Fortunly's Guide
Advertiser Disclosure

The Best Background Check Sites in 2022

Written By
G. Dautovic
Updated
September 08,2022
Some or all of the products/services listed on this page are from our affiliate partners from which we receive commissions. This, however, does not influence the evaluations in our reviews. Learn more by reading our Advertiser Disclosure.

An online background check is the quickest way to find out more about a person’s past. If you’re going on a date with someone you’ve met online, you can use these services to satisfy your curiosity. Does she have a criminal record? Is he married? Does she have a college degree? Has he ever declared bankruptcy?

Background check services might answer these questions. 

What they won’t do is help you decide whether to hire someone, rent them a home, or sell them insurance - at least not legally. The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 specifies that information used for these purposes must come from regulated consumer reporting agencies. That’s why companies that perform background checks put disclaimers like this on their homepages: 

This company is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This site must not be used to determine an individual's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or any other purpose covered by the FCRA.

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Intelius Logo

Intelius

5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

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Social media check Yes
Criminal background Yes
Free check No
Pricing $39.95/mo
FEATURES
REVIEW
PROS & CONS
  • In-depth background check reports
  • Criminal and arrest records check
  • Easy-to-use search options
Instant Checkmate Logo

Instant Checkmate

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

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Social media check Yes
Criminal background Yes
Free check No
Pricing $34.78/mo
FEATURES
REVIEW
PROS & CONS
  • Customized background search
  • Comprehensive criminal and arrest data
  • Accurate reports
BeenVerified Logo

BeenVerified

4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

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Social media check Yes
Criminal background Yes
Free check No
Pricing $26.89/mo
FEATURES
REVIEW
PROS & CONS
  • Most accurate information
  • Criminal history reports included in the standard plan
  • Free PDFs
TruthFinder Logo

TruthFinder

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

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Social media check Yes
Criminal background Yes
Free check No
Pricing $27.78/mo
FEATURES
REVIEW
PROS & CONS
  • Modern and easily navigable interface
  • Comprehensive background check reports 
  • Identity theft protection
US Search Logo

US Search

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

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Social media check Yes
Criminal background Yes
Free check No
Pricing $19.86/mo
FEATURES
REVIEW
PROS & CONS
  • Very accurate search engine
  • Well-designed reports
  • Affordable reporting tools
InfoTracer Logo

InfoTracer

4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

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Social media check Yes
Criminal background Yes
Free check No
Pricing $19.95/mo
FEATURES
REVIEW
PROS & CONS
  • Incredibly detailed reports
  • Very good search options
  • Up-to-date databases
Spokeo Logo

Spokeo

4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

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Social media check Yes
Criminal background Yes
Free check No
Pricing $13.95/mo
FEATURES
REVIEW
PROS & CONS
  • Intuitive interface
  • Affordable
  • Quick results
PeopleFinders Logo

PeopleFinders

4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

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Social media check Yes
Criminal background Yes
Free check No
Pricing $24.95/mo
FEATURES
REVIEW
PROS & CONS
  • Very affordable
  • Intuitive interface
  • Excellent mobile apps
Verispy Logo

Verispy

4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

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Social media check Yes
Criminal background Yes
Free check No
Pricing $29.95/mo
FEATURES
REVIEW
PROS & CONS
  • Quick report generation
  • Seven-day trial period
  • No automatic renewals
NetDetective Logo

NetDetective

3.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

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Social media check Yes
Criminal background Yes
Free check No
Pricing $29.95/mo
FEATURES
REVIEW
PROS & CONS
  • Simple but effective interface
  • Unlimited monthly searches with one payment
  • Good customer support
PeopleLooker Logo

PeopleLooker

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

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Social media check Yes
Criminal background Yes
Free check No
Pricing $18.29/mo
FEATURES
REVIEW
PROS & CONS
  • Great for criminal checks
  • Robust mobile app
  • Top-notch security
Evaluation Criteria

Choosing the Best Background Check Service

Before we identified the leading background check companies, we created a list of factors we would need to evaluate. The list includes explicit compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, whether the service is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, search options and user interface, additional services (like criminal record searches and phone-number reverse lookups), and prices. 

Many companies claim to provide reliable background check services for affordable monthly fees, but our research indicates they don’t always live up to the “affordable” part of that promise. 

Scammers, FCRA violators, and inaccurate information are all too common in this industry. 

That’s why we developed a formal methodology - a set of rules for investigating, evaluating, and documenting candidates for our list of the top background checkers.

FCRA Compliance

We looked at each company’s website thoroughly to evaluate whether it follows the Fair Credit Reporting Act rules. 

According to the FCRA, only designated consumer reporting agencies can provide official consumer reports to employers, banks, and landlords. Other companies that provide background checks must publish disclaimers that tell users they are not consumer reporting agencies. 

The information you get from these companies cannot be legally used when screening tenants, hiring employees, issuing insurance, extending credit, or for other purposes specified by the FCRA.

Search Options

The next thing to keep in mind when conducting a search for reliable background check services is how broad and flexible the search options are. Most sites have a search bar that lets you type in a name and surname. 

You can filter search results by city and state too. To narrow your results, the site may ask questions about your target: age, number of siblings - details like that.

In addition, you can generally conduct other types of searches. You can type a phone number and get the name of the owner. You can do the same with an email address, or even a car’s license plate number.

User Interface

Ideally, a background check service will deliver lots of information about your target quickly and easily. The website would also be easily navigable, with a well-organized interface that lets you conduct your research smoothly. 

You should be able to conduct a simple background check of anyone you want without seeking help from anyone. If you’re looking for something specific, you can refer to comprehensive guides and articles with detailed information on how to use the services. 

We include the readability of generated search reports when we evaluate the user interface. We award higher scores to sites that provide systematically organized information about targets. In some cases, companies offer visual representations of results via graphs.

Additional Services

When we created our reviews, we started by assessing the types of background check services they offer. Most can give you basic information – name, address, phone number, and so on. Only the best do deeper research.

Those companies consult huge databases maintained by federal, state, and local government agencies to gather information about criminal records, for example. 

It is sometimes useful to run a background check on yourself. You can use the report to evaluate and improve your online presence, protect yourself from identity theft, and detect your personal information on sale in the shady markets of the dark web.

Pricing

Reliable online background checks come at a considerable cost. Moreover, most providers don’t disclose prices on their websites. You must contact the company for a consultation before you learn what the prices are.

Generally, you can purchase background check services à la carte or you can pay for a monthly subscription. Pricing plans differ based on the types of background checks you want to conduct. Some companies offer complete background checks, while others charge extra for checking criminal and other records.

Security and Protection

Finally, we don’t add a website to our list without evaluating the measures and policies the site has adopted to protect the client’s privacy and security.

Imagine the scene when your neighbors discover you have conducted such a check. You haven’t done anything illegal, but there will surely be more than enough embarrassment for all parties.

That’s precisely why the best background check sites secure your requests with SSL technology, protect your information within a firewall, and adhere to privacy policies that keep your personal information safe.

 

 

Quick Breakdown

The Best Background Check Services in 2022

  • Intelius - Best overall
  • InstantCheckmate - The most accurate
  • BeenVerified - Best option for comprehensive checks
  • TruthFinder - Affordable
  • US Search - Best option for ease of use
  • InfoTracer - Best for in-depth reports
  • Spokeo - Best for low-cost individual reports
  • PeopleFinders - Best for mobile users
  • Verispy - The most transparent service
  • NetDetective - Best customer service
  • PeopleLooker - Best for unlimited searches

FAQ

Is it legal to use background check services?

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The short answer is that it depends on what you do with the information you get. If you’re just checking out your daughter’s new boyfriend, or you’re curious about whether a new neighbor has a criminal record, the service is completely legal.

But if you want to check someone’s employment history, there is a problem. According to the FCRA, even the best background check sites can’t be used when deciding if a person is a good candidate for a job, loan, insurance policy, lease, or scholarship.

What is the most reliable background check?

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There are hundreds of background check sites, but not all of them are worth your attention. Legitimate companies provide services in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In most cases, these companies are not consumer reporting agencies - which means that they are not legally authorized to provide reports that can be used for hiring people or screening tenants. 

The best option for employers is to use official consumer reporting agencies and always get written consent from the applicant before ordering a background check.

What is the cheapest background check?

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Background checks are not cheap, but some companies provide accurate and fast information for as many people as you like for less than $30 per month.

Some of the biggest and well-known background check companies don’t disclose their pricing plans. To find out how much their services cost, you’ll need to sign up for a subscription or have a discussion with their sales reps.

Which is better: BeenVerified vs. TruthFinder?

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Both BeenVerified and TruthFinder are well-established companies that provide reliable search and background checks, but based on your needs, you might find one or the other more suitable.

If you are looking for a criminal background check, BeenVerified is a better option than TruthFinder. The company provides detailed information on the target’s criminal records. This is an integral part of the basic subscription.

As for TruthFinder, this company offers one really interesting feature - dark web monitoring. You can type your name and find out if some of your personal information is on sale on the dark web. The company can also help you remove your information from suspicious sites and protect yourself from identity theft.