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Instant Background Checks

Updated on October 30, 2014

Background Screening

We live in times where people lead busy lives and are used to having information at their fingertips. The internet has allowed us access to all manner of information.

This easy access now includes thorough and instant background checks with the assistance of one of the online companies offering this type of research and at reasonable and affordable prices.

It may not be a foolproof method of trying to protect yourself and your loved ones, but it is a definite advantage over taking a person at their word.

When You Would Want a Background Screening

Maybe you never thought about it – but our lives interact with a multitude of people. Between work, neighbors, and social get-togethers, our paths can interact and relate with many different individuals. And then add in your kid’s lives if you happen to be a parent.

Wouldn’t it be great to know the history on their teachers and caregivers? How about any coaches that they play sports for? What about the families of their friends? Chances are they spend time at their friend’s homes and may even do sleepovers.

What about the neighbors that moved in next door? They could lie about their pasts and you would be none the wiser. It’s easy to get friendly but you really don’t know if these acquaintances are shady or trustworthy. You can’t assume you can trust a person just because they live in the neighborhood.

Is it Paranoia or Playing it Smart?

This is a matter of opinion. I'm not prone to paranoia and, in fact, my problem is trusting everyone I meet! Sometimes that optimistic attitude turns out to be correct. Other times, I had to learn the hard way that I shouldn't be overly trustful of strangers. Always lean on the side of caution without going overboard.

In one camp are the people that say they prefer to use their instincts. They don’t believe you should think the worst of a person without a particular reason to feel that way. They feel that when it comes to people and relationships, you have to have faith.

Then there are the individuals who believe the more knowledge and information a person has at their fingertips, the more empowered they are. They prefer to use caution.

Babysitters, Nannies, and Caregivers

This is one of the best reasons for getting an instant background check on someone. I don’t think anyone can deny that the more you know about the person caring for the kids, the better off you and the children will be.

Same reason for checking out any caregivers for any adults or seniors you are responsible for. We know how notorious senior abuse has become. Besides putting up hidden surveillance cameras, running a background check is the best tool you have at your disposal.

People can falsify documents and references. But the reports issued by these background companies are constructed with a vast amount of public records.

You could possibly try to do some research on your own but if you have no experience in this type of inquiry, it would be extremely easy to miss an incident of importance. Not to mention the time you’d have to invest. Where as these companies really don’t charge that much and produce a thorough background screening in a matter of minutes.

Know Who You Are Dating

This is another area when a background check can save a person heartache and possibly save them from danger.

We all know how often the newspapers carry stories regarding violent love affairs, marriages, and crazy stalkers. Dating can be potentially dangerous. I find it funny that people used to think of online dating as an invitation to meeting a line of crazy and dangerous partners. The truth is that it’s no more dangerous than dating someone from work or someone you met in one of your favorite night spots.

One of the most frequent problems with any type of romantic relationship is trusting what the person tells you about themselves. It’s very easy for people to lie and omit items in their past that may turn their date off. I’m not saying that this is always the case.

But I can relay my own experience with online dating which I tried after my divorce.

Most of the men I met were gentlemen and seemed honest enough. (I’m currently married to a man I met 9 years ago on ) One man was deceitful and filled my head with stories that I was gullible enough to fall for – until he confessed he was married.

Five months wasted on a relationship that brought shame to me. If I was starting back into this type of relationship search, I would no doubt conduct a background check on anyone I began a romantic undertaking with.

If you have a teenage son or adult daughter that is dating, wouldn’t it give you a piece of mind to know their background? Where they came from? If everything they are telling your kid is the truth?

Employee Background Check

Employees and Tenants

If you employ at least one person or have any type of rental property, wouldn’t it be to your advantage to know the history behind your employee or tenant?

If you hire someone, your business or company can be held partly responsible for any wrongdoing or accidents that occur on work time. Then there’s employee theft and embezzlement. Running a report on your employees should be standard procedure.

If you own rental property you may already run a credit report to avoid future payment problems. You want to be sure they have a reputation for paying their bills. But what about a background check? You can discover how often the person moves or if they have a history of legal problems. All public records will be at your disposal.

It's fairly standard but you should let the person know what you'll be conducting a background and credit check on them. They may back out and save you some money because they know you'll find something negative on their records.


Do you think it's OK to run a background check on a new neighbor?

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Online Background Companies

Many of these background screening companies offer similar reports but there membership rules vary slightly. Depending on how you plan to use background reports will help figure out which company is for you. If it’s only a couple times a year, then you won’t want an ongoing monthly membership. You’ll have to determine which is best for you depending on your lifestyle.

Here is an example of a top online company and the services they offer:

Intelius - Instant People Search. Intelius- one of the reasons I like this site is they are very up front in regard to their charges. You can plug in some very basic information – name and address on someone and it returns their address, age, aliases, and immediate relatives. All for free. Then it offers an in-depth background check for a one time price. Normal price is $49.95 but they run specials for $10.00 off.

Their background reports include statewide criminal check, address history, home value, bankruptcies, liens, small claims, legal judgments, and relatives. This service if you just need a random report maybe averaging one a year. Affordable and thorough.


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