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BackgroundReport.com: The Best Online DIY Background Check Website

After much research and analysis of employee background check services, we recommend BackgroundReport.com as the best online DIY background check website. We chose BackgroundReport.com from a pool of the dozens of background check services we considered. To read our full methodology and for a more comprehensive list of background-check services, visit our best picks roundup page here. If you're still trying to get an understanding of what kind of background check service you need, check out our guide on how to choose a background check service

BackgroundReport.com is an affordable, do-it-yourself online service that provides instant results and complies with federal background check laws.

What makes BackgroundReport.com such an attractive option is that, since it complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), it is one of the few online background check websites that legally allows you to conduct pre-employment job screening. The key differentiator between the websites that don't follow the FCRA laws and BackgroundReport.com is that this service actively involves the job candidate during the screening process. Each time you use this service to run a background check, the job candidate is notified by email that it's being conducted and is given a copy of the report to review when the check is finished. 

Many of the websites we investigated allowed you to run instant searches on anyone, without their consent. The problem with these types of searches is that besides being illegal for employment-screening purposes, the information is often inaccurate and the job candidate has no chance to respond to what's found. We like that this website ensures that, if any adverse information is discovered, the job candidate has the opportunity to provide an explanation before a decision is made on whether or not that person is hired. 

Additionally, websites that aren't FCRA-compliant have specific wording in their "terms of use," specifying that the service should not be used for pre-employment screening. If you take the risk and use one of these services and a job candidate finds out, you could potentially be facing a hiring lawsuit, which typically comes with significantly hefty fines.

Editor’s Note: Looking for a background check service? Fill out the form below to get free quotes from our vendor partners.

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BackgroundReport.com has some of the most affordable prices among the do-it-yourself website services that abide by the FCRA laws. The company offers businesses two types of employee-screening packages. Here is a breakdown of the company's plans:

Basic

The basic plan costs $19.95 per report. It includes:

  • Social Security number validation
  • Social Security death index check
  • Nationwide instant criminal-convictions search (This is a nationwide, multijurisdictional criminal-records search. The company searches for criminal incidents in a variety of databases, including the state administrative office of the courts, state department of correction, National Criminal Search Index and county criminal courthouses, where available.)
  • Sex offender check and terrorist watch list check

Premium

The premium plan costs $29.95 per report. It includes:

  • Social Security number validation
  • Social Security death index check
  • Nationwide instant criminal-convictions search (See above)
  • Sex offender check and terrorist watch list check
  • Address history
  • Alias name
  • Phone number history
  • Eviction records
  • Bankruptcy records
  • Lien records
  • Judgment records

Ongoing monitoring is also available with either plan. For $7.95 per month, you can receive monthly updates on whether or not any new information has been uncovered.

Unlike some of the other services we examined, BackgroundReport.com does not charge an initial sign-up or registration fee.

In addition to its U.S. searches, you can use this service to conduct background checks in 255 other countries. Turnaround time and prices vary by country.

The BackgroundReport.com website is very easy to use. After signing up, you select and pay for either the basic or premium plan. You then provide some basic information on the job candidate, including the person's name, Social Security number and email address. The job candidate is then sent an email with a temporary password for the website. 

Candidates are instructed to log in to the system and verify their identity. Once they have done that, BackgroundReport.com runs an instant background check based on the plan selected. Within minutes, the candidate is alerted that the report is ready for review on the website.

Unlike other services where employers view the report first, this service allows the job candidate to have the first look at the information discovered. This gives the candidate the opportunity to review the report and add any notes and explanations about what was discovered, letting the job candidate provide some immediate context about what was found, before employers have the chance to form any initial conclusions.

After the candidate has reviewed the report and added his or her notes, you are then sent an email notifying you that the background check is complete.

BackgroundReport.com's reports are very easy to read and navigate. In addition to the candidate's basic information, the first page of the report has a summary of the results that includes how many aliases were found, the previous addresses that were discovered and how many criminal records were revealed. 

You can then scroll through the report to find more information on each item. For the criminal records, the report provides as much detail as was found in the databases that were searched. This can include the charge, how serious the offense was — misdemeanor or felony — and whether or not there was a guilty plea and what the settlement was.

For premium reports, there is also information on any of the evictions, bankruptcies or civil judgments found in the website's databases. Details on these typically include dates, locations and how much money was awarded in any civil judgment.

We were very pleased with the customer service that BackgroundReport.com provided. To test the level of support offered, we called the company on multiple occasions posing as a small business owner interested in pre-employment screening services. During our initial call, the customer service representative took the time to walk us through how the service works. During our call, we discussed the costs, the type of searches offered, how the website works and what the reports look like. Throughout our conversation, she never tried to rush us off the phone and took the necessary time to thoroughly answer all of our questions.

Our subsequent calls provided the same high level of service. During our follow-up conversations, we talked more about how the system works, the different plans available, the service's costs and the support offered. For each of our questions, the representative provided clear and detailed answers.

The representatives from BackgroundReport.com gave us the impression that the service was more legitimate than other services we considered. Some of the other DIY services we spoke to gave evasive and unclear answers to some of our questions, which left us with concerns about their reliability.

Out of all of the background check services and websites we analyzed, BackgroundReport.com was one of the few that offered help on a Saturday. You can reach customer service representatives by phone or email, between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. (PST) Monday through Friday and between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (PST) on Saturdays.

The biggest downside to BackgroundReport.com is that since it relies solely on online databases, it can't provide some of the more thorough searches that a full-service background check provider offers. Specifically, BackgroundReport.com doesn't have court runners who visit county courthouses to gather information that hasn't been digitized and inputted into any databases.

Additionally, this website doesn't offer you the ability to verify past employment and education. Verifying both is often crucial in helping to determine if a candidate would be a good fit for your company. If you want these more in-depth searches, we would encourage you to consider our choices for the best background check service for small businesses or best background check services for very small businesses.

Ready to choose a background check service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Editor’s Note: Looking for a background check service? Fill out the form below to get free quotes from our vendor partners.

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Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.