Most background check companies give you the basics of a report, such as contact information, criminal records and a list of potential relatives or associates of the person youâ€™re investigating. PeopleSmart goes beyond this with the amount of information thatâ€™s included in its background check reports. You get the basics, but you also get sex offender status, bankruptcies, court judgments, tax liens, information on properties and neighbors, and professional records (such as licenses).
All of that data can only be useful if itâ€™s accurate, though. Through our testing, we found that PeopleSmartâ€™s records were mostly correct, although they can be initially unclear. For example, the criminal background check for one of our test subjects who has a long and storied history showed nearly 100 records, which is almost three times more crimes than he has actually committed. Once we sifted through the results and discounted the duplicates, we found that PeopleSmart was very close to being 100 percent accurate. An online background check also proved to pick up a majority of the civil judgments against one of our test subjects, and nearly half of that personâ€™s relatives. As accurate as those results were, we also had the opposite experience with other searches in which none of the information was correct or we couldnâ€™t find people through the service at all.
The best background check services give you several ways to find a person so you can purchase a report on the right person. PeopleSmart does well in this area. If youâ€™re unsure of which state someone lives in, you can do a nationwide search for him or her. You can also search for someone using criteria such as full name, address, maiden name, birthdate, city, state and possible relatives.
Only seconds after purchasing a report, you will have access to it. There are tabs at the top with categories, such as contact information, criminal and court, bankruptcies and liens, ownerships, and licenses. The reports are well organized and easy enough to read, but there arenâ€™t any definitions to help you decipher the report. They are available through a dashboard on PeopleSmartâ€™s website, where they remain for 30 days after you purchase them.
Although PeopleSmart doesnâ€™t pick up as much information on hard-to-find people as other services, it offers a mostly accurate view of criminal and bankruptcy history on those we investigated. The complete reports offer more data than most, which can help you branch out your investigation if you choose.