PeopleFinders vs BeenVerified: Which Background Check Service is Best?

March 25, 2024

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Are you trying to decide between PeopleFinders and BeenVerified for running online background checks? Both are popular services that provide access to a vast database of public records. But how do they stack up in terms of pricing, search options, accuracy, and other key factors?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into PeopleFinders vs BeenVerified to help you determine which one best fits your needs. As an experienced private investigator who has used both services extensively, I’ll provide an objective comparison and insider tips to get the most out of each platform.

PeopleFinders vs BeenVerified: Overview

Before diving into the specifics, let’s start with a high-level overview of PeopleFinders and BeenVerified.

What is PeopleFinders?

Peoplefinders

Founded in 1998, PeopleFinders is one of the oldest and most established background check providers. It offers a user-friendly interface for searching through billions of public records. For more details, read our full PeopleFinders review.

Key features include:

  • People search by name, phone, address or email
  • Background checks with criminal records, bankruptcies, liens and judgments
  • Reverse phone and address lookups
  • Property ownership records
  • Detailed reports available as one-off purchases or with a subscription

What is BeenVerified?

Beenverified

BeenVerified has been providing online background checks since 2007. It prides itself on simplifying access to public records through a sleek, intuitive platform. For more details, read our full BeenVerified review.

Top features include:

  • People search by name, phone, email or address
  • Background reports with criminal records, court judgments, property records and more
  • Reverse phone, email and address lookups
  • Vehicle and property ownership searches
  • Unlimited reports with subscription plans
  • Mobile apps for on-the-go background checks

PeopleFinders vs BeenVerified: Comparison Table

Here’s a quick side-by-side look at how PeopleFinders and BeenVerified compare:

FeaturePeopleFindersBeenVerified
Pricing$24.95+/mo$26.89+/mo
People SearchYesYes
Background ChecksYesYes
Reverse PhoneYesYes
Reverse AddressYesYes
Reverse EmailNoYes
Property RecordsYesYes
Single ReportsYesNo
SubscriptionYesYes
Mobile AppsYesYes

Pricing & Plans

Both PeopleFinders and BeenVerified offer a range of pricing options depending on your needs. Here’s a closer look.

PeopleFinders Pricing

PeopleFinders offers both single reports and subscription plans:

  • People search report: $1.95
  • Background check report: $39.95
  • Reverse phone lookup: $3.95
  • Unlimited people searches: $24.95/month
  • Unlimited background checks: $29.95/month
Peoplefinders Membership Plans
PeopleFinders

BeenVerified Pricing

BeenVerified only offers subscription plans:

  • Monthly subscription: $29.99/month for unlimited searches
  • Quarterly subscription: $19.49/month (billed at $58.48 every 3 months)
Beenverified Pricing

Which is More Affordable?

PeopleFinders has the edge if you only need a one-off report, with people searches for $1.95. For ongoing research, BeenVerified’s monthly subscription is slightly cheaper than PeopleFinder’s background check plan.

Tip: Take advantage of any introductory deals. Both sites sometimes offer discounted trials for new subscribers.

Search Options & Databases

What can you actually look up with PeopleFinders and BeenVerified? Let’s explore the search functionality.

PeopleFinders Search Features

  • People search: Look up anyone in the U.S. by name, city/state, or age.
  • Reverse phone lookup: Input a phone number to find the owner’s name and address.
  • Reverse property search: Find property ownership records and details.
  • Address search: See current and past residents of any address.
  • Background checks: Dig deeper with criminal records, bankruptcy filings, judgments, liens, and more.

BeenVerified Search Features

  • People search: Find people by name, city/state, age, relatives and more.
  • Reverse phone lookup: Identify the owner of any phone number.
  • Address lookup: Search any U.S. address for owner details and property records.
  • Email search: Find social media profiles and online mentions associated with an email address.
  • Username search: See what photos, blogs and online profiles are tied to a username.
  • Vehicle search: Look up vehicle ownership records by license plate or VIN number.

Data Sources & Coverage

Both services draw from billions of local, state and federal public records. This includes:

  • Court records
  • Criminal databases
  • Sex offender registries
  • Property deeds and assessments
  • Birth, marriage and death records
  • Social media data
  • Business filings and professional licenses

In my experience, BeenVerified and PeopleFinders have very comprehensive databases that cover all 50 states and go back multiple decades. You can feel confident that if it’s in the public record, these background checks will likely find it.

Ease of Use & User Experience

An intuitive platform is key to making the most of any background check service. Here’s how PeopleFinders and BeenVerified measure up.

PeopleFinders Interface

PeopleFinders has a clean, straightforward search interface. From the homepage you can easily run a people search, reverse phone lookup or background check.

Search results are laid out clearly, showing matching records with age, current city and list of possible relatives. Clicking a record brings up the option to purchase a full background report with additional details like:

  • Contact Information
  • Address History
  • Public Records
  • Criminal & Court Records
  • Bankruptcies & Liens
  • Social Media Profiles
  • Possible Images
Peoplefinders Background Report

Navigating the reports is simple, with a table of contents linking to each section. Each record type includes a brief explanation of what it entails.

While generally user-friendly, the interface does have a few drawbacks:

  • Reports are cluttered with paid ads and upsells
  • Image results are sometimes inaccurate or associated with the wrong person
  • Canceling a subscription requires calling customer service

BeenVerified Interface

BeenVerified’s dashboard presents all your search options in a tidy grid, making it a breeze to kick off any type of inquiry. Searches return a list of matches, along with age, location, and high-level details.

Selecting a match takes you to a preview page summarizing what’s available in the full report, like criminal records, social media profiles, or property ownership. This lets you quickly scan and verify it’s the right person before unlocking the whole report.

Purchasing a subscription enables unlimited access to reports, which are neatly organized into sections like:

  • Contact Info
  • Location History
  • Family & Associates
  • Criminal Records
  • Social & Online Profiles
  • Property & Asset Records
  • Financial Judgments
Beenverified Dashboard

Each section provides helpful context on what records were searched and why the information matters. I appreciate these thoughtful extras that make the data easier to interpret.

One minor gripe is that BeenVerified reports sometimes take a minute or two to fully load. But otherwise, the user experience is quite smooth.

Mobile Apps

On the go? No problem. Both background check services offer mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

PeopleFinders and BeenVerified’s apps provide the same core features as the web dashboards, allowing you to discreetly run searches from anywhere. They also sync up with your account, so your searches and reports are always available across devices.

Peoplefinders Apps 1
PeopleFinders

In testing both apps, I found them generally stable and responsive. BeenVerified’s design has the slight edge in terms of navigation and overall polish. But you can’t go wrong with either option for mobile background checks.

Beenverified App
BeenVerified

Report Quality & Accuracy

Of course, all the features in the world don’t matter if the information isn’t reliable. To gauge report quality and accuracy, I ran dozens of background checks on myself and cross-referenced the results.

Information Included

As far as the sheer depth of records, both PeopleFinders and BeenVerified deliver incredibly comprehensive reports drawing from thousands of databases. At a minimum, you can expect to find:

  • Age and date of birth
  • Contact details (email, phone numbers, address)
  • List of relatives and known associates
  • Address history going back 10-20+ years
  • Property ownership and assessed values
  • Criminal history (arrests, convictions, sex offenses)
  • Civil judgments (evictions, foreclosures, tax liens, etc.)
  • Bankruptcies and financial troubles
  • Business and professional licenses
  • Social media profiles and online mentions

Basically, if there’s a public paper trail, BeenVerified and PeopleFinders reports will include it. That said, there are a few key differences:

  • PeopleFinders sometimes includes photos, which BeenVerified does not. However, the image matches can be hit or miss.
  • BeenVerified reports provide more context and educational snippets to help you interpret the data.
  • BeenVerified reports employment history if available, while PeopleFinders doesn’t.

Accuracy of Records

In comparing results against my own records, I found that both background check services were quite reliable overall. Key details like addresses, phone numbers, and criminal history matched my actual background.

There were occasional discrepancies, like an old email address or outdated property record. But that’s to be expected, as these sites rely on public databases that aren’t updated in real time.

It’s also common for reports to include records for people with similar names and ages. So it’s important to carefully verify the details actually belong to your subject.

In terms of data accuracy, I’d say PeopleFinders and BeenVerified are neck and neck. You can generally trust the information, but always double check it against other sources.

Tips for Verifying Data

To ensure background check data is as accurate as possible, follow these best practices:

  • Look for identifying details like birthdays, middle names or addresses you recognize. If something seems off, dig deeper.
  • Cross-reference important facts against other sources, like social media or government databases. BeenVerified and PeopleFinders records should align.
  • Know that records are only as current as the public databases. Records for major life events can take weeks or months to update.
  • Be wary of user-submitted data, like social media details or photos. Stick to official records for the hard facts.

The more you can independently verify, the more confidence you can have in any decisions influenced by background check results. When in doubt, do more research.

Customer Support

Chances are you’ll have a question or two along the way. Here’s a look at PeopleFinders vs BeenVerified when it comes to customer support.

PeopleFinders Support Options

  • Phone support available weekdays from 5am to 9pm PT, and weekends from 6am to 6pm
  • No chat support
  • Modest Help Center with FAQs and basic tutorials
  • Member Care contact form on website
Peoplefinders Support Options

BeenVerified Support Options

  • Phone and email support 7 days/week
  • Chat with us live Available 6:00 am – 11:30 pm EST
  • More robust Help Center with detailed guides and troubleshooting tips
  • Support ticket submission form in account dashboard
Beenverified Support Options

Which service offers better support? It’s honestly a toss-up. Both offer limited channels and spotty availability. In my experience, if you have a billing or technical issue, pick up the phone. Email inquiries can take a day or more to get a response.

For general questions, try searching their respective Help Centers first. BeenVerified’s knowledge base is more extensive. But you can find most answers faster than contacting a rep.

My insider tip? Always be ultra-polite and patient with customer service. They’re more likely to go the extra mile if you treat them with kindness!

PeopleFinders vs BeenVerified: Which Is Better?

By now, you’ve seen that PeopleFinders and BeenVerified are both powerful tools for looking into someone’s background. But which one is ultimately right for you? Let’s recap the key differences.

When to Use PeopleFinders

  • You need a quick, cheap people search or reverse phone lookup
  • You want the option to buy single reports
  • You suspect photos may provide additional clues
  • You need searches in a hurry and don’t want to wait on reports to generate

When to Use BeenVerified

  • You want detailed, easy-to-navigate background reports
  • You’ll be running multiple searches and want an unlimited plan
  • You need to look up property records, email addresses, or usernames
  • You value educational content to make sense of background check data

Alternative Background Check Services to Consider

Not sold on PeopleFinders or BeenVerified? Consider these alternative background check providers:

  • Instant Checkmate – Known for detailed criminal records and dark web scans.
  • TruthFinder – Offers affordable unlimited search plans.
  • Intelius – Straightforward reports and a user-friendly interface.
  • Spokeo – Good for running reverse email lookups and username searches.

Each service has its own strengths, so consider your specific use case carefully. To learn more, check out our other background service reviews and comparisons.

Tips for Using Online Background Checks

No matter which background check provider you choose, there are some universal tips to keep in mind:

Reasons to Run a Background Check

  • Vetting a potential romantic partner you met online
  • Screening a new roommate or tenant
  • Checking out a new neighbor or someone in your community
  • Looking up long-lost relatives or friends
  • Protecting yourself or loved ones from scammers
  • Verifying your own records and online reputation

Background checks are a powerful tool for making informed decisions. But it’s important to use them ethically and legally.

Limitations of Online Background Checks

While background check services open up a world of public records, they do have some constraints:

  • No single database contains all public records, so reports may not be exhaustive.
  • Record availability varies widely by state and county. Not all jurisdictions provide digitized records.
  • Federal law prohibits reporting certain information, like credit histories and education details.
  • Recent records may not be included due to routine lags in database updates.
  • Mismatched records for common names are possible.

The bottom line? Take background check results with a grain of salt. They’re a starting point, not a definitive dossier. When making high-stakes decisions, gather additional intel from other sources.

How to Protect Your Own Privacy

Seeing how easy it is for others to look up your personal details can be unsettling. To maintain control over your data:

  • Restrict privacy settings on social media profiles.
  • Opt out of data broker sites, including BeenVerified and PeopleFinders.
  • Don’t overshare sensitive personal details online.
  • Use P.O. boxes or private mailboxes to limit exposure of your address.
  • Enable two-factor authentication on all accounts.
  • Use a VPN to mask your IP address and location.

You can’t eliminate your digital footprint entirely. But small steps to secure your data can provide major peace of mind.

Key Takeaways

  • PeopleFinders and BeenVerified are two of the most popular online background check services.
  • Both offer comprehensive people searches and background checks drawing on billions of public records.
  • PeopleFinders is better for one-off searches, while BeenVerified is ideal for ongoing research with a subscription.
  • Data is generally accurate, but always verify key details against at least one other source.
  • Background checks are helpful for screening dates, tenants, neighbors and more, but have limitations.
  • Protect your own privacy by opting out of data broker sites and limiting personal details online.

Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to choose the best background check service for your needs!

Still not sure which service to choose? Explore more options with our guide to the best PeopleFinders alternatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does a background check take?

A: Most reports are available within a few minutes. However, if the data isn’t digitized or there are many records to search, it could take up to 24 hours.

Q: Are online background checks legal?

A: Yes, as long as you’re searching public records for informational purposes. However, there are restrictions on using background checks for employment, housing or credit decisions under the FCRA.

Q: Can I search for records outside the U.S.?

A: No, PeopleFinders and BeenVerified only access U.S. records. For international searches, you’ll need to use a specialized service or contact local government agencies directly.

Q: What if I find inaccurate or outdated information in a report?

A: First, double-check the details against the original record source, if possible. If the error persists, contact customer support for assistance. Be prepared to provide documentation to correct the record.

Q: Why can’t I find any records for my subject?

A: This can happen if your search parameters are too narrow, or if the person has limited public records available. Try broadening your search or running a reverse phone/address lookup instead. If you still can’t find anything, they may be using alias names or identities.

Q: Will the person I searched be notified?

A: No, these online background checks are confidential. The subject will not be alerted that you searched for them.

Q: What’s the difference between a people search and background check?

A: People searches provide basic contact and location info, while background checks dive deeper into criminal records, property history, financial troubles, licenses and more. Background checks typically cost more but provide a much fuller picture.

Q: Can I use these services for employee or tenant screening?

A: No, the FCRA prohibits using PeopleFinders, BeenVerified or similar sites for any kind of employment, housing or credit decisions. Doing so could open you up to legal troubles. For tenant or pre-employment screening, use an FCRA-compliant service instead.

Q: Are there any totally free background check services?

A: Unfortunately no. While some sites claim to offer free searches, they inevitably require payment to access full reports and detailed information. Acquiring public records costs money, so background check providers have to charge for their services.

Q: How can I learn more about using background checks?

A: Keep exploring our site for more comparisons and in-depth reviews. We also have guides on understanding background check reports, choosing the right provider and using public records responsibly. And feel free to leave a comment if you have any other questions!

Conclusion

As you can see, both PeopleFinders and BeenVerified bring a lot to the table when it comes to online background checks. By understanding their distinct strengths and potential limitations, you can leverage these tools to make more informed decisions about the people in your life.

Just remember that with great information comes great responsibility. Use background check records judiciously, verify details against other sources, and respect others’ privacy. A little due diligence goes a long way in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.

Have you tried PeopleFinders, BeenVerified, or any other background check services? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments!