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Pros / The background check reports from PeopleFinders are simple to read, especially with the descriptions included for each section.

Cons / You don’t get a person’s tax lien history in these background checks.

 Verdict / PeopleFinders hits the mark with mostly accurate criminal background checks and simple, organized reports, but it lacks in the variety of information it offers.

Editor's note: The service has informed us that PeopleFinders in fact provides information on court judgments and tax liens in its reports. It also allows you to customize your search by using an address, phone number and date of birth. We will fully evaluate and reflect this additional information when we next update the Background Check Services reviews.

On PeopleFinders’ website, you can run a background check that provides data on a particular person, such as contact information, list of possible relatives and neighbors, marriages and divorces, bankruptcies, and criminal history. What the online background check doesn't reveal are civil judgments and tax liens, so you can't get a clear picture of a person’s court history. We found that PeopleFinders had a hard time picking up complete data on our test subjects. For example, when we performed a criminal background check for one of our test subjects, most background check companies pulled up more than 95 percent of the crimes he has committed, but PeopleFinders missed 15 percent of them. The marriages and divorces listed were mostly correct in our testing, but two divorces were missing. So, the information you get from PeopleFinders' reports may be incomplete, even if it’s mostly accurate.

The best background check companies give you a preview of possible matches before you choose the right person, and PeopleFinders is no exception. Getting to that preview is simple; you only need one piece of information to start a search for a person. You can't search using other factors, like age or address, but the results on the preview include ages of the matches, potential relatives and cities the person has lived in, if available.

Once you’ve purchased a report, it takes several seconds to generate. You may see a couple of windows with upsells, but once you’re past those, you’re granted access to your report. PeopleFinders excels at giving you a report that’s easy to navigate. Tabs at the top organize the information, and a table of contents gives you a rundown of the data that’s available at a glance. If you are unsure of what each section includes or what it all means, there are definitions to help you understand. There are also explanations of why you may not see all data. For example, as of press time, PeopleFinders only had divorce data from Colorado, Minnesota, Texas, Florida and Nevada, and records that date back only as far as 1968 and are only as recent as 2003.

  • Accuracy
  1. This shows the average percentage of how accurate each service was in our tests.
    Percentage (higher is better)
  2. 6  PeopleFinders
    60.0 %
  3. 90.0 %
  4. 85.0 %
  5. 80.0 %
  6. Category Average
    61.5 %

Summary

If you’re looking for a criminal background check, you would do well with PeopleFinders, even with its lower overall accuracy score. You get a good amount of data in a background check that’s easy to read. And if any data is incomplete, it generally has to do with the data available to the company. Unfortunately, though, these reports don't provide any tax lien history information for people.

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