Are people buying background check reports about you?

According to a survey, 56% of internet users have Googled their own name to see what information is listed about them online. Other statistics show that 8 in 10 employers Google new applicants before they’re hired. Potential suitors are also likely to look you up before a date, while 71% of Americans use search engines to find information about someone they’re currently in a relationship with, or are considering being in a relationship with, all in an effort to feel safer.

author of the article, OneRep blog,
Mary Scotorenko

Editor of OneRep Blog

Are people buying background check reports about you

Check if People-search sites expose your info

OneRep’s  algorithm scans over 80 data broker sites
 for your profiles, then makes sure your private information is removed

What does this mean? The information age is morphing into the age of voyeuristic paranoia, where everyone watches everyone. Think of it as a new universal truth for the 21st century. As such, it’s become imperative that you take steps to ensure the information listed about you online, and within search results, matches up with how you want to be perceived by others. We all have a past, and many of us have experienced undue hardships, lived through situations we’re not proud of, or endured circumstances we’d prefer to keep private. Everyone wants to make a good impression and be a respected member of society, especially when applying for a job or making new acquaintances. Imagine how you’d feel if unflattering details from your past were found online at the worst possible moment.

In the past, it would take months, or even years, to collect a dossier about an individual. But now, it’s a matter of a few clicks.

Some people will Google you out of harmless curiosity, without malicious intentions, while others are digging for compromising information in an attempt to disgrace you. These days, you don’t have to be a detective to find all sorts of information about a person. In the past, it would take months, or even years, to collect a dossier about an individual. But now, it only takes a few clicks, and perhaps a small fee, and voila people-search websites will send you detailed profiles and background check reports about almost anyone.

Clay Shirky, an Internet scholar and professor at NYU, says: “It used to be expensive to make things public, and cheap to make them private. Now it’s expensive to make things private, and cheap to make them public.” Indeed. People-search and background check websites are vying for consumer’s attention, and offer highly detailed reports at very attractive prices. And rest assured, these services are in high demand, earning data brokers billions of dollars every year.

In previous articles, we discussed how data brokers buy and sell information about people. Building on that, this article analyzes 11 major people-search websites — beenverified.com, whitepages.com, intelius.com, peoplefinders.com, spokeo.com, ussearch.com, instantcheckmate.com, radaris.com, truthfinder.com, mylife.com, nuwber.com.

We wanted to discover how much each one charges for detailed reports. Keep in mind, data brokers sell both people-search lookups and background check reports. People-search lookups are less comprehensive, and typically contain only basic info about individuals:

  • full name
  • current address
  • phone number
  • prior residences
  • relatives
  • aliases
  • age, dob
  • social networks
  • email addresses gender

Below, you’ll find a table with pricing details for People-Search Lookups

WebsiteMonthly
report fees
Single
report fees
spokeo.com$13.95/mo
whitepage.com$4.99/mo – 20 lookups
$19.99/mo – 200 lookups
intelius.com $0.95
peoplefinders.com$1.95
ussearch.com$2.45
radaris.com$24.95/mo$1.00
nuwber.com$9.95/mo

Background check reports contain more detailed files that include:

  • all basic info (full name, age, aliases)
  • address & address history
  • relatives & associates
  • neighbors name & address
  • criminal charge history
  • criminal court records
  • property ownership details
  • marriage/divorce records
  • civil judgments, bankruptcies, tax liens
  • lawsuits
  • sex offender records 
  • arrest details
  • education and work history
  • income and assets
  • and much more

Look at the table below at find pricing details for Background Check Reports

WebsiteMonthly report feesSingle report fee
beenverified.com$26.89 /mo
whitepage.com$19.99/mo$19.50 – 1 background report
intelius.com $39.95
peoplefinders.com$9.95
ussearch.com$18.75
instantcheckmate.com$26.82/mo
radaris.com$49.95/mo $9.95
truthfinder.com$27.78/mo
mylife.com$18.95/mo

From these two tables, it’s clear that people-search reports and background check reports don’t cost a fortune. On average, a single people-search report can run $1 to $6, while a subscription can cost $5 to $25, with unlimited search options. Background check reports are generally $20 to $40. However, subscriptions often include unlimited people-search reports and background check reports.

As you see from the table above, background check reports contain all possible information, from address history, to criminal records, and even speeding tickets. However, some websites fail to update their databases regularly, so their reports often contain outdated or outsight false or irrelevant records, which can impact your career and relationship opportunities.

Nowadays, we trust Google more than we trust ourselves, be it for restaurant suggestions, or to learn more about a potential new boyfriend or girlfriend.

You may think that no one would be interested in paying for information about you, however, in 2012, the data broker industry generated $150 billion in revenue, which means that people-search and background check services are in high demand. Nowadays, we trust Google more than we trust ourselves, be it for restaurant suggestions, or to learn more about a potential new boyfriend or girlfriend.

Some people will Google you out of harmless curiosity, without malicious intentions, while others are digging for compromising information in an attempt to disgrace you. These days, you don’t have to be a detective to find all sorts of information about a person. In the past, it would take months, or even years, to collect a dossier about an individual. But now, it only takes a few clicks, and perhaps a small fee, and voila people-search websites will send you detailed profiles and background check reports about almost anyone.

Unless you live under a rock, you should pay particular attention to two meaningful aspects about being online: privacy and reputation. It’s common knowledge that reputation, like all good things, takes time to build, yet almost no time to lose. Derogatory data can ruin your career. More and more employers browse the Internet for information about you before even offering you an interview or making any final hiring decisions. With digital technology, your reputation has become ubiquitous, permanent and available – worldwide – whether you like it or not. As such, keeping tabs on the information listed about you online is of crucial importance.

MyLife.com evaluates the reputation of each person in their database and calculates reputation scores

When we speak about privacy, it seems obvious that no one wants their home address and telephone number be placed on multiple websites, or on the first page of Google search results. It’s unsafe, and the data might fall into the wrong hands. 51 million people-searches take place every month, which means prying eyes may be snooping into your personal life right now. You never know who’s on the other side of the screen, looking for information about you. Your ex? A colleague? Scammers?

What can you do to minimize an unwanted online presence? 

  • Google yourself regularly. It’s as simple as that. By doing this, you’ll be abreast to what Google is saying about you to others, which is the first step to understanding the level of work required to secure your online reputation. To help with that, you can set up a Google Alert to monitor the Web for any activity containing your name, and should your name or address appear somewhere online, you’ll receive an email notification letting you know exactly what’s being said and where it’s listed. Alerts are easy to setup; just enter the key words you’d like to monitor and wait for the alerts to come in.
  • When registering accounts for a new app or website, only fill out required fields marked with an asterisk. Never give more information than necessary as voluntary information is typically used for targeted marketing and advertising purposes, which is where all those unwanted solicitations and spam emails come from.
  • Carefully read the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for each service you use.
  • If you must provide your SSN online, such as when applying for a credit card, bank account, or government benefit, check the address bar for both a padlock symbol and an “https” web address.
  • Use a browser that allows you to disable or refuse cookies to avoid being tracked when browsing or shopping online.
  • Be cautious when using wireless connections and Wi-Fi hotspots. Most public Wi-Fi is insecure. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to create a secure connection.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you include in your online profiles.

Remember, you can always seek professional help, which is faster and easier than attempting self-removals yourself. Online privacy professionals, like OneRep, are experts in their field, and can easily remove your vulnerable personal records from data brokers’ search engines. OneRep’s proprietary algorithm automatically scans over 80 data broker websites for your profiles, then makes sure your private information is removed, once and for all.

Your Time is Valuable. Let Us Help You.

OneRep’s proprietary algorithm automatically scans over 80 data broker websites for your profiles, then makes sure your private information is removed, once and for all.