7 Best Background Check Services in 2022 – The Denver Post


Do you need to learn more about someone new in your life, like a roommate or a date?

The Best background check services are a good option. They’re cheap, and the best ones might even be reliable, thorough and give you the information you need.

In this article, we look at how effective background check services really are, especially Truthfinder.

We also offer some of the best, most legit and affordable paid background check options to help you decide what to do next.

Best Background Check Services 2022: Reviewed

1. TruthFinder – Best Background Check Service Overall

Truthfinder logo


  • In-depth reports
  • Trustworthy service
  • Mobile app available


  • Can’t buy individual reports

TruthFinder is our top pick for best overall background check services for a number of reasons. As well as being one of the USA’s most popular services, it has thousands of positive reviews on consumer reviews websites.

It also goes deep with the amount of information it can uncover on a person, so you’re able to form a well-rounded, fleshed-out profile of them from a detailed report.

Try TruthFinder Today for In-Depth Reports

Accuracy is guaranteed, the amount of background checks you can perform each month as a paying customer is unlimited, and the service has been around since 2014.

Best Features

  • Unlimited background checks
  • Reverse phone lookup

How To Run a Background Check On TruthFinder

Running a background check on TruthFinder is really simple. It’s best to start armed with as much info on the individual as possible. Then you can search their name and city to help narrow things down.

Choose the best possible match (it’s likely that TruthFinder will bring up a few potential matches) before taking a look at their report and learning more about them, including their criminal past, current location, any traffic infractions they’ve incurred, weapon permits and much more.

Does TruthFinder Have a Free Trial?

TruthFinder doesn’t offer a free trial, and they even have an entire blog post dedicated to their reasons for not offering one.

Their argument is that pulling up huge amounts of information/records on people from multiple public records/sources is highly demanding and that offering their services for free would simply be cheating the customer.

On the flip side, TruthFinder is committed to offering an affordable membership plan that currently costs less than $1 a day.

2. Intelius – Best Background Check Site For Accuracy


  • Accurate reports
  • Very in-depth background checks
  • User friendly


  • Lots of features that do the same thing

Accuracy should be the aim of the game whenever we’re using a background check tool, and Intelius is one of the best on this front. This is a feature-rich tool that brings up detailed information on a person’s past addresses, educational history, criminal history etc.

The searches and background checks are more in-depth than most competitors, and they’re also confidential. The site looks great, too, and the tool comes with a useful social network viewer.

Best Features

  • Reverse address and phone lookup
  • Identity protection

How To Perform an Online Background Check On Intelius

To get started, you just need to pop onto the Intelius website and type in the first and last name of the individual you’re looking for, as well as their phone number and the state they currently live in.

Then, click the “Search” button.

Intelius will get to work scanning through public records, and they may also ask you to confirm whether or not the individual has lived in a specific state. The search takes around 2-3 minutes to complete, after which you’ll need to sign up as a member in order to access it.

3. Instant Checkmate – Best Background Check Service For Instant Searches


  • Fast results
  • 5-day trial for $1
  • 1 million+ searches


  • Doesn’t scan private records

Instant Checkmate searches public records to help you find detailed information on individuals. The clue should be in the name with this one – it performs rapid-fire searches to help you get the info you need as quickly as possible.

Sourcing their data from specialized sources, they give you access to accurate reports that are based on a person’s criminal records, court records, property records and other public records.

And in a sign of its trustworthiness, Instant Checkmate currently has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Best Features

  • Reverse phone lookups
  • Reverse email lookup
  • PDF versions of reports

How To Perform an Online Background Check On Instant Checkmate

To begin a search, you don’t need to sign up as a member. Instead, you just need to visit the homepage and type in a person’s first and last name, city and their location. Then, hit the “Go” button.

You then need to confirm whether or not this is what you’re looking for and whether or not the person (or you) is male or female.

Intelius gives you a warning that “learning the truth about family and friends may be shocking” and asks if you wish to proceed. If you do, the tool will get to work, scanning multiple sources to bring up the information.

After a minute or two, the report is ready, but you’ll need to sign up in order to access it.

4. Spokeo – Best Background Check Service For Finding Old Friends


  • Free features
  • Polished user interface
  • Fairly quick results


  • Doesn’t provide criminal records

Spokeo is a useful background check tool if you want to track down someone you’ve lost touch with, be it an ex-partner or an old friend. You can use it to find long lost relatives, too, and search through things like property records and marriage and divorce records.

You can’t search arrest records, however.

Spokeo was founded in 2006, it’s been used by over 20 million people to date, and while it started life as a social media aggregator, it now gives you access to a person’s contact details, civil judgments and past addresses.

Best Features

  • Reverse email look-up
  • Imports address books

How To Perform a Background Check Online On Spokeo

Spokeo gives you a few ways to get started. You can either type in someone’s name, email address, telephone number, or their current address.

Then, you need to hit the “search now” button and Spokeo begins to scan its sources. Once it’s brought up a report (and this doesn’t take longer than a few minutes) you’ll need to create an account in order to access it in full.

Does Spokeo Offer a Free Trial?

If you type “Spokeo free trial” into Google, you’ll come across a number of third-party websites offering Spokeo free trial discount codes. However, these aren’t legit and Spokeo itself doesn’t offer a free trial.

On the other hand, basic search results are free and there are a number of free features on offer. However, in order to access the in-depth, accurate reports, you’ll need to upgrade your account for a small monthly fee.

5. InfoTracer – Best Background Check Service For Detailed Reports


  • Searches are confidential
  • Databases frequently updated
  • Detailed reports


InfoTracer is another highly recommended background check tool that gives you access to court documents, social networks, contact information and more. It was founded in 2003 and currently enjoys an A+ rating on BBB.

This company also claims to have been used by more than 1 million satisfied customers.

The tool scans multiple online sources to help it deliver accurate reports that allow you to make a more informed decision about someone, whether that be a date or someone from your past.

Best Features

  • Reverse address lookup
  • Asset lookups

How To Perform a Background Check On InfoTracer

Like most background check tools, InfoTracer lets you start your search for free. You just need to visit the homepage and type in someone’s first and last name, as well as their country. You also have the option to enter their city if you know it.

Then, you need to agree to their terms and conditions before hitting the “Search” button.

Similar to other tools in our review, InfoTracer gives you access to basic information for free. In order to see the full, comprehensive report, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid membership.

Does InfoTracer Offer a Free Trial?

InfoTracer has a free people search function but it doesn’t offer an actual free trial at the time of writing. However, there is a five-day trial that you can take advantage of for as little as $2.95.

After the five days are up, you then have the option of either subscribing for $19.95 per month, or paying $19.95 for a one-off report.

6. BeenVerified – Best Background Check For Customer Service


  • Comprehensive reports
  • Straightforward pricing model
  • Excellent customer service


  • Can’t search for traffic infractions

BeenVerified is a background check company that was established in 2007. It’s BBB accredited, has a wealth of positive online reviews, and it comes with a mobile app and a straightforward subscription pricing model.

It’s especially useful if you’re looking to purchase a second-hand vehicle and comes with an unclaimed property search function.

Best Features

  • Unclaimed property search function
  • Reverse phone lookups
  • Unclaimed money lookup feature

Does BeenVerified Offer a Free Trial?

BeenVerified is free to perform an initial search but you’ll need to upgrade your account in order to access the reports. And while there’s no free trial available, there’s a money-back guarantee offer if you’re not satisfied.

7. US Search – Most Established Background Check Service


  • Access to billions of public records
  • Leverages 40+ technology services
  • Affordable


US Search is one of the most reputable people checker tools that has been featured on the likes of CNBC and CBS.

It’s BBB accredited and is ideal for anyone who wants to find out more information on their new neighbors, long lost family members and new dates. It’s also been around since 1993, which makes it one of the most trustworthy background check companies.

Best Features

Are Free Background Checks Effective?

It’s super easy to find free background checks online.

These include the likes of Google, as well as social media. For example, you can peruse Google News, Google Images, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social sites to perform a free background check, and even dig into some public records yourself.

There are even websites dedicated to performing free background checks.

But while it’s possible to perform a free background check like this, the free way isn’t necessarily the best way. This is because free sites are extremely limited with the information they give you access to.

For example, you might find someone’s tweet history, but you might not find their vehicle records or things like county court judgments or other public records.

Moreover, non-digital records as a whole aren’t very accessible and there’s no vetting involved, simply because a free background check service doesn’t have the time or manpower to do it.

After all, gathering together public records from thousands of sources is a task that requires hours and hours of diligence.

Worse still, a free background check definitely doesn’t guarantee accuracy. Indeed, if you use a free service, it’ll most likely come with a disclaimer that admits its results won’t be 100 percent accurate.

Free background check services are certainly legit and safe to use, but they might not be sufficient for your needs. As such, if you want to perform a background check on someone, it might be a better idea to use an affordable alternative.

Best Background Check Sites: Your Questions Answered

What Is a Background Check Service?

A background check service is a platform that looks up information or attempts to verify that a person is who they claim to be, using public and even private databases on behalf of an individual or employer.

What Information Can Background Checks Uncover?

Background checks uncover a variety of information depending on the platform and FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). Some that may be uncovered are:

Criminal Records

Most background check companies consider criminal records.  A search on public/private databases, a background search can uncover criminal convictions, pending court cases, incarceration history, arrests that didn’t lead to convictions.

Employment History

Especially when done by an employer, they may want to verify your job experience and learn your previous job positions and roles, job period, awards, and even your salary on some occasions.

Education History

Generally, most employers need their prospective employers to have a certain level of education. An education history can reveal; institutions attended, college degrees, training, awards, years attended, and any other related educational records.

Driving Records

Depending on the regulations stated on a platform, a background check can reveal; traffic violations, suspensions, restrictions, driver’s license status, and any other information that might be related to driving records.

What Is the Best Site for Criminal Background Checks?

The best site for criminal checks is Instant Checkmate. The site has over 70,000 5-Star reviews and a wide criminal database with records of criminal arrests, convictions, pending court cases, incarceration history, and more.

Which Is Better, Spokeo or BeenVerified?

Spokeo is reputable, pretty easy to use, and quite affordable. However, it might have limited criminal reports.

On the other hand, BeenVerified has a great mobile app and an email search option. However, it also gives limited criminal reports.

Considering all the facts, Spokeo’s affordability ($13.75/month) and simple user interface just pip BeenVerified’s benefits.

What Causes a Red Flag on a Background Check?

Different factors might cause red flags on a background check, regardless of whether they were intentional or not. Examples include;

Criminal History

Job application forms often require one to fill a section on criminal history. However, an applicant with a criminal record might not fill it in because they fear being disqualified. Thus, when an employer finds a criminal history on a criminal records check, especially a serious one and not disclosed on the application, it might be a red flag.

Many Short-Term Jobs

Too many short-term jobs might imply that an applicant is not reliable or might have bad qualities that make them not hold a job for long. Regardless of whether it is an applicant’s fault or not, it might paint a bad picture.

Education Inconsistencies

An applicant might exaggerate their academic records on an application or a job interview. However, when a background search shows they are not as qualified as they claim to be, it might raise eyebrows and be grounds for disqualification.

Employment Gaps

Owing to the changing economic times like inadequate jobs or health issues, one might find themselves not working for quite some time. Hence, their resumes might have some gaps which might imply to a prospective employer that the person is not qualified enough.

The Takeaway: What is the Best Background Check Service?

Background check providers are a fast and accurate way to get to know or verify information on people. Whether you are an employer or an individual, these reviewed background search sites are accessible and efficient.

To start, Truthfinder has the best all-around service with over 60,000 5-star reviews and a wide records database.

Try TruthFinder Today for In-Depth Reports

However, for the best-detailed criminal and detailed social media and dating profile reports, then Intelius and Instant Checkmate are great options respectively.

Disclaimer: Intelius, TruthFinder, US Search, and Instant Checkmate do not provide Consumer Reports and are not Consumer Reporting Agencies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Do not use this information to make decisions concerning consumer credit, employment, or tenant screening.

The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.


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