When are looking to run a background check by SSN (social security number) you will quickly find several “free” trial offers that might seem like a good idea at at first glance. However, like anything else in life, you get what you pay for and the “free” offers usually turn out to be frustrating teaser offers that never give you any pertinent information.
Trying your luck with a free background check by social security number?
Far too often, you’ll find that the free online background check services leave a lot to be desired.
After all, people get paid a lot of money to conduct these searches privately, and to keep a true, real-time service running requires some form of payment.
While you can find out some information for free, a lot of it will be inaccurate – or lacking.
What’s Included With “Free” Background Check Services?
There are dozens of background check companies, so knowing exactly what’s included with every single one is impossible. However, there are a lot of common inclusions that you’ll find. These include the following:
- Full Name: The full legal name of the person will be included.
- Age, Gender: The person’s birthdate, age and gender are also included.
- Address: Past and current addresses may be included.
This is just the basic information that will be found. You may also come across:
- Marriage records
- Criminal records
- Bankruptcies and judgments
- Business and property records
From the outside, a social security number lookup doesn’t seem all that bad. Right?
As with anything that is free, these checks are often too good to be true. You really won’t be receiving all of this information.
What You’ll Really Get
Free often leads to frustration…
If you’re just checking out information on a long lost friend or yourself, you can find quite a bit for free. However, you’ll never find a thorough employment background check for free without some type of catch.
The Old “…” Trick
Sometimes, when you pull up one of these background checks, you’ll notice that half the information is missing.
In fact, the service will exclude a majority of the information and instead fill it in with a “…” replacement.
This address may be listed as “123 Co…” and you won’t be able to see the rest. For me, this is too little to go off of unless I am looking myself up and know the exact address.
How do you see the rest?
These services provide you with just enough to get you curious and then ask you to buy a premium report to fill in the rest of the information. It’s a slick trick and one that 99% of free background checks will use.
Do you want new information, or outdated information?
Free options always contain outdated information because they have very limited resources. This means that you’ll find:
- Old addresses
- Old names and aliases
- Old phone numbers
This is information that really isn’t going to help you paint a clear picture of who the person is today. For a serious background check, all of this information would be ignored simply because you need the most recent data and the old data together.
If you like advertisement after advertisement – often in the form of spam email – these free background checks are for you. Understandably, you’ll receive a notification asking if you want to receive a better report with more information. However, these persistent advertisements won’t stop there.
If you decline, you’ll be bombarded with upsells.
“This is your last chance.” “Buy now for a one-time discount.”
Heck, I could even deal with that, but it gets worse.
Most of these companies will sell your information to others – namely your email address. This means you’ll be spammed to death in your inbox for offers that aren’t even close to a background check or report.
The Sneaky Subscription
A select few companies will ask you to put in your credit card to receive a free report. This is done in a way that doesn’t automatically charge your card. Normally, you’ll either be on a trial period where you have to cancel, or you’ll be subscribed unknowingly for a month-to-month service and will need to cancel the subscription.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to jump through hoops to cancel.
A good rule of thumb is to never insert your credit card information when getting something for free online. More often than not, you’ll be subscribed to an offer and will be charged unknowingly with little chance of getting your money back.
Phishing is Possible
Something that many people won’t tell you is that some, definitely in the minority, of these sites are setup for phishing purposes. This means that they’re there to literally collect all of the information possible about you. Since you’re running a free background check by social security number, this means you just gave a cyber criminal your social security number.
This leads to identity theft and a slew of problems for you.
Note: Before you run any type of background check, always be sure that the company is legitimate. If they are not or you can’t find any reviews, do not divulge any of your information.
Want to avoid the run around and get reliable background screening services online? You will need to pony up and pay for it.
Why You Should Pay For A Legit Professional Background Service
What Paid Services Offer
Using paid services comes with a lot of benefits.
Paid background checks provide you with full details on the following:
- Police records
- Background reports
- Full address information
- Phone numbers
- Employment information
- Criminal records
All of this information is up-to-date, and much of it is updated in real-time. This allows you to obtain the most accurate background report possible, so you have all of the information you need as an employer, landlord, etc.
Those pesky spam adverts or other information leaks that can lead to identity theft will not occur with a professional service. Why? They need to maintain the highest standard of privacy as outlined by federal law. If these websites do leak this information, you will hear about it on the news.
Reputable and reliable, allows you to conduct a thorough background check by using a social security number. There are no games, outdated information, or upsells included. It’s a fast, efficient and reputable service that has been featured on ABC and Fox News, Yahoo, AOL and hundreds of other media outlets.