People Search and Background Checks FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about People Search and Background Checks
- What do the people search and background check services that you reviewed do?
- Why use a people search and background check service?
- Where does the background check information come from?
- Can I remove my information from these databases?
- How much information do I need to start a background check?
- Do any of these services offer unlimited background searches or memberships?
- How accurate are the background check reports?
- Can the information in a background search be used to steal my identity?
- Will someone know I'm running a background check on them?
- Can I find out information on celebrities with a people search and background check service?
- What about free people search and background check services?
- What about using a Facebook people search?
- How did NextAdvisor review these people search and background check services?
Search our site for more information about People Search and Background Checks:
People search and background check services search out individuals by name and location and return a variety of information including address histories, marriages and divorces, bankruptcies, criminal records, tax liens, sex offender status, property values, and even DEA and FFA registrations.
There are two main reasons people use people search and background check services: to view information on others they come in contact with, and to find out what kind of information others may find out about them. Employers increasingly use background check services to get advanced information about prospective hires. People seeking work can use a background check service to anticipate any issues. In some cases these issues may be corrected as well.
The information in the reports comes from a variety of places, most of which are matters of public record: real estate transactions, court records, marketing databases, voter registration records, sex offender registries, and more.
In most cases, no. By and large these records are public. However, some services offer opt-out procedures for some searches. Check the individual sites for details.
The more information you have, the easier it is to narrow down your subject, particularly if they have a common name. However, the basic information required is full name and state of residence (current or former). Age is also very helpful, but not required by most services.
NetDetective offers an unlimited search plan. Many other services offer discounts on additional searches, as well as deals on bulk searches. Membership plans are also available that give you a certain number of searches per month. Check reviews and websites for details.
This varies from individual to individual and how recent the information is. Arrest records that are older, may not be available, and expunged records will not be visible. Also, since individuals may share a common name, it's possible to find information that relates to someone other than your subject. This is why we recommend ordering two reports from separate companies so you can coordinate facts.
By itself, the information in a background check is not really enough to commit identity theft. Still, it's important to remember that these services aggregate information that is mostly public anyway. Even the first-three digits of an individual's Social Security number, as provided by IntegraScan, is easily computed using an individual's home state and year of birth. However, a keen identity thief can certainly use the information as a starting point, and having it all together makes his/her task easier. This is why we recommend all individuals purchase identity theft protection.
No. These background check services treat your inquiries as confidential information.
Generally, no. Public figures do not tend to be listed with background check services. We looked for a couple of celebrities and did not find any information.
Quite frankly, most of the free people search and background check services just exist to try to sell you the very services we've reviewed here. They offer you a little bit of information like age and address, and they try and upsell you. We've yet to come across a free people search or background check service that offers the level of information that Intelius or IntegraScan offer.
While Facebook works great for finding old friends and classmates, unless your interests only extend as far as what they had for lunch, you'll need something more full-featured. A background check service can give you much more: addresses, phone numbers, relatives, criminal convictions, and bankruptcies.
We put each background check service to the test by doing research on two individuals and then looking at the results, and having our subjects view the results. We wanted to see which service returned the most accurate results with the greatest depth, and rated the services accordingly. It's important to remember that our ratings are based on two subjects, and that your results may vary depending on the individual you're looking up.
Disclosure: NextAdvisor.com is a consumer information site that offers free, independent reviews and ratings of online services. We receive advertising revenue from most of the services we review. Our editors thoroughly research and whenever possible test each service we review and offer their honest opinions about each one. We are independently owned and operated and all opinions expressed on this site are our own.