Given the hundreds of background check service providers on the Internet, no wonder there is so much confusion about conducting an in-depth background check. Of course, you can choose one that has the nicest website, pay the $29 fee and cross your fingers, hoping they don’t miss anything.

An in-depth background check can cost upwards of several thousand dollars if you want to truly dig into someone’s past.

So we have provided some tips about finding the best background check service provider for you and your situation:

1Multi-source Databases

Proprietary databases and online sources offer a quick, easy and cost-effective way to aggregate information.

But the quality and depth of the proprietary databases vary widely. Also, information in databases is manually entered by humans, and as we all know, humans make mistakes.

Even “official” repositories, such as Pacer, have been found to have errors and omissions. In-depth background checks utilize multiple database sources that provide a more complete picture and potentially avoid missing important details.

2Online / Offline Sources

If you want to obtain more in-depth information and facts, there’s no better place to go than to the source.

For example, there are a variety of database services that search civil records in various jurisdictions, but the best way to search civil records is to do it at the courthouse, which typically requires sending someone to the court.


Some background check service providers consider a seven-year local criminal records check, a Google search or a check of a Facebook profile to be a “background check.” While that may be sufficient in some cases, it’s not always the case.

Consider this: conducting a criminal check on a person who has lived in New York over the last seven years may miss a fraud conviction in another state.

Or what if you conducted a search on a woman’s married name, only to find later that she had been arrested for embezzlement under her maiden name?

For employment reasons, local statutes may only allow a seven-year background check, but for all intents and purposes, an in-depth background check should be conducted from the time the person turned 18 and up to the present.

4Complete Picture

Limit a background investigation to criminal records and you may be missing the complete picture.

Some background check service providers offer a cafeteria plan of records that can be searched. But just because a hedge fund manager doesn’t have a criminal record doesn’t mean that there aren’t any potential red flags.

Omissions about job history, falsified education credentials or living beyond one’s financial means can all be red flags that could steer you clear of a potential disaster.

Final Thought

Conducting an in-depth background check takes analysis by a trained investigator who can navigate the Internet and public records, get behind the information readily available to everyone else and obtain relevant facts to make “informed” decisions.


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