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What is a background check

Updated on July 11, 2011

Background Information

An online background check is a way to get background information on friends, relatives, neighbors and potential bosses or workers. It’s basically an online search that digs into the past of a particular person and ferrets out any and all information about their past places of employment, residence and certain forms of ownership – like if they owned a house or not. In many cases you are able to get hospital records as well, although this information is much harder to come by. There are many free background information gathering sites out there on the internet, but many of the free ones are hardly worth the time and effort it takes to type the persons name. but that said, If you are only looking for a limited search of the persons criminal background then the following are a few good bets.

Background Check Questions

Have you ever paid to search someone's past?

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U.S. Search

Like many criminal search record databases US Search lets you search by name, phone or address. These three ways are the best and most clear cut form of getting information on the right person. US Search does a very good job in the free portion of their service and they provide enough information for you to take the search on your own. However, it is limited and if you want a full detailed report you will have to pay. My suggestion is to stick to their free report and use some of the other free services listed here to see if you can gather a clear picture of the information you need. If not, then you can consider using a paid system to gather background information.


Google is one of the best tools to perform a quick background search of people. Start by typing the name of the person along with the city you think they live in. If you don’t get any results on that, then start to scan Facebook and look for distinguishing items that let you know you’ve found the person you are looking for. Don’t forget when using these search terms to click over to the images only catergory. This will broaden the search for you and really get you to the information you are looking for. If you find you are blocked out from a site, try hitting the cached button, which will then let you in to see what was on the page at the time it was cached. Works great!


The only real way to get all the criminal background information on someone is to use a cheap paid for system called Inteligator. Inteligator is a very reliable service that cost pennies. When you subscribe you have unlimited access to information that you just can’t find any where else on the web. I have many friends who are using it to do background checks on the people who watch their children. Using Inteligator to background check your baby sitter is just one of the great uses for this unique and powerful resource. You can also look up other information about people such as jobs, and the places they have lived. Do yourself a favor. If you want real information check out Inteligator. It’s cheap to join and the information is vast.


Zabasearch claims that they are an honestly free people search engine that produces real results. And from what I’ve seen, they are right. Not only did a search of my friends name come up with the correct address and phone number, but every place he had lived in the last 10 years (which is a lot!) came up as well. Very impressive. The other side to Zabasearch though, is the same downfall with US Search. They will give you some of the information, but they will not give you all of the information – that you have to pay for.


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