If you’re like most people, you’ve given time to wonder about who your neighbors really are. They may greet you warmly over the garden fence or wave when you’re walking the dog, but who are they behind closed doors? Are they really the types of people you want living near to and interacting with your family? These worries may be even more pervasive when moving to a new area, or else when someone else has moved into the neighborhood. While most people are just fine upon closer inspection, the exceptions to this rule may just have a criminal background.
The best and simplest way to find out about the people living around you is to use a background checking service. These are websites which can search through public information to uncover great detail about virtually anyone. This data is parsed from a variety of sources, most notably criminal and court records. So if you’re living next to a convicted felon, or even if your friendly new neighbor has been on trial for a crime, you’ll know all about it.
In this article, we are going to tell you how to use a background check to find out how many criminals are living in your neighborhood as well as recommend the best sites to use.
How to Spot a Criminal
Everyone has seen real-life crime shows and detective dramas on TV. From these works of fiction, it’s easy to assume that criminals are easy to spot. After all, how many times have you successfully identified the culprit in your favorite series? In reality, unfortunately, things are rarely so easy; criminals usually look no different to everyone else, and may not stand out behaviorally either. This veneer of normality may just be an insidious mask behind which a dark past lurks.
What’s more, only the most egregious criminals these days are given a life sentence. That means that people convicted of all sorts of crimes are being released into our communities every day. Some of them will be reformed characters and pose no threat to you and your family. But with other individuals, that may not be so certain.
For these reasons, no “how to” guides on identifying criminals are likely to give you the assurance you need. The only option capable of giving you peace of mind is to run a background check.
How Can a Background Check Uncover Criminals in Your Neighborhood?
Background checking websites have the capability to search through vast troves of publicly available information to unearth otherwise hidden details about people’s lives. These companies are particularly useful for uncovering criminals, sexual predators, and other unsavory characters with a history of bad behavior, since they parse criminal and court records in their research.
Thankfully, our justice system does its due diligence in collecting and keeping these records. After all, the authorities use the same data to protect society from the bad guys! We can keep vigilance using this information, too, if only we knew how to sort through the massive amount of data. If you’ve never tried to source court documents, rest assured that manually searching archives is a labor-intensive process–possibly prohibitively so.
Background checking sites make the task of sorting through troves of information trivial, thanks to their sophisticated search technology. What might take you months of doing by hand may be accomplished in a matter of days or even minutes. With the right background checking service, you can make full use of public data to protect yourself and your loved ones from unsavory characters everywhere.
What Information Can a Background Check Reveal about Someone’s Criminal Record?
A competent background check should be able to tell you everything there is to know about the crimes someone may have been convicted of, as well as the sentences they have been handed down. Other points of interest can include:
- Where and when they were arrested
- What crime they were charged with
- Any mugshots taken of them
- Whether that crime was a felony or misdemeanor
- Which jail they were held in
- The name and region of any court they have stood trial in
- Whether they were convicted, acquitted, or the case against them was dismissed
- What sentence they have received
- If they are on the sex offenders’ register
It is impossible for people to hide any of this information. It is a matter of public record and will remain so indefinitely. Most background checking sites have access to all of this data and can match it to a search, even if you only have minimal details about a person. Therefore, if there is someone in your neighborhood with a criminal past, who could pose a threat to your family, a background check is almost guaranteed to reveal it.
Best Background Checking Sites to Find out How Many Criminals Live in Your Neighborhood
If you want to know how many criminals live in your neighborhood, a background check is a no-brainer, but it can be difficult to decide which site to use. There are dozens of different sites on the internet and all claim to be the best in the business. Many can do a good job of checking into a person’s criminal history, but there are always a few charlatans out there. And if you are going to spend a few bucks running a background check on someone, you may as well make sure you are using the best site possible.
But how to make that choice? There are a number of core criteria which most users are looking for from a background checking service. Those are:
- Detailed research – Some sites offer a more detailed and diligent research service taking in more sources than others. To be sure you are finding out everything there is to know, you need to choose a site which offers a high-quality and in-depth level of research.
- Fast results – If you are worried about people in your neighborhood, you want answers quickly. Response times can vary, but the best sites should be able to deliver basic results in a few minutes and a full character profile in no more than 4 or 5 working days.
- Accurate and comprehensible reports – Final reports are vital, but their quality can vary considerably from site to site. But the best sites will deliver accurate reports that simple to read and understand.
- Search customization – Even if you don’t know much about your neighbors, you can still run a check on them. The best sites can access accurate data based on a bare minimum of information provided by you.
- Usable dashboard – Most sites use an online dashboard for users to manage searches, reports, and other data. But the designs and usability of these can vary significantly. The best sites offer a dashboard which is both intuitive to use and well-designed.
- Mobile apps – People increasingly prefer to access online services on their mobile devices, which is why many of the best sites now offer dedicated apps for all major platforms.
- Good Customer Support – If you have any problems with your search or questions about results, you will need a reliable and helpful customer support service to be available.
It is worth noting at this juncture that while most of the top background checking sites have a hugely impressive track record for delivering accurate results, none will guarantee that all of the information they pull up is 100% accurate. They do, on occasion, make mistakes. But the user feedback from all of the sites we recommend in this article is exceptional and we have no hesitation in recommending each of them.
BeenVerified is an excellent background checking site offering a great all-round service, backed by a strong track record for identifying criminal data. Users have two tiers of pricing to choose from. At their basic level, BeenVerified will search hundreds of different sources including criminal records and sex offender registers, as well as financial records, property reports, social media data, address history, and many more. If you want a fuller picture, their premium service includes sending a runner to courthouses to look up any court records that might exist.
BeenVerified’s final reports are really impressive, compiling all research findings into an easy-to-read document. This penchant for usability extends to their dashboard as well, with its intuitive and user-friendly design. They also offer dedicated apps for iOS and Android apps, so you can easily access your data on the go. On top of all this, their customer support service is one of the best around. It is available for long hours, seven days a week and can be accessed via either email or phone.
2. Instant CheckMate
Another top-tier background checking site is Instant CheckMate. They offer a two-tiered service, with the basic service covering criminal records, sex offender registers, marriage and divorce records, details of relatives, address history, and any public social media profiles. Further information, such as more detailed court records, financial history, driving licenses and weapons licenses, require users to pay a bit more for their premium service.
One downside to CheckMate is that it only offers an Android app available at the moment. But they do have an excellent online dashboard, which should work on most Apple device via their web browser. CheckMate’s final reports are also nicely laid-out and easy to follow, while their customer service is around the clock. With multiple millions of successful searches under their belts, CheckMate is well-positioned to root out hidden criminals in your neighborhood.
Truthfinder offers one of the most comprehensive services around. Their basic level search includes most criminal and court records, as well as sex offender registers and driving records, personal information, and information about known relatives. At their premium tier, they will also search things like education history, voter registration records, weapons and other licenses held. In addition, Truthfinder offers a deep web research service, which they claim searches through more online sources and social media profiles than any other site.
Considering how Truthfinder parses a staggering number of data sources, the simplicity of their final reports is truly exceptional, with readability being a primary concern. This philosophy extends to their online dashboard, which is slick and easy to use. Unfortunately, only Android users have access to a dedicated app, but iOS users can still make use of the dashboard to good effect. However you choose to interact with Truthfinder, you’ll rest easier knowing customer support is available 24/7 on a their toll-free number.
Intelius is an effective tool for uncovering criminals who may be lurking in your neighborhood. They search through a large range of sources including all the main criminal data sets, and promise to build a clear portrait of any individual from the information available. This will include such details as a person’s full contact details, address history, criminal records, sex offender register details, financial history, property records, educational history, and more.
Once the search is completed, you can expect your findings to come in what we consider to be one of the industry’s best-looking reports. At any point during the process, you can check up on your data via Intelius’ streamlined online dashboard, or their dedicated apps for both Android and iOS devices. The convenience doesn’t end there, with a great troubleshooting tool appearing on their website whenever you have a problem. With over 50 million successful background checks under their belts, Intelius is a solid choice for protecting your family.
Ready to uncover the criminal truth of your neighbors? Sign on with Intelius using our exclusive discount.
Why Aren’t Background Checks Free?
If the data used by background checking services is publicly available, why should we pay to access it? The truth is that this data may be openly available, but it is not free to access. Many public archives require a fee to requisition their records, and these costs are borne by any background checking service that you use. What’s more, top companies like the ones recommended above parse massive troves of information using sophisticated search technology, which takes money to develop, maintain and operate. Finally, there is the cost of human labor, since employees must be paid alongside any runners who might be dispatched to recover physical archives.
There are a few sites out there which do claim to offer a free background checking service. Our advice is to be very wary of these. If they are free, they are highly likely to offer a substandard service and deliver inaccurate results. Some could even be a front for hackers seeking to compromise your own data or even plant malware on your device.
Using a professional service doesn’t cost a great deal, and they all have great track records for reliability and accuracy. The data they give you is almost always reliable, which means they offer terrific value for money. And if there is one thing you cannot really put a price on, it is the safety of your family.
Whatever your reason for worrying, it is quite common for people to want to know how many criminals live in their area. By using a background check, it is trivially easy to find out. These sites can search through criminal records data, court records, sex offender registers, and more in minutes and tell you everything you need to know. Furthermore, they can deliver this for a very reasonable price. So, for peace of mind, it is hardly a surprise that more and more people are choosing to use background checking sites to learn more about the people in their neighborhood.
Have you ever used a background checking site to find out how many criminals live in your neighborhood? Were you surprised at what you found out? Did you use any of the sites we have recommended? How was the experience for you? We always welcome the comments and opinions of all our readers, so why not share them with us using the comment box below.