Are you searching for a long-lost family member? In the case of a first date, you may want to verify that the person you’re meeting in person isn’t faking their identity.
You’ll need to perform a background check in both of these cases, as well as many others.
You’ve also heard that you don’t have to open your wallet to get all the information you need.
Is it possible to run a background check for nothing?
We’ll find out.
What Is a Background Check?
To determine if someone is who they say they are, a background check can be used. Almost anything about someone’s life can be discovered, including their name, where they went to school and how much work they’ve done.
When hiring new employees, most companies conduct background checks. Why? To avoid negative publicity, to increase recruitment, and to keep their workplace and employees safe.
However, as you might have guessed, this procedure isn’t limited to businesses. Checking a person’s criminal history is easy.
So, just how do you pull it off?
If you want to do your own background check, you can do so using public record databases, or you can use a website that will perform the screening for you.
It’s possible to do all the detective work on your own if you’re looking for a more cost-effective approach. It’s important to keep in mind that this method of gathering information is time-consuming.
Use a background check service that charges a fee to save time and energy. It may cost you money, but you’ll get your reports quickly. Not to mention that the data they provide is far more accurate than anything else out there.
There are also sites that offer free background checks.
However, are these websites reputable?
We’ve done all the legwork so you don’t have to.
Is There a Totally Free Background Check?
Are there free background checks available?
Yes, in a nutshell.
But there’s more to it than that, as well.
Consider the possibility that you’d like to learn more about your next-door neighbor. You may be suspicious because they appear to be inexperienced and unwilling to engage in conversation. You turn to a website for help because it’s always good to know who you live next to.
Free background checks are usually sufficient in most cases. All the information you need can be found on a site that performs a reverse address lookup.
However, it is not always sufficient.
There will be times when you require information that isn’t available on any of these websites. This is due to the fact that they only provide openly available data.
Because of this, employers rarely use them to screen job candidates. These companies are putting themselves at risk for negligent hiring claims and hiring someone who could disrupt the entire organization if they use this type of record.
a look into one’s past Companies that provide free reports frequently use terms like “100% free” and “no fees involved” to entice customers to their websites.
They may use ambiguous or confusing terms in their service description to make it sound more valuable. However, they only offer data that can be found in freely available public records.
You’ll have to pay a fee if you want to see any other information.
Pros and cons of free background checks
The biggest pro of each free background report is, well, that is…
But let’s look at this table and remind ourselves of other significant pros and cons of these types of checks.
|More private (if done by yourself)||Less extensive|
|More freedom throughout the search||Less accurate|
|You can follow your instinct||Time-consuming|
|Can be stressful|
|Hidden fees (common with a free background check conducted online)|
Pros and cons of paid background checks
And then there are chargeable background checks pros and cons.
|More extensive||The agency gets insight into your search|
|Greater accuracy||Your search can get limited by costs|
|Time-efficient||Your search can get limited by the agency’s scope of the investigation|
|Variety of pricing plans to choose from|
Without Paying, How Do You Find Public Records?
By looking at public records as described above, you can find out information on a person’s background for free and without any strings attached. Everyone has access to them because they aren’t considered private.
It’s important to remember, however, that they don’t always cover everything you need to know.
For example, in California, when a couple fills out a marriage licence application, they can choose whether or not they want their marriage to be public or private. Same goes for birth and death certificates and documented transactions with government agencies.
Public records can provide some information, but it’s not nearly as extensive as it could be.
A free method of locating government documents has been devised.
The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Whatever information you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.
For example, it’s not difficult to discover the most basic details about a specific individual. Most states have an online database of some kind.
Increasingly, you can access someone’s personal information by entering their name and address into public records online.
Even sites that charge for background checks provide free basic searches of people’s names and contact information. It is possible to conduct a free public record search on your own.
While many free sites claim to offer more than just publicly available information, they frequently fall short in their promises. Consumers are enticed to their site by the promise of additional services if they sign up for paid subscriptions.
There are records at the state, local, and county level, whether you do the work yourself or hire one of these companies.
At PACER.gov, you can access federal information. While registering on the website is free, access to court documents is not. The cost per page is 10 cents. As long as you follow the sign-up instructions, using the site will be a breeze.
Fortunately, there is a $3,00 limit on documents with more than one page. A 500-page court document, on the other hand, will not cost you $50.
However, how do you access someone’s criminal history for free?
Records that are open to the public are called public records. It may sound straightforward, but you’ll need to do some serious digging to find the information you seek. Except for FBI records, an individual’s criminal record includes everything.
Because no one knows how frequently the government updates the national criminal database, it is a major problem. Because of this, it is difficult to overlook.
If an investigation is still ongoing, the arrest record will not be released to the public. However, the information you can obtain from an arrest record is restricted in some states. This is especially true when it comes to stories about people who have never been charged before, as well as those who have been found not guilty or whose records have been cleared.
Sex offenders are those who have been found guilty of a sexually motivated crime. A sex offender database is available online in every state.
Exactly How Much Is a Background Check
As we’ve previously stated, free background check sites aren’t always the best option when you need to learn more about a potential new acquaintance.
You’ll have to look elsewhere for in-depth reports if you want them. It’s not a surprise that they offer background checks for a fee.
As a result, if you want more in-depth information, you’ll need to budget accordingly.
Is a background check expensive?
To begin, we must stress that not all background checks are the same.
That’s why some companies charge $10 for background checks, while others charge $500.
Most of the time, the “you get what you pay for” adage holds true.
It is, however, difficult to keep track of the various payment options.
In addition to monthly and annual subscriptions, we found 24-hour and quarterly plans on some websites. Some even charge per state in which you conduct a criminal background investigation.
Another common practise that we discovered while researching was charging users based on the amount of information they want included in their report (type and scope).
The Most Popular Websites for Running a Background Check
With so many websites to choose from, it can be difficult to know which ones to use.
Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it’s up to you to choose the one that best meets your requirements.
Some of the most popular websites currently on the market are listed below.
There are no consumer reporting agencies here, so you should only use them for your own personal investigation. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates the use of regulated websites when screening employees and tenants (FCRA).
If you’re still unsure about the cost of a background check, you’ll see some examples in the sections that follow.
Intelius is one of the largest information brokers in the United States, storing over 20 billion public records.
The website’s popularity has been boosted by its in-depth reports and identity-protection feature.
Intelius does not offer a free online background check, as you might expect. If you want them to produce a report, you’ll have to pay for it. Using Intelius, you can get a basic people search report for just $0.95, or you can pay $19.95 per month for unlimited searches.
If you’re looking to verify someone’s background or locate them, US Search is a great resource.
Reverse phone number lookup and social network search are just two of the many useful features available on the website.
Even though US Search does not offer free background checks, its prices are very reasonable.
A one-time fee of $2.45 is all that is required to get a standard one-time people search report. For $19.95 a month, you can perform an unlimited number of basic searches on the site.
In addition to its user-friendly interface, Instant Checkmate is known for its unique features that other sites do not have.
For instance, you can search for inmates across the United States. If you believe a friend or family member is in jail, you use only their name and last known location to search for them.
They offer a 5-day trial for $1.00, which is a great deal for those on a budget who need a background check. Unlimited reports are available for $34.78 if you’re willing to spend more.
TurthFinder, our final pick, has a dark web monitoring feature that alerts you whenever your personal information is found in the darkest corners of the internet. Create a visual representation of your ancestry with the family tree builder.
Despite the fact that TruthFinder does not offer free memberships or trials, the value of the reports is undeniable. A one-month membership costs $4.99, while a full one-month membership costs $27.78.
TruthFinder, on the other hand, does offer free basic searches for people. You’ll be able to find:
- Possible associates
When it comes to free criminal record checks, SpyFly is the best option. Users don’t have to pay to see portions of a single report. Signing up for an account is required if you want full access to the document.
From state, federal, and municipal public databases, the website obtains its information. Using just your name or phone number or email address will let you find what you’re looking for in seconds.
You can use their databases for seven days after paying a small trial fee. In order to maintain your membership, you will be charged about $30 per month.
Are there free background checks available?
Is it best to use free people-searching websites to learn more about a person? As far as I can tell, no.
You can get more information from paid background checks, making your report more useful. The databases are regularly updated, so there’s no need to be concerned about anything being missing from the report.
Free background checks may suffice if you only need to quickly verify someone’s identity.
FAQ – Totally Free Background Check
What is the best way to find out someone's personal information for free?
A person's personal information can be gleaned from a variety of sources, including online search engines, social media, and government databases and records. There are some websites that offer free background checks, but they aren't always trustworthy.
What is the best way to conduct a free background check on yourself?
You can do a free background check on yourself by simply typing your name into a search engine like Google. Your county and state databases and criminal history records can then be consulted. The largest credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, all offer free credit reports once a year.
Do you know of a good, free background check site?
Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website is one of the best free background check sites. Even though you'll have to combine several of these websites to get a complete background report, they're usually more accurate and don't charge any additional fees.
Is there a free way to tell if you're being catfished?
Free social media resources can assist you in spotting a catfish. Check to see if the results from various social media networks are similar when you combine your search. Because of the lack of information, the lack of photos, and the fact that the person contacting you does not answer a video call, you are most likely being scammed.
How can you tell if a person has a clean record?
A large number of public and free criminal court records exist. You can either try to find them online or go to the appropriate court in person.
Do free background checks exist?
Is there a completely free background check available? Is there a law-compliant and reliable one out there? Yes, legitimate free background checks are available. There are a variety of time-consuming and cumbersome approaches, such as searching through multiple national databases.