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Background check for dating: How to do a free background check + 7 site reviews

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It pays to be cautious these days. If you feel there’s more to a person’s story, or need to do a deep dive before you agree to a second date, nothing beats a background check.

Dating? Should you run a background check on your date?

Is it OK to run a background check for personal use—like a first date (or hookup or FWB situation, for that matter!?)? In general, yes. 

While you can use the tips in this post to learn more about a person, it’s best to pay for a background check using a service like TruthFinder because:

  • Alerts you to potential red flags, like criminal and arrest records
  • Checks sex offender databases
  • Includes reverse phone lookup
  • Displays addresses, real ages, and known aliases
  • Quickly turns around important information that may be difficult to find yourself
  • Information is compiled and displayed in a single, easy-to-read report

TruthFinder has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has searched hundreds of millions of criminal records. Ready our TruthFinder review and start a background check now >>

How do you do a free background check on someone you are dating?

You can do a free background check on someone you are dating, but it will take a bit of legwork. Start by Googling the person’s name to find their social media accounts and any news stories or websites they’ve been connected with. 

Here is all the information you can find about someone for free online: 

  • Criminal and arrest records – Google “YOUR STATE criminal records” to pull up your state’s judicial website. 
  • Sex offender status – You can search someone’s name for free on the Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Registry
  • Reverse image search – If you haven’t met the person you’re dating, you can download their image and do a reverse image search by dragging the photo into the Google image search box. 
  • Address – Google “YOUR STATE property records” to pull up your state’s land records website, or use a free site like zabasearch.com. 

In some states, the process to obtain this information may take several days or weeks. An online background check service like TruthFinder will provide a more thorough search and deliver the information to you quickly in a comprehensive report.

Do any dating apps do background checks?

The vast majority of dating apps do not currently include background checks of any kind, which means that in most cases you’re going into a date blind.

That said, some popular dating apps (like eharmony, Tinder, Match.com, Hinge, Bumble, Zoosk, Elite Singles, and OKCupid) are currently testing the inclusion of background checks in the future, so it’s possible that this functionality may one day roll out. 

What matters is how you plan to use the information.

Background check for dating? Yes, here’s why

Maybe you are trying online dating and want the deets on someone who shares your interests or aligns with you spiritually — or is throwing off red flags. Perhaps you want to run a background check on yourself to verify what potential employers may see, as you pursue a new career. 

Here are some of the reasons you might want to run a background check on someone you’re dating: 

  • Haven’t met them in person
  • Aren’t sure the person is who they say they are
  • Verify information they’ve shared
  • Make sure they’re not married or dating someone else
  • Protect yourself from criminals and sex offenders

Remember, protected rights fall on both sides when it comes to accessing personal data. Be your own watchdog. Don’t use the data to harass someone or as a basis for hiring or renting without the person’s consent.

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Best background check site for dating: TruthFinder

TruthFinder is a public records search service that allows you to instantly find out information about the person you're dating (and anyone else you want to search). Nearly 1.5 billion criminal records have been searched to date on TruthFinder.

TruthFinder searches are secured with a 128-bit encrypted connection and Norton protection, and the people you search will never be alerted that you've performed a search on them.

TruthFinder is one of the most thorough background check sites, revealing information on its premium reports about items like bankruptcies, tax liens, and assets.

Is TruthFinder legit?

Yes, TruthFinder is a legit site to run a background check on someone you’re dating or for anyone you want to learn more information about. Founded in 2015, TruthFinder is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating and 3.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. 

How accurate is TruthFinder?

The information TruthFinder compiles comes from millions of public records, including information provided by state and local governments. 

That said, results may be affected by:

  • Accuracy of the public records themselves
  • How common a person’s name is 
  • Existence of records about a person

Any inaccuracies are not a reflection of TruthFinder.

What does an TruthFinder background check show?

A standard TruthFinder background check shows a person’s: 

  • Date of birth
  • Phone numbers
  • Address history
  • Related persons
  • Arrest records
  • Government license information
  • Social media profiles, including email addresses
  • Nearby sex offenders

A premium TruthFinder background check may include:

  • Civil judgments
  • Corporate affiliations
  • Watercraft owned
  • UCC filings
  • Properties owned
  • Voter registration
  • Old Phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Tax liens
  • Professional licenses
  • Hunting/fishing permits
  • Weapons permits
  • Foreclosures
  • Aircraft owned
  • Neighbors
  • Business associates

Is TruthFinder free?

TruthFinder reports are not free. The following subscription plans are available: 

1-month subscriptionless than $30/month
3-month subscriptionless than $26/month

How to use TruthFinder to background check your date

The process to run a background check on TruthFinder is easy:

  • Go to the TruthFinder website.
  • Type in the person’s first and last name into the background report search.
  • Answer the question prompts, which verify the information you’re trying to access. 
  • Once your report is compiled, you’ll be asked to select a subscription plan. 
  • Download and view your report and perform unlimited searches while your subscription is active. 

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Here are more background check services we reviewed

Below are more reviews of background check services. We used the following criteria in vetting background check services, and selecting the best ones:

Customer serviceWas contact information easy to find? Is pricing and terms transparent? Do customers overall have a positive experience?
PricingIs there value for the fee?
Customer reviewsHow do users review the service on online platforms?
Third-party valuationIs the company recognized by reputable governing agencies and accrediting agencies like Better Business Bureau?

BeenVerified background report review: Is BeenVerified.com legit?

Since 2007, BeenVerified has been helping people learn to use public information. The company has more than 100,000 subscribers seeking information from multiple public records sources. More than 50 million searches have taken place in BeenVerified’s 14+ years of operation, according to the company.

BeenVerified has been featured on the MTV show “Catfish,” which seeks to track down information about people who may be lying about their real identities online.

In 2019, BeenVerified.com was the subject of a “Pattern of Complaint” published by the Better Business Bureau of New York. The BBB noted multiple customer service complaints, including the difficulty of opting out of information published about individuals.

In April 2019, BeenVerified.com responded to the BBB, saying it would address customer dissatisfaction issues and also improve its opt-out mechanisms.

How accurate is BeenVerified.com?

The company has a 3.9 score (out of 5) on TrustPilot. Many of the lower-rated comments cited problems with inaccurate or outdated reports, as well as with billing issues.

We noted that many of the complaints related to the accuracy of the information BeenVerified generated. While this is a legit complaint, BeenVerified and background check services like it mostly are aggregators of existing online data pulled from various court, social and public records — and is not a reflection of BeenVerified.

What does a BeenVerified background review show?

In addition to name, address and phone number, the BeenVerified.com background review may show:

  • Arrest records
  • Criminal records (felonies, DUIs, et al.)
  • Property ownership
  • Reverse phone (which could include address and e-mail as well as the person’s name)
  • Reverse address (which might feature deed history, home values and more)
  • Bankruptcy and liens
  • Marriage and divorce data
  • Relatives
  • Email search

Is BeenVerified free?

You can run a background check for free, but in order to see it you have to pay.

BeenVerified prices:

1-month membership$26.89 for unlimited reports
3-month membership$17.48 /month for unlimited reports

How to use BeenVerified to background search your date

On the BeenVerified website, enter the person’s name you’d like to search and follow through the prompts until you get to the subscription page.

Better Future background check review: Is Better Future legit?

Better Future offers a free background check for personal use. Site is user-friendly and intuitive. You can preview a sample report or run a personal background check for yourself by clicking the ‘Get Started' button on the site.

Featured in publications such as Entrepreneur, Better Future is a product of Checkr which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to run background checks on the corporate side for companies like Uber, Zillow and Lyft. Site uses 256-bit encryption to protect transmission of personal data.

Checkr is a BBB accredited business with a rating of A- and has been in business since 2014. Better Future was launched in 2018 as part of Checkr’s corporate mission to aid applicants with criminal backgrounds to secure better career opportunities. Be sure to review the Checkr BBB profile to gauge user satisfaction.

How accurate is BetterFuture.com?

Better Future advertises that it has run 13 million background checks since its launch and sources its data from federal databases and public records from more than 3,200 counties nationwide.

While there is a potential for accessing data that is out of date or inaccurate, the company encourages users to report inaccuracies to [email protected]

What does a Better Future background check show?

To get results of your background check, you must create an account using your full legal name, date of birth, current zip code and social security number (SSN).

Once you receive your full report, you can expect to view the following data:

  • Address history
  • SSN trace
  • Sex offender search
  • Global watchlist search
  • County criminal searches

It takes about three days to get the results of your personal background check. You must certify that you are submitting your own information during the signup process.

Is BetterFuture.com free?

Better Future is completely free. No credit card necessary. However, it may take several days to receive your report.

How to use Better Future to background check your date

Better Future is a site that allows you to run a free background check on yourself for the purposes of job hunting and personal use. You cannot run a background check on another person without knowing identifiable information like their phone and social security numbers.

Intelius background check review: Is Intelius legit?

Intelius was founded in 2003 by former executives from InfoSpace, a search engine and online directory. All searches on Intelius are private and confidential, with over 20 billion available public records.

Intelius is accredited with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and 3.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.

Most Intelius complaints stem from people who didn’t cancel their subscription before the end of a free trial. 

How accurate is Intelius?

Like other background check sites that pull public information, Intelius is as accurate as the public information available about a person.

What does an Intelius background check show?

Intelius reports may include: 

  • Arrest records
  • Personal info (name, address, phone number)
  • Location data
  • Traffic offenses
  • Related persons
  • Sex offenders
  • Licenses
  • Contact info
  • Online activity
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors

Is Intelius free?

No, Intelius is not free. You can access unlimited reports with the following subscription options: 

1-month membership$24.86/month for unlimited reports
2-month membership$21.13/month for unlimited reports

How to use Intelius to background check your date

You can look up information about your date by searching for their name, phone number, or address. Then, follow through the prompts until you get to the subscription page, where you’ll have to pay before accessing the report.

PeopleFinders background check review: Is PeopleFinders.com legit?

PeopleFinders is a fee-based online search engine and public records database. They recently created the iPhone apps Stud or Dud? and Are They Really Single? that reveals a person's marriage status, criminal record, any bankruptcy claims and a number of other red flags.

The more you know about the person, the more targeted your results will be on PeopleFinders. At a minimum, you need a last name and a current or previous state of residence. No frills site design, but straightforward and intuitive. The report is not difficult to decipher and is broken into sections.

PeopleFinders boasts a user base of 8 million and an extensive database spanning 40 years. PeopleFinders has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau but is not BBB accredited. It also uses HTTPS for secure communication online, which is extremely important when exchanging personal data.

Founded in 1988, the award-winning Sacramento-based company manages billions of records in their database and has mentions on MSNBC, Fox News, CBS, CNN, NBC and in PC World. Honors include the Stevie Award, Deloitte Fast 50 and a number of employment, ecommerce and industry excellence awards.

On the PeopleFinders site, you can easily access testimonials, as well as reviews from verified users of their site via TrustPilot. You can also peruse BBB for customer reviews, complaints and complaint resolution.

How accurate is PeopleFinders.com?

PeopleFinders touts itself as a provider of comprehensive and accurate data. Personal reviews are mixed about the relevance of data. Check the Contact Us link to access Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). The FAQs address incorrect and outdated information.

What does a PeopleFinders background check show?

Besides the person’s name, address and phone number, a PeopleFinders background check shows:

  • Residences
  • Relatives
  • Aliases
  • Date of birth
  • Neighbors
  • Property records
  • Bankruptcies
  • Judgments and liens
  • Marriage/divorce
  • Birth/death records
  • Criminal history
  • Sex offender registry results

PeopleFinders will also let you do a reverse phone lookup, to find out where that unknown number in your “missed calls” queue originated.

Is PeopleFinders.com free?

While PeopleFinders allows you to run a limited, preliminary background check for free, more detailed reports require a paid membership. PeopleFinders offers two monthly membership tiers:

Basic: Includes contact information, aliases, relatives, and known associates$24.95/month
Premium: Includes everything in the basic membership, plus additional information such as property records, assets, business records, criminal records, bankruptcies, liens, judgments, and more.$29.95/month

3-day trial memberships are available for $1.95. You will pay a cancellation fee of $2.95 if you end the trial. If you don’t cancel, regular monthly billing starts at the end of the trial period. There is no contract and you can cancel at any time in your account or by calling customer care.

How to use PeopleFinders to background check your date

On the PeopleFinders website, type in your date’s name. Once the person’s report is generated, you’ll have to pay for a trial membership before you can access it.

Truthfinder background check review: Is Truthfinder legit?

Truthfinder is a legit background check site accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating and 3.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.

Truthfnder is secured through 256-bit encryption and a verified SSL certificate, and has been rated safe by Norton.

Like other background check sites, most complaints stem from people who signed up for a free trial but forgot to cancel after the trial period, resulting in charges.

How accurate is Truthfinder?

Several Truthfinder reviews cite inaccurate information in their reports, but like other background check sites, the information on Truthfinder is pulled from publicly available information. Therefore, any inaccuracies are likely because of incorrect public records or information pulled from another person with the same name.

What does a Truthfinder background check show?

A Truthfinder report shows: 

  • Birth and death records
  • Possible relatives
  • Possible associates, friends, roommates, and even exes
  • A detailed location history report
  • Contact information
  • Criminal, arrest, and traffic records
  • Education and job history
  • Social media profiles
  • Dating profiles
  • Assets (including owned properties and driven vehicles)

Is Truthfinder free?

Truthfinder is not free. These are the subscription prices: 

1-month membership$28.05/month for unlimited reports
2-month membership$23.28/month for unlimited reports

How to use Truthfinder to background check your date

Start by searching for the person’s name, then follow through the prompts until you get to the subscription page, where you’ll have to pay before accessing the person’s record. 

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US Search background check review: Is USsearch.com legit?

Another fee-driven background check search engine is US Search. This online background check resource provides multiple streams of data with searches powered by names, states and phone numbers.

US Search is under the umbrella of PeopleConnect Inc. and is an alias of Intelius, a Washington state business accredited since 2014 with the Better Business Bureau with an A rating. Intelius was founded in 2003. US Search has mentions in The Wall Street Journal and on CBS News and 60 Minutes.

US Search uses 128-bit encryption and a valid security certificate to safeguard the transmission of personal information. Check BBB to get a feel for what past and current customers think of the service.

How accurate is USsearch.com?

US Search maintains a database of billions of records from public and commercial sources and consolidates the data into a detailed report. Search engines tend to grab data from historical and current data sources, so you are likely to have some out-of-date references included in the report.

What does a US Search background check show?

There are two options for a background check with US Search. You can run a basic background check or a nationwide criminal search. You can also view a sample report so you can see how the data is arranged. You can expect to see the following data:

  • Identifying information such as name and date of birth
  • Addresses and phone numbers
  • Relatives and known associates
  • Criminal history including details of offenses, arrest and case disposition

The basic background check includes data for the state entered. The national check includes results from 43 states. You also have the option to add on a social network search for a fee.

US Search also offers reverse phone number lookups.

Is USsearch.com free?

US Search charges $19.86 per month for unlimited monthly reports.

How to use US Search to background check your date

Click “Get started” from the home screen, then choose which type of search you’d like to do (by name, phone, or address). Then, continue through the prompts to complete your search and subscribe.

FAQs about background check for dating

Background checks can be intimidating and mysterious. Here is what you need to know …

Is there a totally free background check?

If you want the dirt on someone without putting in a lot of legwork, you’ll have to pay for it. That said, you can search government websites or go to your local courthouse or police station to obtain police reports, court or real estate records. Copies of public records often come with a fee.

What does a background check show?

How far background checks go varies by state, but you can typically access 7 to 10 years of data such as:

  • Court records
  • Criminal records
  • Real estate holdings
  • Past addresses
  • Bankruptcies and liens
  • Employment history
  • Education

When choosing an online service for a background check, be sure to review the types of data offered before proceeding.

Do arrests show up on background checks? What about warrants, misdemeanors or pending charges?

These appear on background checks:

  • Felony convictions
  • Misdemeanor convictions
  • Pending criminal cases
  • History of incarceration as an adult.
  • Arrests pending prosecution may also be reported.

Arrests that did not lead to convictions may appear in some background checks.

How long does a background check take?

Using reputable online services to run background checks for personal use usually yields instant results, but the turnaround time for offline services can take between one and five business days.

Bottom line: TruthFinder is the best background check site for dating

Regardless of the reason, if you think you are dating and think should be running a background check on your date, then you should. Start with a reverse phone lookup on TruthFinder. TruthFinder stands out in the background check market:

  • Nearly 1.5 billion criminal records searched
  • Searches include checks of sex offender databases
  • Recently merged with Intelius
  • A+ BBB rating
  • 3.8 rating on Trustpilot

Get a free trial and background check from TruthFinder now >>

Learn more about online dating safety, as well as how to safely use friendship apps.

Should you run a background check on your date?

In general, yes. The vast majority of dating apps do not currently include background checks of any kind.

How do you do a free background check on someone you are dating?

You can do a free background check on someone you are dating, but it will take a bit of legwork. Start by Googling the person’s name to find their social media accounts and any news stories or websites they’ve been connected with.

Do any dating apps do background checks?

The vast majority of dating apps do not currently include background checks of any kind.

Robyn Evans is an award-winning writer, inspirational author, and occasional songstress (especially in the shower). Born and raised in Baltimore, she focused on helping women make healthy choices for body, mind and soul. She’s a grateful bonus mom to a photographer son and activist daughter and works with young writers through a nonprofit called the Youth Writers Challenge. Robyn writes for corporate clients, is a former feature writer for The Carroll County Times, has written for The Baltimore Sun and is the author of three books.
Robyn's website | Robyn's LinkedIn profile

3 Comments

Sound’s Good, but giving any company your Social Security number, shouldn’t be allowed or trusted. Your Social Security number should never to research Free company.

very good info! Particularly for us WSM who value our time and want to be safe and smart using it. I used to use an app called Stud or Dud which was AMAZING. You could find a dude and check his background, criminal record, etc with only his phone number. I liked it because it enabled me to corroborate his story about himself. BUT… For some reason, the app has been disabled. Thank you for the tips on a great replacement!

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