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In the battle of Checkmate vs BeenVerified, who comes out on top? Our complete guide to background check services and sites can help you find the answers you’re looking for.
Background checks have become invaluable tools for employers and business owners over the past several years. Essential for vetting new employees and forging partnerships, they also serve valuable purposes in our everyday lives.
Nowadays, it isn’t unusual for employers to run background checks on employees. Even corporate executives pay for verification services to learn more about people and companies they plan on partnering with and to safeguard against identity theft.
Among the many background checking companies operating today, Checkmate and BeenVerified are arguably two of the most popular. Both firms offer a wide range of background checking and identity verification services, with varying degrees of success.
In this article, we examine the two firms head-to-head to help you decide which one is the best for you. We go over some of their featured services, their strengths and weaknesses, and their reputation among paying customers.
We also run down some of the best background check services in the business, so you can get a better idea of other alternatives available. Plus, we offer some suggestions on what to look for in a background checking firm and other information relevant to using such services.
Checkmate and BeenVerified are the two of the most popular background check companies in our list of the best background check services. Here’s how they fare against each other:
Checkmate bills itself as a “fully automated online reference checking and background screening software”. It offers a comprehensive range of services aimed at speeding up and simplifying recruitment and onboarding processes. Fully automated and mobile-friendly, Checkmate also allows for extensive customization of the background search functions unlike other sites.
Checkmate offers the following services:
Checkmate’s search process is a breeze to go through, especially compared to BeenVerified’s lengthy and complicated procedure. The site employs “Dynamic Reference Checking”, which involves answering a dynamic questionnaire based on normal everyday conversations.
Checkmate also offers other tools that make the search process easier and quicker. These include a template builder, a consolidated report, and a questionnaire library. The site even has fraud alerts that inform you of potentially false or erroneous information.
Customers that use Checkmate have positive things to say about the service’s simplicity and ease of use. Its straightforward approach to background searches helps many HR professionals shorten the time it takes to perform administrative tasks, which is always a plus.
Overall, customer feedback on Checkmate is overwhelmingly positive.
In our comparison tests of BeenVerified vs Checkmate, the latter is clearly the winner. Simple and easy to use, it is an excellent reference checking and background screening tool for recruitment and onboarding . Full automation makes it a joy to use and the results are as accurate as those we’ve gotten from the best of the other services we reviewed.
BeenVerified offers “consumer-initiated” background checking services via its website and mobile app. Covering criminal background and more general people searches, it offers guaranteed results, which is relatively rare among background search services.
BeenVerified offers the following services:
BeenVerified’s search process be quite complicated compared to Checkmate’s more straightforward search process. After you enter your subject’s name in the search bar, you can’t easily provide more details that will help you narrow down the results. Instead, you will have to wait until the name search process completes, after which you can provide more details.
But it doesn’t end there. BeenVerified also requires you to answer questions about the information you need. Furthermore, you have to provide your name and email address, and only then will the database be searched. This process can take up to ten minutes to complete.
Users of BeenVerified generally have a positive experience with the service. There are criticisms about the somewhat convoluted way searches are performed, but the results usually make up for the sluggishness of the process.
BeenVerified is quite a capable background check service that is somewhat hindered by the slow and complicated process of performing searches. The results are pretty accurate in most cases, which is the most important aspect of using such services. If they could somehow simplify the search process and make it easier for users to provide information, the system would be much improved.
Here are the 11 best background checking services we tried out while creating this guide:
A simple yet powerful background check company with a fast, simple, and easy to use interface. Accurate results and excellent support make this our top pick for the best background check service.
A very capable background check system that is letdown a bit by a complicated search process. Still a good choice for pre-employment background checks and searching criminal histories.
Excellent value in a background checking service. Offers a generous trial period with no issues opting out. Accurate results and a great deal on affordable background checks if you go for the monthly subscription.
Provides access to over 12 billion records in thousands of databases across the world. Used in more than 500,000 searches daily, although the process for generating a background report does require a few extra steps.
InfoTracer has been providing background check and verification services for nearly two decades. Searches can be performed using a wide range of search terms, with access to more than five billion records.
Another services that has been around for close 20 years. Has a simple and somewhat basic-looking site compared to other background check services, but the results speak for themselves. One of the few services that offer FCRA-compliant background checks.
Owned and operated by licensed private investigators and professional background screeners, this service goes well beyond the online database checks performed by most other firms. Also offers a more extensive range of comprehensive background checks and report types than most firms.
Owned by PeopleConnect, the same company that owns Instant Checkmate, Truthfinder, and Intelius. A bit slow and cumbersome to use, but the results are pretty accurate and the price is very reasonable.
Similar to US Search, Truthfinder, or Instant Checkmate, which isn’t surprising considering all four services are owned by the same parent company. But this one is quicker than most, returning accurate reports and results to basic background check within minutes.
A remarkably straightforward background check service from the owners of Instant Checkmate, offering verifiably accurate results. Searches can be performed by name, city/state, or phone number, and results are returned within three minutes.
Instant Checkmate offers a good range of search starting points, even reverse phone lookup. The Instant Checkmate website is especially capable at searching inmate and criminal records. Instant Checkmate can be pretty slow, but results are generally satisfactory.
Most background checks today focus on one of two key areas: general backgrounds and criminal backgrounds. General background checks are usually the most comprehensive, including details such as births, marriages, and divorces. Most also include a list of all the subject’s past and present residences and phone numbers.
General background checks may also include the subject’s financial history, in particular, whether they have filed for bankruptcy. If they have ever been incarcerated, that information will appear in the check as well.
As you can imagine, general background check can be quite complex. For this reason, they tend to be more expensive to conduct than criminal checks.
As the name suggests, criminal background check are focused primarily on the subject’s criminal records and convictions. But depending on the laws of the particular jurisdiction, details about previous or current arrests may not be included in the report. With criminal checks, only convictions can be mentioned.
With so many companies providing background checks these days, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your needs. Here are some criteria that should help you make a more informed decision:
Accuracy: People that commission background checks generally assume that the information provided to them is accurate. But this isn’t always the case
It’s surprising to note that the majority of firms don’t guarantee the accuracy of their reports. Public records often have erroneous entries, and most sites simply go with information presented at face value and don’t bother to dig deeper.
That being said, some companies have established their reputations on providing accurate and high-quality data. It might be a good idea to do a search for your own information to determine how accurate a particular service is if you check on someone else’s background.
Value: Ask yourself what you will be getting for your money. Is it worth the amount you will be paying? Does the company offer a free initial check or trial period that allows you to test their service before you sign up for the paid plan? Can you generate unlimited reports?
The answer to these questions will help you determine how much value the service provides.
Reputation: Check out what previous customers have to say about the service. Did they have a positive or negative experience with the background check? Are there perks such as unlimited reports? You may also look up the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Support: Customer support is essential for getting the most out of a background check service. Not all companies provide this, so find out the range and extent of assistance they can provide. You should also ensure that support personnel are available to address any concerns you may have and that there is a background check service FAQ onsite.
Background check companies vary considerably with regard to the extent and range of services they offer. Most also have different approaches to seeking out data and making the results available to you.
In any case, most services provide the same‒or similar‒information. Arrest records‒even recorded traffic violations‒are often included. The search should also reveal address history, previous phone numbers, owned properties, and court cases.
Some services can be pretty thorough, including a detailed rundown of the subject’s criminal records, social media channels, and online profiles. Some background check firms even go a step further than the initial search and investigate the subject’s presence and activities on the Dark Web.
As you might expect, prices can vary widely from firm to firm as well. In general, the more complex the search is and the more detailed the results, the higher the fee will be. With unlimited access to deep and detailed searches covering several resources, the cost can be considerable.
Payment structures can also affect how much you will have to pay for background checks. Some companies offer monthly contracts at lower rates than their single-search offerings.
For example, you might have to pay around $30 for a single background check with basic information and no criminal record checks. But a month’s access to the company’s features and services–including unlimited searches–may only cost a similar amount. It is generally best to go with the monthly offer, as it will give you more time to perform a thorough search.
There are many reasons why companies and individuals may want to perform background checks on people.
The most common reason is to find out the person’s feasibility for a particular firm or position. Background checks are commonly performed by employers to learn more about certain employees.
Private individuals may also perform background checks on other people. Parents may want to look into the background of a new babysitter or caregiver, for example. Those who’ve connected with someone on an online dating site may want to know more about their potential match.
Most background checks are initiated to discover information that the subject may wish to conceal, whether it is a criminal or arrest history, or a track record of constantly being fired from jobs. Gaining access to these details can help you pinpoint the quality of an individual’s online reputation.
But such checks can also be done to discover innocuous information about a subject. For example, people tasked with updating an organization’s membership records may want to know the current contact details of a member. Some families may also want to determine if a long-lost relative is still alive.
Most online background checks take only a few minutes to complete. In most cases, it takes longer to type in the required information, such as the name and known address of the subject.
The process is only slightly longer if you have to provide more information. You may also be requested to confirm the initial results, which typically takes only a few seconds.
Can you perform a background check on yourself? Of course! Not only can you do so, but it is actually advisable for certain reasons.
Let’s say you want to determine the effectiveness of a background check service before you shell out the money for full access. A good way to do that is by searching for your own background information as the results that come up will be easy for you to verify. You could also search social media from trusted friends’ or family members’ accounts.
You may want to perform a self-background check if you expect to be subjected to one in the near future. For instance, you may be curious‒or concerned‒about what a potential employer might find out about you. If so, getting detailed reports on yourself via self monitoring tools will allow you to rectify any unsavory details or prepare a suitable explanation in your defense. By conducting informal background checks on yourself, you’re taking steps to monitor your reputation online.
A self-background check also helps you detect errors or omissions in your public record. If you have taken your spouse’s last name or moved to another city, a background check on yourself will help you determine which records need to be updated.
Not all situations warrant having a background check done. There are situations when commissioning background reports on other people is inappropriate or even illegal.
For example, if you are a rental property owner, you aren’t allowed to use background check services to collect information about prospective tenants. Such a check also shouldn’t be used to determine a person’s eligibility for insurance or consumer credit.
Background checks for these purposes require the use of FCRA-compliant platforms. We will discuss the FCRA in more detail in the next section. But it essentially requires that background checks be conducted only with the consent of the individual being screened.
What if you need to check the background of a particular person for such purposes? In such cases, you will have to choose a background check service that is fully compliant with FCRA regulations.
Some background check services are remarkably thorough, and many people might be surprised at how much of their personal information is revealed in the results. In some cases, even addresses, phone number, social media data, and employment details from many years ago show up in a search, even if the subject has since moved to another part of the country and developed a lengthy employment record since then.
How does this information show up on a background check site? Much of this information is actually a matter of public record or available from a consumer reporting agency. This means that anyone has access to them with a bit of searching.
Community registers, court records, and employment rosters are often maintained online for anyone to see and most provide very reliable data. In some cases, information can even be obtained from a court runner service!
Some of the information on a particular person can be difficult to find. But some of the more established background check services employ sophisticated methods for unearthing them, and the technology is becoming more and more advanced over time.
So even if you think a person won’t find out that you worked in a particular company or lived in a certain small-town, don’t be surprised if that information shows up when other people conduct background checks on you.
In the age of social media, your in depth information might be available to background check services for the whole world to see. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that doing as many searches as you want to access that information is appropriate or legal.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a regulation that states that the information discovered via a background check service can’t be used to determine a person’s eligibility for employment, tenant screening for rental applications, and insurance, among other things.
This means that employers, insurers, and rental property owners may not use these services to screen prospective applicants. Doing so would be a violation of FCRA and result in legal consequences.
Some background check sites will have a disclaimer to this effect. You will likely be presented with a checkbox that you must check to signify your acknowledgment and agreement to FCRA restrictions.
Not all background check sites are FCRA compliant. If you need to conduct a thoroughly legal search, make sure to check if the site conforms to FCRA regulations. Most such sites tend to charge higher rates than others, so look into the pricing options before you conduct a paid search for a detailed report of people’s social media accounts.
How accurate are background checks? Sites can vary considerably in terms of accuracy, and price isn’t necessarily a reliable indicator of the results’ quality. Many background check services charge a premium for information that can easily be found with an online search. Others provide surprisingly in-depth results, criminal record reports, property records, and more up to date information for a modest fee.
The best background search services go to great lengths to provide accurate results. They employ sophisticated search methods and advanced technologies to find details on a person that can’t be found even with a deep dive into the search engines.
When choosing a background check service, read as many reviews and comments as possible from previous customers. Doing so will give you a good idea as to the quality of services provided by a firm and the accuracy of the results you can expect.
Unfortunately, relatively few background search sites provide any sort of guarantee. The quality of the results and the accuracy of the information aren’t always assured. This means that you might have to do further digging on your own to verify the information.
Some sites do offer a guarantee of accurate results, but they are in the minority. When in doubt, consider doing a trial search on yourself and assess the accuracy of the information presented in the results. Doing so should give you a good idea of the capabilities of the site in question.
Search engines such as Google have become remarkably powerful over the years. They employ increasingly sophisticated algorithms and advanced technologies to find information on pretty much anything from a bewildering array of sources, whether a consumer reporting agency, social media platforms, or public records.
Which brings to mind the question: why not just use Google to conduct a background check on a person?
As powerful and effective as it may be, all the information Google has access to–such as property ownership details and current phone number–are pretty much accessible from public records. Some of it might have been obscured over time and pushed back into the further pages of the search engine results pages, but they can still be found fairly easily.
To get the comprehensive results that you might need to check on a person’s criminal record or employment background, you will be better off with a dedicated background check service. Some of the better sites have access to civil registries, city records, police records, and employment histories that can’t be found on Google, social media, or an official consumer reporting agency without several hours of intensive searching.
Furthermore, the best background check companies offer unlimited background checks and present the information in a way that makes it easier for you to compare and verify results. Many also offer added services that make deep searches into a person’s background quicker and easier.
If you’ve performed a background check on yourself — or are worried a prospective employer, financial services group, or individual will find your personal details during a background check — we can help.
If you need help erasing your sensitive and personal information online, it’s time to take action. Contact us now and learn more about how to remove your information online with our proven background check service. Call 866-601-6803 and find out how to secure your data online.