Wherever you go on the internet, you seem to be directed to companies that allow you to check people’s background. The cost of these checks varies tremendously, ranging from quite costly to completely free. Even the costly ones, however, are cheaper than the background checks completed through official channels, such as requesting a FICO score. So are they any good?
Why Do You Need to Check People’s Background?
First of all, you have to ask yourself who you want to look into. Common individuals include:
- Prospective new business partners.
- Babysitters, nannies, or childminders.
- New boyfriends or girlfriends.
- New neighbors if you are considering moving to a new house.
It is likely that, if you want to check the background of someone in the list above, you will head to one of the free sites that are around. Unfortunately, the information they give is limited at best and they will usually simply guide you to a paid service after giving you a tiny bit of information. They are a form of click bait hoping to get you to part with your money. Hence, it is better to head to a proper paid for site in the first place in many occasions.
If you do find a genuine free search website, you can assume that the information they will provide you with is basic at best. The information is gathered by volunteers and members of the public are often asked to help in updating it. What this means is that it is very easy for information to be inaccurate or at least out of date.
The reality is that not using up to date and accurate information can be a very costly mistake. There have been numerous stories, for instance, of people moving home and looking into the background of their neighbors through a free service, which came back clean despite the fact that one neighbor had convictions for violent crimes. This makes it difficult to sell the house afterwards, because most buyers will use a paid for service and not miss this detail.
How to Check People’s Background
Now that you can see you will have to pay a little bit for a good background check, it is time to gather the necessary details. Ideally, you will need their:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
- Driving License Number
The more information you have, the easier it gets to find some accurate information about them. The problem is, of course, that people tend to not share their driving license and Social Security Number freely with anyone who asks for it, particularly if they have something to hide. However, if you perform a good quality paid search, you should still be able to find out important details about the individual. You just have to make sure that you are aware of the fact that there could be a mistaken identity. If all you have is the name John Smith who lives in New York City, for instance, you will get a lot of different results.