Background Check Websites Reviewed

AuthorWritten by Drew M (San Diego, CA)
UPDATED: March 12, 2020

After personally using WhitePages, Instant Checkmate, TruthFinder, Spokeo, Intelius, and others for several years, I wanted to share my calculated review of the main sites offering background checks.

My rating system uses an advanced algorithm based on thousands of actual customer reviews across industry leading consumer advocacy software (Better Business Bureau, TrustPilot.com and Consumer Affairs).

Current Background Check Rankings for March 2020

Spokeo Logo 4.3/5 Stars

Best value. Best Data. Best Choice Overall

TF Logo 3.9/5 Stars

Almost twice as expensive, lots of missing data

TF Logo 3.9/5 Stars

Charges extra for "premium" data which adds up fast

BeenVerified Logo 3.7/5 Stars

Exclusive Social Media Search at a great price

Whitepages Logo 3.7/5 Stars

Decent for casual one-time reports, gets expensive.

Intelius Logo 3.4/5 Stars

Not recommended, go with any other option above

Spokeo Review

Current Rating 87/100 based on 457 verified reviews
Price $7.95/month - Best Value In Industry

With 24/7 U.S. Based Customer Support and a user-friendly dashboard, Spokeo is the clear winner for Background Check software.

Better Business Bureau
Spokeo has an A+ from the BBB with over 41 reviews documented.
Accredited 41 Reviews

Trust Pilot
More than 35% of users give Spokeo a rating of Excellent.
Verified 38 Reviews

Consumer Affairs
350+ people have agreed and made Spokeo a high rated product.
Accredited 378 Reviews

Try Spokeo

EDITOR's CHOICE Highly accurate phone #s, addresses, email addresses plus public records.

TruthFinder Review

Current Rating 78/100 based on 1623 verified reviews
TruthFinder Price $23.02/month

Although their data isn't as robust as one hopes. TruthFinder would still be an ok option if you want to spend more money.

Better Business Bureau
TruthFinder has an A+ from the BBB with over 266 customer reviews.
Accredited 266 Reviews

Trust Pilot
3 out of 4 users give TruthFinder a rating of Great or Excellent.
Verified 586 Reviews

Consumer Affairs
600+ people left reviews, but the price may not be worth it in the end.
Accredited 771 Reviews


Instant Checkmate Review

Current Rating 77/100 based on 467 real reviews
Price $27.82/month

There is a good reason Instant Checkmate has been an industry leader since the beginning. But their data isn't always correct. And, it's the most expensive.

Better Business Bureau
A stellar A+ rating from the BBB is evident in 72 reviews from real people.
Accredited 72 Reviews

Trust Pilot
Don't be fooled by their "Current and accurate data/info" reviews.
Verified 217 Reviews

Consumer Affairs
Reviews highlight an Easy refund process, with 24/7 customer service.
Accredited 178 Reviews


Been Verified Reviews

Current Rating 73/100 based on 533 verified reviews
Price $17.48/month

A "cheaper" option, but you get what you pay for with BeenVerified. Their pattern of complaints are alarming to say the least.

Better Business Bureau
BBB users have triggered a Pattern of Complaints based on 106 reviews. B-
Unaccredited 106 Reviews

Trust Pilot
More than 30% of reviewers rated as Average, Poor, or Bad.
Verified 388 Reviews

Consumer Affairs
The majority of people give Been Verified a 1-star rating for good reason.
Accredited 39 Reviews


WhitePages.com Review

Current Rating 73/100 based on 112 real reviews
Price $19.99/month - 200 search maximum

No unlimited searches so the cost can really add up with Whitepages. Still a "good enough" alternative for casual browsers.

Better Business Bureau
The most common complaint of 109 reviews is Service Problems.
Accredited 109 Reviews

Trust Pilot
Complaints of incorrect info getting displayed publicly.
Unverified 3 Reviews

Consumer Affairs
Whitepages is not accredited by Consumer Affairs
Unaccredited 0 Reviews


Intelius Reviews

Current Rating 67/100 based on 519 consumer reviews
Price $59.00/month - Based on 20 reports

Steer clear of Intelius and go with any other option above.

Better Business Bureau
Common complaints about their "free" 7-Day Trial. Be careful.
Accredited 143 Reviews

Trust Pilot
Over 90% of customers gave Intelius the worst rating possible, "Bad".
Verified 20 Reviews

Consumer Affairs
Intelius is riddled with even more 1-star reviews on Consumer Affairs.
Unaccredited 299 Reviews


Background Check Industry Ratings

March 2020

Detailed breakdown of current reviews and ratings based on reviews from the Better Business Bureau, Trust Pilot and Consumer Affairs.

Reviews and Ratings of Top 6 People Search Sites
Site Score Price BBB Trust Pilot Consumer Affairs
Spokeo
87
$7.95/mo A+ 4/5 3
TruthFinder
78
$23.02/mo A+ 4/5 4.25
Instant Checkmate
77
$27.82/mo A+ 4/5 4
WhitePages.com
73
$19.99/mo B 3/5 NR
Been Verified
73
$17.48/mo B- 4/5 39
Intelius
67
$59.00/mo A 1/5 2.75

How Our Reviews Are Calculated

BBB Grade Explained
We start by normalizing each review source into a simple scale of 0-100. The Better Business Bureau has a grade letter rating (i.e. A+ to Unrated). A perfect A+ rating in this system would be a 100.

EXAMPLE: A+ = 100; A = 95; B+ = 85; B = 80; C = 75; And so on in increments of 5.

Trust Pilot Rating Explained
Trust Pilot scores apps and websites using a 0 to 5 star rating system. To convert this to a 0 to 100 scale, we simply divide the rating by 5.

EXAMPLE: 5 stars = 100; 4 stars = 80; 3 stars = 60; 2 stars = 40; 1 star = 20.

Consumer Affairs Rating Explained
Consumer Affairs scores apps and websites using a 0 to 5 star rating system, as well. The only difference being an additional 100th decimal place. For example, it's possible for a company to be rated as a 4.25, 3.75, 1.25, etc. To convert this to a 0 to 100 scale, again, we divide the rating by 5 gives us the answer.

EXAMPLE: 4.25 stars = 80; 3.25 stars = 65; 1.5 stars = 30

FINAL Rating Calculation
Finally, we add the scores derived above and divide by 3, and "curve" the overall score by adding 10.

EXAMPLE (using TruthFinder):

Step One: 100 + 80 + 85 = 265

Step Two: 265 / 3 = 88.33

Step Three: 88.33 + 10 = 98

NOTES:

  • 20 points are deducted for sites that charge over $20 per month.
  • Sites with a history of posting false data online receive a 10 point deduction.
  • Sites without not featured on Consumer Affairs receive a 10 point deduction.
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