There are many reasons why someone may want to run a background check. For example, maybe you want to check that the guy you're going to meet from an internet dating site isn't married or a convicted felon. Perhaps you're looking for a babysitter but want to take extra precautions to ensure they are trustworthy before handing your kids over to them. The world has become a scary place, and it makes sense that you want to check people out.
Another consideration is to run a background check on yourself. Maybe you didn't realize that you're losing out on employment opportunities due to unfortunate drunken photos that are publicly visible. You can also review your credit report for any errors that need to be cleared up which could be inhibiting your ability to buy a home or car.
The one thing you probably don't want to do while doing a background check is drop a lot of money for the service. Here are some tips for running a background check that is both free and comprehensive.
Put Search Engines to Use
The first place you want to start your free background check is via a major search engine like Google and Bing. Plug in the name of the person you're interested in, or any other pertinent information you may already have. For example, you can search for a name plus the person's city or school. If you add quotation marks around the name, such as "John Doe," only results with that exact name will come up. In other words, you won't waste time on results that pull up people with only half of that name, such as John Smith or Jane Doe. If you have a picture, you can also run a reverse Google Image search to find out more about your target.
Take Advantage of Social Networks
Social networks include millions of users, and most people have profiles on more than one social media site. Check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, just to name a few. Granted, most of the information you'll see on these social network sites were shared by the individual himself, but they can nevertheless provide a good source of additional details you may be interested in.
Check Out Criminal Background Sites
One of the most worrying aspects of trusting someone new to work for you, take care of your kids, or go on a date with is the potential that they could be dangerous. Using a criminal database can provide you with a sense of relief. CriminalSearches lets you review any criminal history available. It might have a fee; however, the price is worth it for keeping you and your loved ones safe. You can also look someone up on the National Sex Offender Public Website to see if they are a sex offender. Keep in mind that some people who are registered as sex offenders may not have committed a violent crime, such as an 18-year-old with a 16-year-old girlfriend, or someone arrested for indecent exposure after urinating in public.
Find Contact Information
If you're looking for concrete information about where your target has lived or phone numbers, there are free services for that. You can always look at the White Pages, but Spokeo and Pipl both offer more thorough information. For example, in addition to contact information, you can also learn about job history, schools attended, social media accounts, and more. While Pipl is completely free, Spokeo asks for payment for any information beyond the basics, including marital status and family tree.
Research Financial History
You are allowed by law to receive one free credit report each year. You can get yours from large credit reporting firms such as Equifax and TransUnion. Innovis is another website that offers free credit reports.
Utilize Public Records
Public records can also provide you with valuable information about someone. Some sites, such as SearchSystems, provide access to both national and international public records, whereas others, like Netronline, are limited to national public records.
Discover if They Own a Web Domain
All web domains are a matter of public records, with registration information freely available to all. This is a good option not just for those who are curious about someone, but also for people who want to buy a web domain from someone who has already registered it. You can find out this information via Domaintools Whois, as well as sites like GoDaddy.
If you are looking to obtain a background check report about a person, you can run a People Search lookup with information.com