In a Nutshell
- 7 types of search available
- Money-back guarantee
- Relatively expensive
- Criminal checks not available in every state
Why Go With US Search
US Search has pioneered online background checks and it remains one of the most popular and best-rated background checking websites to this day. You’ll also get what is possibly the largest selection of search options available on the market.
US Search was one of the first online companies to aggregate information about a person and make it available as a report. It also goes a step further than many other services by making searches intelligent.
Unless the subject of your search has a really unusual name, chances are you’ll get multiple results. This can make it harder to identify the right person. US Search’s technology makes things easier by going through the data as it searches and providing you with detailed preliminary search results. Being able to view information such as an address history and known relatives in your list of results makes it much easier to identify the right person.
Large Selection of Search Options
With 7 types of search, US Search is possibly the background check website with the largest selection on the market. This makes for an incredible level of flexibility when carrying out a search.
US Search doesn’t come cheap; and there is no free trial. Unlike many other background check websites, however, the company offers a money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with your search results.
- People search
- Background search
- Criminal records
- Social network search
- Reverse phone lookup
- Reverse email lookup
- Reverse property search
US Search can turn up a huge amount of information in its reports. However, which information you’ll see in your results will depend on the type of search you run.
People searches are the quickest and most basic searches. They’ll turn up your subject’s basic personal details - name, age, and current address - as well as phone number and an address history.
Reverse phone lookups can turn up the caller’s name, address, and also the network carrier’s name. It works with landlines, cell phones, and VoIP numbers, including unlisted ones.
US Search’s social network search goes deeper into your subject’s online history. As you might expect, the search engine will go through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other commonly used social networks. However, it’ll also go through other less popular networks in order to gather the most comprehensive information possible. You can expect to gather information from Yahoo, IMDB, Flickr, and even Wikipedia.
Of course, background check reports are the most detailed reports you can get. Information you can expect to see in a background check report includes:
- Marriage and divorce records
- Real estate records and other asset directories
- Criminal records
- Sex offender information
- Information about any civil court proceedings, including bankruptcy filings
- Tax liens
- Any professional or business licenses
Is US Search Legit?
Like most other background check services, US Search very clearly publicizes that it may help you find information that you are unable to uncover yourself, as well as a disclaimer that it is non-FCRA compliant. It does not claim to have access to private information, but rather that it might be able to reveal data that you did not notice or did not know how to search for on your own.
As far as the FCRA goes, since the company is non-compliant, it only means that consumers are not allowed to use the service for decisions regarding employment, tenants and other purposes that can be found on the US Search site. Otherwise, US Search makes its information and purposes clear and is therefore not controversial.
How it Works
While many background check websites limit themselves to around 4 or 5 different search options, US Search goes above and beyond. The website has a grand total of 7 search types, making it one of the most flexible people search engines around.
This huge array of options gives you unparallelled flexibility when running a search; and makes US Search ideal whether you want a comprehensive level of detail or only certain information.
What’s more, you also have a wide range of options when it comes to narrowing down your search results. Once you’ve run your preliminary search, you can refine the list further by keying in your subject’s age, a past address, the name of known relatives and even an alias. Because these are all unique identifiers, they make it that much easier to hone in on someone specific instead of spending precious time carrying out a search only to find out they’re not the right person.
Ease of Use
With all these options to choose from, it could have been really easy for US Search to fall into unwieldy or completely unusable territory. Far from doing so, however, US Search is possibly one of the easiest background check websites to use.
Clicking on a search option gives you a wealth of information about what the search entails and why you’d use it, including real life case studies—great if you’re not sure which type of search will yield the best results for your needs.
Even better, though, is the speed at which you can obtain your results. Running a search will typically turn up a list of results in under a minute—much faster than many other websites we’ve reviewed; and the entire process is complete in about 2 minutes.
The reports are easy to understand and go through. Every report comes with detailed explanations about how the information was compiled, which allows you to know exactly where your data is coming from and to assess its accuracy. There’s also a summary at the top with links to every section. Clicking on a link allows you to quickly jump from one section to another—great if you want to skim in between sections or more simply cut to the chase and view specific information about the subject of your search.
US Search is unique among background check websites for 3 main reasons:
- It has powerful search options
- Its results are accurate
- It offers a money back guarantee, which not many other background check websites are brave enough to offer.
Let’s have a look at each of these features in turn.
Accuracy of Results
With more than 22 years in the background search business, it isn’t surprising to find that US Search produces some of the most accurate results we’ve seen. Over the years, the company has amassed an impressive collection of data which it gathered from billions of public and private records. This database is updated regularly and keeps growing every year.
The company carefully selects its data points so as to make sure it uses only those sources that are updated as often as possible. Sources include government records at federal, state, county, and local level; as well as court documents and data from professional licensing organizations.
However, US Search also sources information from private sources. These sources include phone books, magazine subscriptions, cable TV subscriptions, mortgage applications and other marketing data.
US Search is one of the very few background check websites to put its money where its mouth is by offering a money-back guarantee. This means that, should your search not turn up any results, you’ll get any fee you’ve paid back, no questions asked.
Help & Support
US Search has one of the most comprehensive knowledge-bases we’ve seen on a background check website.
The detailed FAQ covers admin issues such as billing and also provides information on the service and how it works.
But that’s only the start. Clicking on a search option will also provide you with detailed information about that search type, which is great if you’re not sure which option is best for your needs. You’ll learn why you’d want to carry out that particular search, and also get information about what kind of data you can expect to uncover.
Unfortunately, while US Search does have a Twitter account and a LinkedIn page, neither account is very active. With that being said, you can get in touch with live customer support via a toll-free phone number, by email or by opening a support ticket. Phone lines are open 5am to 6pm PST on weekdays and from 6am to 4pm PST on weekends.
While US Search doesn’t come cheap, it’s one of the most powerful background check websites around. Whether you want to check who’s been calling you, track down a long-lost family member or carry out a comprehensive background check on a prospective date or business partner, US Search can do it quickly and with dead-on accurate results.
What’s more, you’ll also get the benefit of a money-back guarantee should you not be happy with the results of your search. This alone speaks volumes about how seriously US Search takes customer satisfaction.
About US Search
Founded way back in 1994, when public internet was still a relatively new thing, US Search was one of the very first websites to provide background check services online. Over the 22 years it has been in business, the company has amassed billions of public records and helped millions of people get the information they need quickly and easily via its pioneering search engine technology. Whether it’s getting in touch with long-lost family members and friends or running a criminal records check to set their mind at rest about a neighbor or acquaintance, US Search remains the go-to resource for millions of users each month. Unsurprisingly, it consistently ranks at the top of best background check website lists.
Note: This Background Check service is not FCRA compliant. You may not use US Search's service, or the information it provides, to make decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance. This is applicable, but not limited to, a Background Search, Credit Background Check, Criminal Background Check, and/or Driving Record. US Search is not a consumer reporting agency and does not, and cannot, provide consumer reports. These terms have special meanings under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681 et seq., ("FCRA"), which are incorporated herein by reference.