3 BIG Benefits of a Docusearch Background Check
From time to time, it might be necessary to for you to do a background search or check on a specific person. Now, this could be for a variety of reasons like when you want to hire a new employee or when you’re screening a prospective tenant for a rental property. In some cases, you might even want to do a background search on yourself to correct any errors or inaccuracies in the information available about you.
The problem is that there are so many providers of these services, that it’s difficult to choose the right one where you’ll get accurate and up-to-date background check information. With their flashy marketing and promises of instant results, you might be tempted to consider one of the services that purport to offer this information for free.
This could be a mistake as these services have serious limitations and some could be the biggest scams. Mostly, these sites or providers are subscription services that lure you into signing up for a subscription to get the information you need. Apart from this, the information they provide is inaccurate and outdated. So, using one of these services could end up costing you dearly.
Considering this, the question is: What provider must you use when you want to do a background search on someone? In this post, we’ll look at this question in more detail. We’ll also show you why you should avoid subscription services at all costs and then illustrate the benefits of using Docusearch for all your background check needs.
What Is a Background Check?
As the name implies, a background check is a search of various databases to find more information about a person’s background including age, date of birth, addresses, emails addresses, phone numbers, criminal history, property ownership, and more.
Keep in mind that the information you’ll be able to find depends on the type of background check you’re doing. We’ll deal with the different types of background checks in more detail later.
The purpose of background checks is to provide you with an overview of a person’s character and financial condition. This means you’ll be able to verify someone’s identity and that they are who they claim to be, their education, employment history, and other details from their past.
Why Would You Want To Do a Background Check?
Now that you know what a background check is, the question is: Why would you want to do a background check on someone? Considering the information you’ll be able to find, background checks can be helpful when you, for instance, want to hire a new employee, rent out a property, or enter into a business relationship with another person.
Generally, depending on the purpose of the search, you’ll use different types of background checks. We’ll now deal with the different types of background checks Docusearch offers in more detail.
Employee Background Checks
Employee background checks are the perfect tool to ensure that the person you’re about to hire is really who they say they are. It’s important to remember that, although you might wish it to be the case, not everyone is truly honest on their resumes.
As a result, an extensive background check on a prospective employee can help you verify all the details the person shares on their resume and during an interview. This is vital as hiring the wrong person could end up costing your business money and could result in a damaged reputation.\
To give you an example, let’s say you hire someone without doing an extensive background check and that person later appears to be an unsavory character. What happens then? Well, you’ll have to terminate their employment. After all, as a business, you’ll want to hire high-quality employees.
So, when you do terminate their employment, it will cost you a significant amount of money. In fact, for a salaried employee, you could end up paying an average of $7,000. For more senior positions, it gets even worse. For instance, for a mid-level employee, you could end up paying an average of $10,000 to terminate their employment while, for a senior executive, this number goes up to $40,000.
It doesn’t stop there, though. As mentioned earlier, hiring the wrong employee could lead to reputational damage and, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, it could cost you 6% of your business’s revenue. Also, 28 states have legislation in place that could make you liable for the willful misconduct of your employees which means you could face a lawsuit when hiring the wrong person.
For candidates applying for positions requiring high security or positions that would place them in a position of trust, like schools, healthcare facilities, financial institutions, or childcare facilities, this is even more important.
For this reason, employee background searches that go into far more detail about a person than other, more general, background searches are essential. They can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your prospective hire, which could save you money, prevent reputational damage, and spare you the headache in the future.
Tenant Background Checks
Did you know that, considering how strong the rental market is in the US, between 30% and 40% of people rent properties rather than buying them? Now, this could be for a variety of reasons from not having the money to buy a property to not being able to qualify for a mortgage. This means that finding the right tenants can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
So, when you want to rent out a property, your first port of call should be a tenant background screening. Landlords use these checks as an effective tool to get valuable information about a prospective tenant’s background and weed out bad tenants.
This, ultimately, means that, when you use tenant background checks to screen prospective tenants, you’ll be able to find trustworthy tenants that will pay you on time and won’t end up costing you a lot of money.
Comprehensive Background Checks
As the name suggests, our comprehensive background search contains the most comprehensive information about a person. It’s a compilation of many proprietary database searches and can provide you with a general overview of a person’s character and financial condition.
As such, a comprehensive background check includes information relating to email addresses, the person’s age and date of birth, address, telephone number, possible relatives, property ownership, bankruptcy filings, neighbors and former neighbors, criminal records, registered vehicles, and more.
The main purpose of comprehensive background checks is to allow you to identify possible areas of concern that you’ll need to investigate further. As a result, comprehensive background checks are valuable tools that can help you get an idea of who a specific person is in a variety of circumstances. For example, they can be helpful when you want to enter into a new business relationship with someone, or if you’re busy with litigation against another party.
It’s important to note, however, that due to legislation, you’re unable to use a comprehensive background check for the purposes of employment screening or tenant screening. For these purposes, you’ll have to use the specific background checks referred to above.
Can You Do a Self Background Check?
Doing background checks don’t always relate to other people, though. So, you’ll also be able to do a background check on yourself. This means you’ll be able to find information available about yourself just like you would for another person in the cases mentioned above.
In this way, you’ll be able to, for instance, establish if you’ve been a victim of identity theft. You’ll also be able to find information relating to driving and other public records. This makes self background checks a valuable tool to keep track of your information and correct any errors or inaccuracies which could appear on your record if you apply for a new job or when you want to rent a property.
What Information Will You Get From a Background Check?
The information you’ll get from a Docusearch background check depends on the type of search you’re doing. No matter what type of background check you choose, all our background searches include a person’s:
- Address history. All our background searches provide detailed information regarding a person’s address history which we source from the major credit bureaus.
- National criminal convictions. All our background searches include detailed information about a person’s national criminal convictions including traffic violations and information from the National Terrorist Watchlist and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). We source this information from the National Criminal Repository.
- Bankruptcies. All our background checks also include information about bankruptcies which we source from the Federal Bankruptcies Districts.
In addition to the above information, our employee background checks also provide social security number (SSN) validation and identity verification. Therefore, by using these checks, employers can determine whether a prospective employee truly is who they say they are.
Our tenant screening background checks go one step further. In addition to the information mentioned above and the social security number validation and identify verification provided with our employee background checks, these checks also provide information about previous evictions, other landlord actions, recorded liens and judgements.
Our comprehensive background checks and self background checks are the most data intensive type of background checks we offer. As such, apart from the information mentioned above and the information we provide with our employee background and tenant screening checks, these checks provide far more details.
For example, these checks provide details on a person’s email addresses, aliases, their age and date of birth, possible relatives, possible phone numbers, property ownership, and registered vehicles.
What Can You Expect To Pay for a Background Check?
What you pay for a background check depends largely on the provider you use. More importantly, though, is that you consider what information you’ll get and weigh that up against the price you pay. In other words, you should determine the value you’re getting for the price you’re paying.
For example, Docusearch charges a one-time fee when you place an order for a background check. For our employee background checks we charge an amount of $59. In turn, for our tenant background screenings, self background checks, and comprehensive background checks we charge $89 each.
Now, for those prices, you’ll get hand-searched results by a licensed private investigator, and we only use proprietary sources which are only available to law enforcement and license private investigators. This, ultimately, means that you’ll get the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Is There Something Like a Free Background Check?
Let’s be honest from the outset, there is no such thing as a free background check. But wait, when doing your research, you’ve probably found a few websites that offer background checks for free. The thing is, these websites are some of the biggest scams on the Internet.
They make you think that you’ll get information for free, but their business model is to lure you in with the promise of free information in order for you to subscribe to their service. In other words, they want you to pay for a hefty monthly subscription that you’ll hardly ever use again and that you’ll need to jump through hoops to cancel.
Here’s how it works. Typically, when you go to one of these websites you’ll be greeted by a form where you can enter a first name, last name, and state. Once you’ve entered these details, you’ll then be able to do your search.
Once you do, you’ll see some fancy animations about all the records they’re searching, irrespective of the details you’ve entered. The website will then typically explain that after searching billions of records they’ve found a match.
And here’s the catch, to see the information, you’ll have to subscribe to the service. Now, these subscription fees differ from website to website. For example, one provider charges $28 per month and its subscription will renew every 30 days unless you cancel.
Likewise, another popular background check website charges almost $35 per month and its subscription will also renew every 30 days unless you cancel before the start of the new month.
Also, often, the sites you’ll find are simply affiliates to other subscription services. This means they don’t provide the services and information themselves but just refer you to another website and get paid once you subscribe there.
There is, however, a more significant problem with these subscription services. You see, the information they provide will most likely not even relate to the actual person you want to do a background search on. It will more than likely contain records for other people with similar names.
Even if they provide you with the information on the right person, this information will more than likely be outdated and not accurate. This is simply because the information they have is stored on their server. Also, most of these subscription services rely on publicly available information that you’ll be able to find on your own.
Just think about it, that’s the only way they’re able to provide you with instant results. Unfortunately, the information on these databases is not updated regularly because of the time and expense involved. So, the obvious question is whether you want to base important decisions like hiring an employee or renting out a property on information you can’t trust.
In contrast, while you might end up paying more when you use a licensed investigator, the information you’ll get is hand-searched on proprietary databases which means it will be the most up-to-date and accurate information available.
So, It Does Matter Who You Use for a Background Check?
Considering the above, it’s easy to see that not all background check services are the same. This means that it does, in fact, matter who you use for a background check. Basically, when you want to do a background check you’ll find providers that fall into one of three categories:
- Subscription services. As mentioned earlier, subscription services try to lure you into subscribing to their service by promising free background check results. Also, as mentioned, there is no such thing as a free background check. We suspect that the majority of the websites on the Internet that provide background check services fall into this category. This means many people fall prey to this business model and end up with a subscription they pay an exorbitant amount for, and which will almost never use. More worrying, as mentioned above, is the quality of information you’ll get. Simply put, because of these subscription services don’t have access to any proprietary databases and other information sources, the information they sell is not accurate and is outdated. Ultimately, these subscription services will take your money and provide you with information that is of little value.
- Affiliate websites. The second category of background check provider is affiliate websites. Here, an example would be searchpeoplefree.net. Once you enter the information on their website to perform a background check, it will take you to truthfinder.com where you’ll have to pay a subscription fee to get the information you need. This is despite the fact that searchpeoplefree.net promises free information. What generally happens is that, when you perform a search on their website, the affiliate website refers you to a subscription service who records that the affiliate referred you to them. Once you then subscribe, they’ll pay the affiliate a small fee and that’s how affiliate websites generate an income.
- Licensed private investigators. The last category is licensed private investigators. These investigators have access to proprietary databases and the most up-to-date and accurate information. Ultimately, this means that if you want the best information from a background search, it’s vital that you use a licensed private investigator like Docusearch.
Considering the above, the immediate question is: How can you avoid the scams? Fortunately, we’re here to help, and we’ll now look at some tips you can use to find the right service provider for your background checks and to avoid any scams and subscription services.
Look for Contact Details
One of the easiest ways to identify if you’re dealing with a possible scam site or an affiliate for a subscription service is to check their website for contact details. If they don’t have any contact details listed, and you’re unable to contact the service provider and speak to a human agent, it’s more than likely a scam.
So, if you do a background check on one of these sites, you’ll be lured into subscribe to an expensive subscription service and get information in return that in accurate and outdated.
Here, it’s also important to remember that an email address is not sufficient contact details. For example, on searchpeoplefree.net you’ll find a contact details page but if you go to that page, you’ll see that customer support is only available through email. This is simply because an affiliate page can’t provide support because the subscription service ultimately delivers the service.
Ultimately, if you come across a website that promises background searches but don’t have any contact details listed or lists only an email address for support, it’s best to steer clear of the website as far as possible.
What Do They Offer?
Contact details aren’t always the best way to tell if you’re dealing with an affiliate website or a scam site. After all, most subscription services do list contact details on their websites. The next step will then be to see what they offer and the price you need to pay.
The dead giveaway that you’re dealing with a scam, subscription service, or affiliate website, is that they promise instant results. And as we’ve said before, there is no such thing as instant results when it comes to accurate background checks. For example, one popular background search website promises to give you the power to perform online background checks instantly.
You should also check what information they say they can provide. Often, you’ll note that some of the information they provide isn’t publicly available and can only be used for certain specified purposes. If this information is then obtained and used contrary to these purposes, it would be illegal. This means that, if the provider promises to give you this information, you’re likely dealing with a scam.
Look for User Reviews
Another dead giveaway that you’re likely dealing with a subscription service or a website that’s not a reputable service provider, is the complete lack of user reviews. Now you might say that some of them have user reviews on their websites. Remember, though, that we’re not referring to fictional quotes from customers posted on these websites’ pages.
Here, we mean that the website should have actual customer reviews of their services. For example, Docusearch literally has hundreds of customer reviews available on our website that anyone can see and read.
One of the main reasons why these subscription services don’t have real reviews on their websites is that, in reality, most customers end up being extremely dissatisfied with the accuracy of the information they’ve received once they have subscribed.
Read the Fine Print
The first plan requires that you pay $28.05 per month and that this membership will renew every 30 days unless you cancel before the start of the next month. Likewise, they offer another membership option where you’ll pay $46.56, and this membership will renew every 60 days unless you cancel before the end of the next term.
More worrying, as mentioned above, is the quality of the information you’ll get in return for the price you’ll pay. Fortunately, you’ll also find this in the fine print. For instance, websites like truthfinder.com and netdetective.com state that you accept all information provided by them “as is”.
According to their terms of service, you acknowledge and agree that they obtain the data from third-party sources and that it might not be thorough and accurate. For instance, according to netdetective.com, the data they provide should not be used to evaluate persons for employment, promotion, credit decisions, or any other consumer reporting purpose.
So, in simple terms, the terms of service of these subscription services make it clear that their information might not be accurate and up-to-date. Considering this, the immediate question is: Why would you want to pay for information that you can’t use or that isn’t accurate?
Only Use Reputable, Licensed Private Investigators
Ultimately, the only effective way to avoid falling prey to a subscription service or other scam website is to use a reputable, private investigator. This is because, as mentioned above, license private investigators have access to information that subscription services simply don’t.
In this way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the information you’ll receive will be up-to-date, accurate, and you won’t end up paying for a subscription service you’ll hardly ever use.
That’s where Docusearch which comes in. We’ve been helping attorneys, judgment collectors, business owners, and other customers perform background checks for 35 years. Our tools and experience are unprecedented in the investigative and legal industry and over the years we’ve built up an enviable reputation for quality information.
When you use us for a background check, you’ll enjoy some significant advantages over subscription providers and other competitors:
- Accuracy. We have access to proprietary databases and real-time, up-to-date information. This means we’re able to provide information that’s far more accurate compared to the information you get when you use a subscription service. In fact, there’s no comparison.
- Price. Are we more expensive than subscription services? Yes, we are. That is, of course, if you assume that you only subscribe for one month which you’re unlikely to do as subscription services are often difficult to cancel, or you simply forget about the subscription. Be that as it may, as mentioned above, you’ll need to consider the value you’ll get when you use Docusearch. For $59 for an employee background check and $89 for all our other background searches, you’ll get the most accurate and up-to-date information.
- Speed. Remember, as we’ve said before, there is no such thing as an instant background search. This doesn’t mean a background search should take long, however. When you do a background check through Docusearch, you’ll often have your results within an hour if you order the background search during regular business hours. If you order the background search outside regular business hours, your order will be processed first thing the following morning.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, when you want to do a background check on someone, whether it’s a new employee, prospective tenant, or a potential business partner, it’s vital that you use the right service provider. If you don’t, you could end up paying for information that is outdated and inaccurate. Even worse, you could be lured into signing up for a membership you’ll never use and will struggle to cancel.
The only solution is to use a licensed private investigator. And that’s where Docusearch comes in. We have access to proprietary databases that subscription services don’t, and we can provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information available.
In fact, we’ve been providing our background check services to lawyers, companies, judgment collectors, and other customers for over 35 years. During this time, we’ve built up an enviable reputation for quality.
To learn more about the background check services we offer contact us today.