What Can I Get From a Background Check and How to Do It?



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Background checks are more common than ever. People use them to research business partners or as part of the vetting process before hiring a candidate. Because a high percentage of today’s couples meet through online services, background checks on potential romantic partners are also very common.

What you get from a background check depends on many factors, such as budget, the purpose of the search, the type of background check, and even the service provider.

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Some background searches are limited to publicly available records, while others can dig deeper into a person’s credit history, criminal history, and even online interactions. Here, we review some options.

Online background searches

Hiring a professional online background check service can go a long way. Most of them use top-notch technology to search through thousands of websites and public records to create a comprehensive and easy-to-understand report.

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But, to stay on the safe side, you need to choose your service wisely. To do so, visit UnMask, which is a review site focused on background search services. Compare and contrast information and select the one that seems better suited to what you need.

Always check each website’s privacy policies (even seemingly harmless sites can sell your information to third parties), terms of use, and pricing structure. Make sure that there is a clear way to terminate the service, as some sites have strict billing cycles. From online background searches, you can get:

  1. Bankruptcies
  2. Current and prior addresses
  3. A list of relatives
  4. Sex offenders status
  5. Criminal records
  6. Information from social media platforms and dating sites
  7. Traffic records
  8. Marriage and divorce records

While there can be some variations to this list according to each specific service, most of them offer similar results.

Employment verification background searches

These are more specific to the HR field, and their purpose is to make sure that the information provided by candidates through their resumes is accurate and real.

An employment verification background search includes checking previous positions, verifying licenses and certifications, and checking references. Take into account that employment verification background checks can take longer, especially when there’s a need to manually verify information, or when they require third-party cooperation.

For businesses in which employees need to be licensed (for example, a law firm, or even a beauty salon), this is an essential step. If you don’t know if your employees require a specific license, look for more information from your governing agency.

Credit background checks

A credit background check may be required for a number of reasons: for some employment positions, before purchasing property or before a lease. Credit background checks are protected under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and only licensed credit reporting agencies can provide them.

A credit background check shows mortgages, credit cards, loans (including student loans), and car payments; it does not include credit scores. Before making decisions based on information from a credit background check, consult an attorney.

All citizens have rights against discrimination, and there is a protocol to follow if information from a background check will be used against someone.

More than just information, from a background check, you can get peace of mind. Knowing that you deal with an honest person – or not – can be the difference from a lasting and healthy relationship (personal or professional) or a severe risk to your company, assets, and even your physical wellbeing.

While there is a wealth of information freely available on the internet, restrictions on what you can research and how you can use such information may apply. Look into further details if you think you are dealing with sensitive information, or ask for a lawyer’s opinion. While you search, remember to keep your own information safe by remaining on verified websites.

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