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Many people are confused by background checks and people searches because they are both offered by the same companies and often contain the same information. Both types of services also use the same public record databases to provide the information in their searches. But the difference is quite simple and is based on what you want to know.

Use People Search if 

People search services are designed to give you information to identify a person as the one you are looking for and then give you the contact information to find them. People searches are usually used to find people with which you have lost contact for a long period of time: old friends, relatives, school mates, coworkers, etc. Most people search reports include the name, address, address history, phone number, age or date of birth, associated names and possible relatives of your search subject. The address and phone number are used to contact the person, whereas the other information is to help you decide if the person is the actual John Doe you are seeking or somebody else with the same name.

Use Background Check if 

Background checks are designed to be used on people that you are already in contact with: neighbors, employees, child care providers, even potential dates you've met online. A background check usually requires more information than just a name to be sure the check is run on the right person. The background check delves much deeper into public records to determine their personal history. Background checks can include information about criminal records, bankruptcy, marriage, divorce, sex offender convictions, lawsuits and property ownership. The report is designed to give you an idea of a person s background and to help you know if they have told the truth about themselves.

So if you just want to find someone, go with a people search; if you want to find out about a person s integrity and history, a background check will serve you well. Top Ten Reviews has conducted a thorough review of Background Check Services and People Search Services to help you figure out which ones are best. Check out our reviews to find out which ones you should use.

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