Is Free Background Check A Scam? Truth You Don’t Want To Miss!

Is Free Background Check Really Free

Free background checkSo, I assume you landed on my page after searching for terms like, “Free background check” or “free criminal background check” using Google, right?

Straight off the bat, I will tell you that there is no such thing as 100% free background check, if you are actually looking for something useful for background checking purposes.

So to answer the question if it’s a scam, there isn’t a yes/no answer, it all depends on your requirements, if you are looking for something very simple, then yes you can do it by yourself for free, but getting a free advanced background check, which is actually full of useful information, unfortunately it’s not going to happen, since there are certain costs involved to get you all the detailed information.

If you ever find a “free” check, very soon you will realize it wasn’t really free. After all the waiting it didn’t include any of the most important information you were looking for and at a minimum you had to give them your e-mail address (which by the way is pretty valuable for these companies).

Not to worry, I will go through all the details in this article, so keep reading to find out what kind of records check you can do for free and when you should bite the bullet and leave it to the professional background checking companies. Do not miss the reporting company reviews in the end of this article.

Bit Of The Employment Verification History First

Employment VerificationHiring was an easy process for small businesses a few decades ago. When they needed a new employee, they would interview a few people, check their references, then do a “gut check” and decide who to hire.

Today, that procedure would just be foolish. Resumes with faked details, illegal substance problems and previous arrests are commonplace. It’s almost impossible to trust references, because most companies fear the legal ramifications of giving out information on former employees. And these days, as Dr. House so succinctly observed, “everybody lies.”

Human resources and personnel directors will tell you the only reliable approach is to do an advanced background check before making a hire. That costs money, though – money which some small businesses would prefer not to spend. That’s why many try to do their own free background check of the applicants, but mostly end up empty handed or with unreliable information and the only option is to pay the small fee for the professional employment verification.

Here are some tips for free background check, if that’s your thing.

Use the Internet: There is a treasure trove of information about most people online, and that’s the first place to start your search when you want to know more about a potential employee without doing an advanced background check.

  • Social Media: It doesn’t matter whether you spend every spare hour online, or only use your computer for email and research. Chances are good that an applicant has set up accounts on the major social sites, and you’d be amazed at what you could find. A soft-spoken, well-dressed 20-something on a job interview may be a lot more likely to post pictures of themselves with their favorite bongs, talk about how they missed work after a night of partying, or ask for advice for their next court appearance, when they’re just hanging out, Tweeting or Facebooking with friends
  • Start with Facebook and Twitter to look for personal accounts. It’s quite possible that an applicant has listed a Facebook page or Twitter handle on their resume, but those could just be “business” accounts that they don’t use for personal interactions. Check them out, but then dig a little deeper to see if you can find other accounts or pages under the applicant’s name as well. It’s not always easy to find someone on a social platform because so many people have similar names, so combine your search with city or school names, or other identifying features of the applicant to be sure you’re looking at the right person’s accounts. Other platforms you can check include Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and Vine.
  • LinkedIn and Professional Sites: as you probably know, LinkedIn is a platform primarily used for professional or business reasons, but you can get a good sense for how an applicant carries him or herself by what they post and how they interact online. If there are professional networking sites specific to your industry, look there as well to see if the prospective employee has any interesting posts or profile information there.
  • Google Search: Just typing an applicant’s name into a search box can often produce useful information. You may find very little, or you may find harmless results from their personal website or social accounts. You may even find links that confirm the research or college work they’ve listed on their resume. However, it’s also possible you could discover their names in unfavorable newspaper reports or on court docket listings. Again, be cautious; many names are common, so be sure you’re not making snap judgments based on someone else’s information.
  • State and Local Government Sites: Most states (and larger local governments) have a wealth of information available in online databases, ranging from court reports, to lists of registered sex offenders, to bankruptcy filings. It can take some time to drill down and find exactly what you’re looking for, but those types of reports could be an important resource to search if you’re hiring someone for a sensitive position such as security professional, care-giver or financial advisor.

These searches are no substitute for a full criminal background check, of course, but they may tell you something if not all you need to know.

Make Some Phone Calls

The phone calls to previous employers which were always the most important part of any hiring review have now become relatively useless. Today, most companies will only confirm that someone was indeed a former employee. There are some people, however, who may still pick up the phone and help in your screening process.

  • Colleges and Other Schools: It’s increasingly common that applicants will lie about receiving a degree from a university, when they never really graduated. Most institutions of higher learning are willing to tell you whether someone has actually received the degree they’ve claimed, although they can’t release any other information without a signed consent form.
  • The Military: Armed Forces Officials are able to disclose service rank, awards and duty status without an applicant’s consent.
  • The Police: If you’re in a small city or town, and you have a good relationship with the police department, it’s often possible to make an informal inquiry with a friendly desk sergeant about an applicant. You may hit a brick wall, but you may also be surprised at how talkative some police officers can be. It’s worth picking up the phone to find out.

Bite The Bullet And Get The Advanced Background Check

advanced background checkNo matter how much time you spend trying to do your own “free criminal background check” on an applicant, there are times you just can’t find enough information to make an educated decision.

That’s when spending a little money on a reliable professional investigation service can be worth the expense. These services, such as eVerify,com, conduct just about all of the searches mentioned in this article, including social media, criminal records, people search and naturally background check. One of the major advantages is that it will be done almost instantly, so if you value your time, you will leave it to the professionals.

And they have many more resources and searchable databases than a small business could realistically manage to obtain. A full report only costs about $19.95, which is a small price to pay when you see all of the information you get for this price.

For this small fee you will get the most important records such as;

  • Name
  • Age & DOB
  • Phone Numbers
  • Address History
  • Criminal Records
  • Court Records
  • Bankruptcies & Liens
  • Marriage/Divorce Records
  • Property Ownerships
  • Relatives & Associates
  • License
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Mugshots
  • Sexual offenses

And much much more.

eVerify.com offers;

  • Onetime report option for $19.95
  • Monthly subscription of $19.95/month with a $1

This is the most cost efficient subscription among the top rated reporting providers.

And talking about ratings, here you can confirm their Better Business Bureau A+ BBB rating. Simply search for eVerify.com and you will find that they really are the most trustworthy company who has built their excellent reputation in the industry for years.

Most of the other suppliers offer similar services, but with higher costs when comparing 1 month subscriptions and what comes to the BBB ratings, well you can judge them by yourself.

Comparing Free Background Check Reporting Companies

Just to freshen your memory, this is what eVerify.com offers:

  • $19.95 Onetime report option
  • $1 Trial for Monthly unlimited reporting of $19.95/month
  • eVerify has A+ BBB rating
  • Comprehensive, complete, hassle free and fast reporting

Then here are some of the other providers to compare:

  • Beenverified.com offers you;
    • NO Onetime report option
    • NO trial
    • Monthly charge of $22.86/month
    • This business has NO BBB rating
  • Checkpeople.com offers you;
    • NO Onetime report option
    • NO trial
    • Monthly charge of $22.56/month
    • This business has F BBB rating (which is the lowest BBB rating available)
  • Advancedbackgroundchecks.com offers you;
    • NO Onetime report option
    • NO trial
    • Monthly charge of $22.86/month
    • This business has C+ BBB rating (which is definitely not worth popping the champagne)
  • Freebackgroundchecksusa.com offers you;
    • NO Onetime report option
    • NO trial
    • Monthly charge of $19.95/month
    • OR $1 trial which will auto renew for $29.95/month if you don’t cancel within the 7 days.
    • This business has NO BBB rating.
  • Spyfly.com offers you;
    • NO Onetime report option
    • $1 trial, which will auto renew for $29.97/month if you don’t cancel within the 7 days.
    • This business has A- BBB rating.
  • Intelius.com offers you;
    • Onetime report option for $49.95
      • Just read the small print on every page, you might end up paying much more than you initially thought (up to ~ $82)
    • $7.95 trial, which will auto renew for $19.95/month if you don’t cancel within the 7 days.
    • This business has A+ BBB rating

So, which one would you choose? No doubt which one I would choose, eVerify.com any day over the others!

Use Caution With Free Criminal Background Check

            background checkThere is one important fact to consider before using any information in your hiring decision. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that you only use background checks from a federally certified Consumer Reporting Agency, if they’re used to make employment verification or tenant decisions. If you use a non-CRA report to reject an applicant, you could find yourself in legal trouble.

A full list of certified CRAs is available from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website [http://www.consumerfinance.gov/]. By looking at this website, the list of the companies and their websites, I would wish you good luck if you want to try this route, since it seems to be just like any other federal or government agency “spider web”, which is usually almost impossible to navigate and to actually find the information you require and this is no different from that norm.

There’s nothing wrong with doing your own research, be it your own free background check or any paid service – just be careful what information you actually use in your formal hiring decision and make sure you read all the provided terms and conditions or any other legal information provided to understand the limitations.

So, I hope you found this article useful and it helped you to choose wisely! In the end it’s up to you, but I know which one I choose when the need arises.