Whether you’re verifying the trustworthiness of a potential romantic interest you’ve met on an Internet dating website, or you’re an employer researching job applicants for an important position with your company, there are times when a people finder service for background checks can come in very handy. Public records aggregators like Intelius provide reverse phone and reverse address lookups as well as background checks.

What Types of Checks Do People-Finding Services Perform?

People-finder services typically do several types of checks. The job candidate’s written consent is generally required before an employer can hire an agency such as a people-finding service to run a check.

  • People searches: People searches provide information about a subject’s full name, aliases, date of birth, past and present addresses, relatives, phone number and email addresses. They’re an excellent way to verify whether that person whose name sounds the same as the name of your best friend in high school may actually be your best friend from high school.
  • Background Checks: Background checks are done using social security numbers. These social security numbers are run against nationwide, statewide and county criminal databases to help ensure the individual who’s being investigated doesn’t have a criminal record. Background checks are also done to investigate a candidate’s past credit history, to verify employment information for the past seven years and to authenticate post-secondary school educational histories.
  • Reference checks: Many employers ask job candidates to offer a list of people who can provide information about the prospective employee’s work habits. Many people-finding services will do reference checks for employers who are too busy to check references themselves.

What Kinds of Information Do Background Checks Contain?

If a job applicant has been convicted of a criminal act, a background check should be able to turn up that information no matter how long ago the conviction took place. Arrests that do not result in convictions, however, may not appear on a background report if the arrest took place more than seven years ago.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act sets strict standards on the types of financial information that can be included in background checks. Bankruptcies can be included in these types of reports for up to ten years, but other negative financial information that’s more than seven years old cannot be included. This statute of limitations pertains to accounts that were placed in collection, civil suits, civil judgments and tax liens that have been repaid.

Background checks typically will not include information about any prior workers compensation claims a job applicant may have filed. This information is usually protected by stipulations in The Americans with Disabilities Act.