A background check, or background investigation, is the process of gathering information about a person or an organization. Usually, this process is conducted by a government agency, but there are third – party companies that offer this service for a free. There are some that offer free background check, but only to a certain point. Nobody can expect to get ALL the information they need completely for free.
The controversy around Free Background Checks
Gathering information about a person or an organization is not as easy as one may think. It requires accessing all kinds of records, which are not as available as arrest records, for example. Criminal records are very hard to get because only authorized personnel from law enforcement can access them. There are obstacles to overcome, human resources are needed and a lot of time involved. Nobody can expect to get all that for free.
There are a lot of people who search for a free criminal background check or an online background check, but, in truth, they cannot find it. It’s not like they can make a Google search and that’s it. Most of the information they are looking for, unlike public records, is not there for everyone to access and see at any time. They are sealed from the public for a reason.
If one wants to have access to such information, they have to go through a process. They have to file a request and wait for the results to come up. And, of course, the state asks for a nominal fee to do it. It will never do it fo free.
However, there are third – party companies that offer free background check to some extent. These companies have a massive database that contains a lot of information. Some of it was obtained through hard, time-consuming work, but some of it was just compiled from public records, which are extremely easy to access. Which is why these companies are willing to give this information for free.
Now, don’t think that this is a scam. Let’s face it. It is extremely hard to believe that someone would give you something for free. With all these scams all over the internet, it can get confusing at times. But this is legit.
The reason behind the idea of a free background check is that it brings customers for these third-party companies. Let’s say that you are an employer and are seeking basic information about an applicant. You access their website and do a search. You get all the necessary information you require, for free, but you see that there is more about that person. Naturally, you are curious, or willing, to know, nd you request a more extended report. There is where the fee intervenes.
I think you can agree with me when I say that it is as fair as it gets. They don’t ask for money until you ask for an extended report. You don’t put in the time, energy and resources for free either, now do you?
The controversy in the question is that generally, people don’t believe the “free” part. They believe all part of a scam to get them to put in their credit card number. Everybody is free to believe what they like, but I am telling you that they are wrong.
I understand the skepticism, but sometimes it goes too far. Put it this way. Would you charge someone for a leaf you find under a tree in the park? No, you wouldn’t. It was there the whole time. It was free. You just picked it up. It’s the same with the information from the public records. Arrest records are accessible to the general public. These companies just put it online. It’s easier to search for something from the comfort of your own home.
Background Information Fees
When it comes to taxation, the companies that provide this type of service have fees depending on the extension of the information requested. You first have the free background check, which is not something difficult to get. Basic information is usually free.
What exceeds basic information is chargeable. As I said above, the extended report requires a lot of resources and it’s impossible to get it for free. Of course, the fee varies depending on what you want. I believe that there is some kind of levels of extension. It also depends on the company. Each one makes its own rules, so you have to do some research before you require their services.
What to watch for in a criminal records request
The industry of background checks has developed rapidly over the past few years. Along them started to appear companies which seem to not do such a good job in this field. So how do you know which company to choose for the best background check?
Unfortunately, statistics say that most of the agencies that deal with background checks can be terribly wrong when conducting such a screening. 5% of the times they make grave errors. You may think that 5% is a small number. But imagine that the population of the United States is over 300 million, which means that the 5% is represented by 15 million people.
Now try to imagine the consequences of such an error. 15 million people lose their chance at a job or housing due to a company that makes mistakes in conducting a background check.
The pre-employment background check has become a step in hiring someone. Imagine that someone being confused with another person who has a ‘rich’ criminal history. That someone will lose the opportunity of getting a job just because some company didn’t do its job. How is that fair?
Since of late, there is a regulation that states clearly that applicants should also receive a copy of their background check once it’s conducted. That seems like a good rule. It’s an opportunity for everyone to know the exact content of their background. I say this because there seems to be a lack of such opportunities otherwise.
It seems that there are companies specialized in background checks which don’t offer one to the ‘owner’. So if you request a background check on yourself, you may not get one. I don’t really understand why, but you never know who you are confused with. This may lead to serious issues.
There are people who are taken for someone else and they end up wondering why. The companies that conduct the background checks search aliases too. This may lead them to wrong information and cause a lot of problems.
So how do you know which company will do the best background check? I wish it would be simple, but it isn’t. The best way to find out is to check out statistics. Unfortunately, all companies make mistakes, but the best way to go is to find the one with the least errors on record.
Another way to discover the company that administers the best background check is online reviews. I know it sounds a little bit unreliable. However, people who went through this kind of situations are the best source of information. They are able to tell you if a company does its job or not.
I say that there is no easy way of telling because there is no institution that keeps track of such companies. Getting the best background check possible should be a priority since there are so many things at stake. But there isn’t. At least there should be some kind of national registry that can also make a ranking of some sort.
Until this problem is fixed, many lives are in difficulty. These companies seem to have had this problem for the past 20 years or so. They keep saying that they will fix it, but nobody takes any measures. All you can do at the time is hope for the best. But that isn’t good enough, now is it?
How to do a background check?
I don’t know if this article will be useful to you, but given the fact that you landed on this page (willingly or totally random)…you are clearly interested o how to do a background check.
The reasons behind your desire are irrelevant. You want to know something about someone and you decide to do a background check. So far so good. But how? Where do you get such information? This is why I am writing this article. Although I cannot do it for you, the next best thing is to point you in the right direction.
If you are looking for some basic information like address and phone number, marital status and child support payments, you don’t have to go through too much trouble. You can consult public records, which are totally free by the way. For some reason, people confuse public records with criminal records. I don’t really see the resemblance, but people are free to interpret. So, don’t confuse the two. You will almost never find criminal records in public records. An exemption is sexual offenders. They are mentioned everywhere. They even have their own National Registry.
Anything that exceeds basic information can only be disclosed by authorized institutions. So if you want to get a more detailed background check you will have to consult with government institutions OR third party companies specialized in this domain (we will get to them a bit later).
Government agencies are the ones you have to go to get an in-depth background check. They are the only ones who are authorized to access classified information such as arrest records. These records are not for anyone to see. Now, depending on the extent of the information you require, you can go from a county sheriff’s office to an FBI agency. The first is for local crimes and so on. No need to access federal databases. The last one is the highest point you can reach. You can find out everything a person did in all 50 states.
Don’t imagine that the government agency you go to will give you a background check for free. They usually ask for a nominal fee. As if paying taxes in not enough.
Now, I said I will also tell you about third party companies that specialize in background checks. Some of the information you need will be free of charge. Usually, those you can get from public records. They just upload it on their website. But the more you want to know, the more you will pay. They don’t ask for a nominal fee like government agencies do. They consider that the level of difficulty in getting a certain piece of information dictates the price.
I hope I have enlightened you on how to do a background check. At least a little. It’s not difficult and most of the information you need you can get in online. In my opinion, you cannot go wrong.
Although it is possible for some companies to offer background information for free, there are also a lot of services online that claim they are offering everything for free. Instead, they are giving you false reports.
If by any chance, you are looking for a company that offers such services, it’s best to look into it a little bit. The best way to do it is by reading online reviews. There are people who have been tricked and they usually say something about it. This is the beauty of the internet. Bad news travels fast and if a company scams people, you will quickly find out about it.
Do your research, read the reviews, and with a small dose of skepticism in your mind, you should be able to find a legit company that will get you the information you need.
What are Public Records?
I believe it is safe to assume that you have heard about free public records and their uses. Chances are that you have used them yourself at one point or another. The reasons for the need of such information vary, but eventually, they have their purposes.
Let’s first clarify what public records are. They are mere documents, pieces of information about people and organizations. A very important aspect of the public records is that the information is not considered confidential.
Just to give you an example for a better understanding: a marriage license is considered a document worthy of the public records. That, of course, if the couple hasn’t decided to make their marriage license an exemption from public view. They have the option of checking a box that says ‘confidential’.
The ‘free’ part refers to the fact that you don’t have to pay a fee to view such information. However, if you want a reproduction (a copy or something of this sort), you have to pay a nominal fee.
As for the content of public records, they usually include statistics about the population and economic activity of a certain country (state), records of law courts proceedings, as well as records of births, marriages, and deaths.
Even though public records are usually open to the public, that doesn’t mean all information can be viewed without restriction. Each state has policies and regulations put in place for such occasions. However, the Freedom of Information Legislation has been gradually introduced since the 1960s, and things have begun to run a little smoother.
In the recent years, a new industry has emerged as a result of Freedom of Information Act (FOI). There are companies that can provide free public records on the internet. Some of them are specialized in a certain type of information, while others are offering information on differents types of record (usually to various professionals in certain fields).
In the United States, national public records are governed by FOI. So, if you want access to free public records, only a federal agency has the possibility of not granting you the access to information you require. This is, of course, only if the information you request is considered an exemption. But, then again, all states have their regulations concerning public records.
What I must warn you about is the existence of certain degrees of accessibility to certain types of records. There are some quite easy to access, while others are considered exemptions and are restricted from the public. The most permissive state is the state of New York, while the most restrictive are the state of Pennsylvania.
As we live in a world where technology is everywhere, the access to free public records has dramatically increased in the past few years. Companies (information brokers) puts at your disposal information that is already available for you. The only difference is that they put it online, which makes it even easier for people to access the records they need.
All in all, free public records are considered to be an extremely useful tool for anyone who needs it. From employers to landlords, this tool is meant to eliminate all sorts of damage.
What can you find when looking up someone’s arrest records?
One minute you had been downing cocktails in a party, the next you woke up in the local police station’s tank that is drunk having a headache that may bring a Marine, drill sergeant. What occurred in the middle is a bit fuzzy. While you might not recall that fateful night you eventually got busted for drunk driving, anyone may understand your DUI by only pulling on your on-line record.
Temptation got the very best of you. There it was, looking all shiny and new. And there you were, being completely broke. And that means you attempted to make the right path from the shop and only took it. If it were not for those carefully concealed security cameras, and you’ll have gotten away with it too. Well, the shop, and also that ’s strict “prosecute one to the fullest degree of the law” policy.
Sure, you cringe at your stupidity. But that act of petty theft did more damage than simply the community service that the judge sentenced you too. Maybe, and your offense your mugshot, only might be up for anyone with access to the internet to view.
C) Drug Use
There was a period that you experienced when you attempted everything that your D.A.R.E. policeman warned you about. While you’ve left of testing behind you, those days, you feel somewhat sorry about one particular time you got busted for possession of a controlled substance. It might still arrive in your criminal records despite the fact that it turned out to be a small change.
D) Police records
It wasn’t the primary time you lied about your name (it was your go to name when you went clubbing.) When you said you were one of your alter egos, but that policeman got angry. You stick together with the name as it seems on your birth certificate, today. But that doesn’t mean no one will hear your aliases ever. In the event the authorities got wind of your alternate names of one, it could arrive in your permanent personal record.
E) Speeding Ticket
You despised all limitations when you had been at the peak of your rebellious stage. Particularly the speed” type that is “. So you ripped through city roads and highways with reckless abandon. Your glove compartment was full, although that helped you shave several seconds away from your driving time. Sadly, that lead -. Plus, you’ll consistently possess an archive of that period traffic tickets rolled up like they were baseball cards.
Once upon a time, you believed that “Visa” was Italian for free cash that is “.” You spent days swiping it to get meals, clothing, and pictures. Occasionally you got your buddies goodies also. But the competitive group calls poured in, as well as once your spending sprees caught up with you, you were left without option however to seek bankruptcy relief.
At this point, you learn how you can live within your means. Nevertheless, the legal paperwork you filed to keep your lenders away is an issue of public record. And anyone who understands your name can look up it.
Background checks are extremely common these days. Especially by employers. I suppose you can guess the reason why. People lie every day in order to get what they want. With the unemployment rate as it is, it’s not so hard to figure out why people take to doing so.
Of course, not only employers need this kind of services. Regular people too. Landlords who want to know who their tenant is, normal people who are suspicious about their new boyfriend/girlfriend. The list can continue. This is why reliable services are needed. Free or not, information is power and people must use it as and when thy need it.