappoint. They boast over 10 billion databases, including social media profiles, contact information, and arrest records. And they monitor these daily to ensure they’re up to date.

PUBLICSEEK has various subscription plans, and each one of those affords unlimited searches. Unlike some of our top picks, this platform lets you purchase individual searches. And, if you want, you can access full functionality with an affordable day’s trial before pulling out your wallet.

While PUBLICSEEK might be a good fit for gathering info here and there, it may not be helpful with commercial searches (credit checks, etc.), at least legally. You can't access a report without a subscription, too.

Top Online Background Check Services: Your Questions Answered

What Information Can Online Background Checks Uncover?

Background verifications can uncover a whole load of info, from arrest records to contact information and social media accounts. Note, almost all types of checks include criminal records, helping you dig into the sex offender registry, among other things.

Background verifications couldn’t be more helpful, even if you’re a landlord seeking tenant verification.

Is It Legal to Run an Online Background Check?

Yes, it’s legal to run a background check. Employers deserve to know the kind of people they’re bringing on board. New roomies have a right to verify each other’s backgrounds. And you might want to investigate a potential online date or trace the whereabouts of an old friend. And so on.

Nevertheless, using background checks for pre-employment screening is subject to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requirements.

This means some background check tools aren’t suitable for employment verification (for large and small businesses alike) or tenant screening: Our top picks that aren’t FCRA compliant include Truthfinder, Intelius, and Instant Checkmate.

How Long Do Online Background Checks Take?

There are various background check services with different turnaround times, depending on such things as legal requirements, data source limitations, and type of info requested.

Generally, though, it can take minutes to days to get a background check done. Here’s a summary you might find helpful.

  • • Universal background verifications – up to 3 minutes
  • • Federal background verifications – 1 day
  • • Criminal background verifications – up to 3 days
  • • Employment background verifications – up to 5 days

Do All Employers Run Online Background Checks?

Almost every employer runs a background check, even those that operate small businesses, provided they have the target’s social security number and other details. Employment verification helps them steer clear of folks that might become a liability or pose a threat to their company.

Regardless, an employer needs a candidate’s consent to run a background check. Additional requirements include a candidate’s name, social security number, date of birth, and more.

Most businesses do at least one type of employment background check, including digging into a person’s criminal history and motor vehicle records.

Note, an employer can run a check on both new hires and existing employees. For instance, they might require annual criminal background checks to ensure a safe workplace.

Why Do People Run Online Background Checks?

While businesses run background checks to determine the credibility of new hires, normal people run background checks for different reasons, such as the following.

  1. Validate a potential online date’s info
  2. Make sure a new roomie is trustworthy
  3. Reconnect with an old friend or family member
  4. Determine the accuracy of personal information in public records
  5. Verify an acquaintance’s social media sites

Best Background Check Services: The Takeaway

There you have it: the best background check companies you might want to use to verify backgrounds. Just ensure you’re using the right service for the right check.

Our winner is Truthfinder: This site boasts comprehensive reports and self-monitoring tools. The first and second runner-ups are Intelius and Instant Checkmate, in that order. Both background check services offer identity-theft protection.

Finding out if people are who they claim to be should not be complicated. So, don’t wait until a new roommate steals from you, an online date cons you, or an old relative tries to reconnect for the wrong reasons. Take advantage of one of the top background check services available!

Have you performed an online background check on a close friend, relative, or roommate? What did you discover?

This content is distributed by GeneralFanager. TheNewsMinute is not involved in the creation of this content.

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