BeenVerified Review 2018
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BeenVerified.com: Our #1 Background Check Site 2018
Whether you’re buying something from someone online, dating someone new, or need to find out if it’s safe to leave your kids at their friend’s house, a quick background check can save the day, giving you fast insight into the big picture and helping you sidestep costly or unpleasant surprises.
It seems like new background check services are popping up every day — with some disappearing just as quickly — but BeenVerified has been a leading name in the business since 2007. It’s obvious that they must be doing something right.
We’ll review the pros, the cons, and a few things in between, so you’ll know what to expect and the best ways to use the BeenVerified background check service.
BeenVerified is our top reviewed Background Check Site of 2018 but you may want to check some of our other top picks out as well:
BeenVerified Background Checks are Best for:
– People who want to check the background on new dating interests
– Checking the trustworthiness of online sellers
– Checking your Neighborhood for Sex Offenders
– Finding a long-lost someone
– Checking or monitoring your own report
Been Verified cannot be used for:
– Any credit-related reports
– Employment screening
– Tenant screening
– Financial services client screening
Background checks used for credit screening or employment decisions, such as hiring or firing, must be Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliant and require authorization by the subject of the report. BeenVerified’s data comes from a number of public record and online sources, making BeenVerified background checks anonymous, but also preventing their legal use for certain purposes, like credit, tenant, or employment screening.
Quarterly: 17.48/Mo (52.44 Billed at Once)
Court Runner Service: $19.95 Per County/ Per Person
If you just have a passing curiosity about a person, any background check service can be a pricey proposition. But if you need more detail than a search engine can provide or don’t want to spend hours (or days) trying to find all the information BeenVerified can provide in seconds, then the cost is well worth the time saved. You’ll probably get a lot more information than you can find on your own as well.
BeenVerified Online Background Check Review 2018:
Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to check someone’s background. Sometimes these reasons center on curiosity, but most often, safety is at the heart of the matter. Whether checking on relationships or buying something from an online classified ad or checking on an adult who spends time with your children, it’s important to know that who you are dealing with is who they say they are — and that there aren’t any red flags that can spell danger.
More Americans then ever are turning to online dating, with over 15% of all Americans having tried it now. Safety can be a huge issue with online dating when you consider that recent research shows 1 in 10 sex offenders are using online dating apps. Using a background checking service like Beenverified is a great way to check potential love interests for your safety.
Modern search engines have become adept at delivering the information we request quickly, often providing millions of results, which means digging through the debris to find what we need — or giving up. For public records in particular, search engines often aren’t the best source of information due to their limitations. Search engines can only index what they can see.
Even with the passage of the Freedom of Information Act, many public records, while accessible as required by law, often aren’t available to search engines. These records might be kept in searchable databases, or they might require a visit to a clerk in person, neither of which can be brought to you by search engines.
Since 2007, BeenVerified has made simplicity its mission, creating a faster, easier, and more complete way to check someone’s background. They do the digging for you and cross-reference the records they collect so you can understand the relationship between person A and Person B.
The company is quick to point out that the background checks provided by BeenVerified can’t be used for a number of purposes, including hiring, firing, or tenant screening and explains how improper use violates both their Terms of Service and might even violate the law.
If your background check is for business client screening, employment, or lending, a FCRA authorized background check is required. For personal use, BeenVerified offers plenty of value, with plenty of pros — and yes — a few cons to using the service, although the limitations center around allowed uses.
On the web, and on your phone (or watch)
To their credit, BeenVerified has you covered wherever you might be. The background check company has apps for Android, for iOS (iPhone & iPad), and even for the Apple Watch. Of course, their website has all the same functionality on a bigger screen. Your membership, which is the best value if you plan to do multiple background checks, grants you access on all your devices — and BeenVerified even saves your search history across devices so you can pick up where you left off.
While reviewing BeenVerified, we used both the website and the mobile app. Both were responsive and easy to navigate, but we did find the mobile app to be faster at some tasks. Your experience may vary from ours and at no point did we feel that the process was slow on any device. A watch app may not provide enough screen real estate to use the app without frustration and we recommend running the app on a phone or tablet if you are away from your computer.
While both the BeenVerified website and the mobile app gave us access to the same data, we did find the mobile app to be more intuitive in regard to navigation. Some information that required a second click on the website wasn’t immediately obvious, leaving us wondering where the promised information was — until we learned our way around. By contrast, the mobile app had no learning curve.
Probably the most useful and most used feature on BeenVerified is the People Search. Our first test found our target immediately, listing his age and location along with other possible matches. The town provided was incorrect, but nearby, and a list of other known towns he’d lived in helped to verify that this was the right record. Two relatives were also listed in the summary and the correct address was revealed when we opened the record.
Below are the types of information available through BeenVerified’s People Search.
– Phone numbers: Current and past phone numbers were listed, as well as some phone numbers that didn’t look familiar. Dates of use were also provided, indicating those unfamiliar phone numbers were no longer in use.
– Email addresses: Records for everyone we searched returned at least one email address and usually several. Where available, email addresses were labeled as Work or Personal.
– Address history: If you can’t remember your home address from 10 years ago, BeenVerified probably knows. We found addresses dating back as far as 30 years.
Other people associated with the person you’re doing a background search on are also listed along with some basic details. Opening each individual record for associated people allows you to explore as deep as you want to go, limited only by the amount of data BeenVerified has been able to assemble about that person. We were able to see property owned, phone numbers and email addresses, and even bankruptcy filings.
– Relatives: If BeenVerified is able to match the records, relatives are listed along with the main record for the person you searched. In our testing, this feature was useful but notably incomplete. Some records only showed one or two relatives, missing immediate family members. To be fair, BeenVerified’s data comes from a variety of sources, but if someone keeps a low profile online, that person may not appear in as many places in the BeenVerified database. We all know people who don’t have a Facebook page or try to stay out of the limelight.
– Others: Friends and acquaintances might appear as well. We also found some people who we didn’t recognize.
– Neighbors: Based on current and prior addresses found for a given person, neighbors’ records were also available, including some of their social media profiles, mortgage history, email addresses, and associated people.
– Imposters: Celebrities have been battling for years with imposters who impersonate them online. Unfortunately, many normal people are now facing the same troubles and may have imposters online they may not know about! BeenVerified didn’t find any imposters for anyone we searched. Unfortunately, because no results were found, we still don’t know what level of detail or usefulness this feature of BeenVerified offers.
Criminal & Civil
Have you ever wondered if someone has been convicted of a crime or sued? According to a 2012 Survey by the DOJ, there are over 100 million criminal records in state databases. BeenVerified has massive databases of all criminal records to help fill you in on the details. However, some jurisdictions limit the ways in which criminal history records can be distributed and many jurisdictions don’t offer criminal records in electronic format. In these cases, you can expect a few holes in the data. This isn’t unique to BeenVerified. Any background check report based on public records will have similar limitations.
– Criminal & Traffic: Not all criminal and traffic records are digitized, causing a challenge for companies like BeenVerified who aggregate public records and leaving some holes in reports where a digital record wasn’t available. Criminal and Traffic records are the largest category of public record databases. In fact, as many americans now have criminal records as college degrees according to this report. We were able to find some criminal activity and traffic offenses by searching likely suspects from the family tree, although BeenVerified didn’t know about the relation. Charges ranging from assault to contempt of court to driving with a suspended license filled the report, confirming what we’d suspected, but other reports on other people may return no results simply because the records aren’t available digitally.
– Court Runner Search: For a one time fee, BeenVerified offers its Court Runner service, which dispatches someone to collect any non-digitized records from the local court. In most cases, you won’t need to dig this far to understand someone’s background, but for those times when you want to be certain you’ve looked under (nearly) every stone, the one-time investment can be worthwhile. Be aware, however, that the cost is $20 for each county you choose for a given person you’re checking. If you need records from several counties, this cost could add up quickly.
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We were able to find records of several bankruptcies among the people we searched on BeenVerified. Details included what type of bankruptcy, Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13, as well as the state, the date of filing, who else was listed as a debtor, and the attorneys. A bankruptcy isn’t that unusual anymore, especially after 2008, but if the bankruptcy filing is recent, this information could be useful.
College degrees or High School diplomas are provided, but we didn’t find any professional certifications or trade certifications. For personal use, this level of detail is likely adequate for most people’s needs and any missing information can probably be found on a career website like Linkedin.
We found over a dozen social media profiles for some of the people we searched, each with a link to the individual social media profiles. If your goal is to remain anonymous when checking someone’s background, this is where you have to be careful. Some social media sites provide a section for users to see who has viewed their profile. Even if a site doesn’t have that feature yet, it’s a safe assumption that data on profile views is stored and could be displayed at some point in the future.
Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, and Indeed.com were among the commonly found profiles, each often having a wealth of information in personal areas that might not be covered by BeenVerified’s records. Where BeenVerified provided the facts in black and white, social media provided the color needed for a complete picture. We found this feature to be a good starting point for further investigation if we needed to understand someone’s background from a more personal standpoint.
BeenVerified Premium Data:
We wanted to review BeenVerified in the ways in which most people would use the service, so we stayed with the basic service and passed on the premium data, which costs an additional $14.86.
BeenVerified’s Premium Data offers to possibly provide more information on:
-Judgments & Liens
– Licenses & Permits
No promises were made by BeenVerified, so this part of the service may not return any results — or it may be a treasure trove of information that wasn’t available with standard searches. Your results may vary depending on whose background you’re checking.
Even without buying the premium data add-on, we were able to find a professional license for our primary test person as well as business licenses and voter registration information. Bits of missing information that didn’t appear in the basic report may have appeared in the premium data report.
State regulations vary in regard to the records that are available without a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) request, which requires consent from the person whose data is accessed. For this reason, BeenVerified reports may be limited in some areas, similar to any other background check service that doesn’t require FCRA consent.
Some counties also charge a sizable fee to release certain types of records, such as criminal records, which can also limit the amount of detail available with BeenVerified’s non-premium reports. We still found a staggering amount of information on nearly everyone we checked with the service, but were aware that some data may be missing due to state and local policies.
One of BeenVerified’s nicer features is that there are several ways to find the person you need to check out. Sometimes, all you have is phone number and maybe a first name. A quick search in BeenVerified’s database is likely to find the owner of that number — as long as they aren’t a telemarketer. We had less success with identifying suspected spam callers and robocalls than with real people.
Phone search was another score for the BeenVerified mobile app over the website, offering fast results and an intuitive interface. Performing the same search on the website required clicking on nearly-hidden buttons to find the detailed report.
While the likely owner of the phone number identified by BeenVerified was correct in most cases, some smaller details were incorrect, such as the phone carrier or the address associated with the number, which was out of date for some of our tests.
Photos, age, and other phone numbers for the likely owner of the phone number searched are also provided when available. In some tests, email addresses were not found when doing a phone search. The missing email addresses were in the database and available on the people search report. No background check service is perfect, and BeenVerified is no exception. Links between Record A and Record B might not show up in some reports.
Work history, education records, and social media profiles are also available from people identified through phone search, but again, the people search showed more detail, such as in cases where no social media profiles showed on the phone search record but the people search record returned several, all with links so they can be viewed.
Property Searches were quick and straightforward. A street address and zip code were sufficient to return the owner of the property, the purchase price, square footage and a satellite view. Like many online maps, accuracy is sometimes off by a house or two, as was the case in some of the searches we did where BeenVerified dropped the map pin on a neighbor’s home. The home details, however, were correct. Reports are connected wherever BeenVerified finds a link, so a property report points to an owner whose report can be viewed as well.
We found loan history for the homes we searched, but the loan summary of one property we searched didn’t show a refinance loan that we knew the property had. The missing refinance turned up later in the deed section, along with several other deed records as the home changed hands or mortgage lenders. The information was there, but due to the layout was difficult to find.
Tax records were also listed, including valuations for property taxes and any property tax delinquencies.
Neighborhood Safety: Searching both the nationwide sex offender registry and State-level sex offender registries matching home address or work address and showing proximity in miles from the searched address. We found dozens. Reports for each offender could be viewed but there wasn’t a way to sort the results by distance, so a registered offender who lives less than a half mile away might be buried within results for offenders who are miles away, as was the case with our test property search.
Searching by email address returned instant results for some email addresses, but no name provided for others. If there was a section that listed a given email address as being from a known spammer, we didn’t find it. Free email services are abundant and it’s easy to set up any of these services using an alias or without using a full name. With this in mind, expect mixed results for searches done by email address alone, whether on BeenVerified or any other service.
Mobile Background Checks:
Using BeenVerified on your laptop or desktop has its advantages, especially if you want screenshots or want to copy/paste snippets of information into your own files. However, the mobile app gives new meaning to quick background checks. All of the same information from the website is available to you anywhere you are.
If you just met a potential special someone, you can check them out immediately and find out if the person of your dreams might be a nightmare instead. Check on the seller for that great deal you just found on Craigslist. Search by name, phone number, or email address and find out immediately if there’s a cause for concern.
BeenVerified makes it easy to check on anyone, but when this kind of detailed information is available to you anywhere you go — and for anyone you meet — it’s like having a sixth sense that can tell you when it’s probably safe and when there might be trouble.
One of our favorite features of BeenVerified is the ability to monitor records for changes. Whether you choose to monitor your own record or you’re keeping a watchful eye on someone else, BeenVerified will notify you of any changes, including new phone numbers or criminal activity. A standard membership comes with the ability to monitor up to 10 records for no extra charge.
BeenVerified’s support is excellent, including several consumer help tools such as Frequently Asked Questions and even a Do’s and Don’ts page that clearly explains the permitted legal uses of the service. If you have a question, just scroll down to the contact us link and send your question to BeenVerified’s support staff.
BeenVerified knows you might not need to maintain a subscription forever, so cancellation is a no-hassle process that can be completed quickly by phone or email. Restart your account at anytime if the need arises again.
Consumers will be pleased to learn that BeenVerified is based in the U.S., providing all the same consumer protections you expect from a U.S. company.
48 W 38th Street – 8th Floor
New York, NY 10018
Mon day – Friday: 8 AM – 10 PM EST
Saturday – Sunday: 10 AM – 8 PM EST
The Final Verdict:
Overall, we recommend BeenVerified — and here’s why:
While some of the information available through BeenVerified can be found with your favorite search engine, you’ll spend hours or days and still not come up with as complete a report as BeenVerified can provide in seconds. We were impressed with the level of detail, despite a few bits of information that were missing.
For the way most consumers would use the service, there’s a lot of value for the price with BeenVerified, particularly if you choose the quarterly plan which brings the cost down substantially over a monthly plan, also making BeenVerified more affordable than some less-robust competitors.
You may want to check out our other top picks for 2018 in our guide to best Background checking sites, Truthfinder and Instantcheckmate
Note: This Background Check service is not FCRA compliant. You may not use this background check 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. Instant Checkmate 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.
Here Are Just Some of Our Customer's Reviews:
I recently used BeenVerified and was very pleased with it's ease and usefulness. It helped me research some information that I needed. Thank you! I would definitely recommend to anyone needed to find out more about a person.Reviewer : Stephanie S.
I reviewed features of BeenVerified and received top notch assistance from staff at BeenVerified.Reviewer : Ken H.
Through my initial inquiry on BeenVerified, I was able to find out the location of a friend from many years ago.Reviewer : Lina B.
I really enjoyed the thoroughness of Been Verified. I feel like I got my money's worth and I would recommend this website to anyone.Reviewer : Veronica S.
Your staff is awesome!Reviewer : Barbara K.
Excellent Servive and Helpful Information with Identifying Fraud/Misinformation of Individuals.Reviewer : Rita S.
I wanna thank Been Verified, because I was able to find my mom who I haven't seen in 30 plus years.Reviewer : Indio N.
Best experience I have ever had with an online company, ever...Reviewer : Robin P.
I was able to find a contractor who had disappeared with a large deposit for work not even started.Reviewer : Jean H.
Information obtained is fast and accurate.Reviewer : Phyllis H.