US Search Review 2024: Is This Background Check Service Worth It?

March 17, 2024

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In today’s digital age, it’s becoming increasingly common to search for information about people online. Whether you want to reconnect with a long-lost friend, vet a potential date, or check out a new neighbor, background check services like US Search provide a way to access public records and uncover details about almost anyone.

But with so many options available, it can be tough to know which people search sites are reliable, affordable, and effective. In this comprehensive US Search review, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the most popular background check providers to help you determine if it’s the right choice for your needs.

Us Search

US Search is an online background check service that has been providing people search and public records data since 1993. Based in California, the company enables users to look up information on almost anyone in the United States using just their name, phone number, or address.

The platform aggregates data from billions of public records to provide reports that may include:

  • Contact information
  • Address history
  • Family members and associates
  • Criminal records
  • Social media profiles
  • Property ownership
  • And more
Us Search Public Records

Unlike some other background check sites, US Search does not require the subject’s consent to perform a search, as it only accesses legally available public records. However, the data cannot be used for certain restricted purposes like tenant screening or employment decisions (more on that later).

How US Search Works

To use US Search, you simply enter a name, phone number, or address into the search bar on their website. The site will then scan its database of public records and return a list of matching results, often within minutes.

Before purchasing a report, you can see a preview of the available information to help identify the correct individual. Some key data points included in the previews are:

  • Full name and aliases
  • Age and date of birth
  • Cities and states of residence
  • Possible relatives

If you locate the person you’re seeking, you can then purchase a full background report with more detailed information. Reports are accessible online and can also be downloaded or printed for offline access.

One standout feature of US Search is that you can perform unlimited searches with a paid membership, while many competitors limit you to a set number of reports per month. This can provide better value if you need to research multiple individuals.

US Search Pricing & Plans

As of 2024, US Search offers two main subscription options:

Us Search Pricing & Plans
  1. 1-Month Membership: $59/month
  • Unlimited searches and reports
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Search by name, phone, or address
  1. Annual Membership: $599/year
  • Unlimited searches and reports
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Search by name, phone, or address

US Search occasionally offers discounted trial periods as well. At the time of this review, they were running a special promotion of $1.99 for a 5-day trial with unlimited access.

One downside is that US Search memberships automatically renew after the initial period ends. You must contact customer service by phone to cancel, which some users may find inconvenient compared to online cancellation.

The company accepts major credit cards and PayPal for payment. They do not offer a free trial or money-back guarantee, so be sure to review the terms of service before signing up.

US Search Pros

  • Unlimited searches with paid plans
  • Comprehensive reports that draw from billions of records
  • Fast results, often within minutes
  • Preview matches before purchasing full report
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Accredited member of BBB with A+ rating
  • Published privacy policy and opt-out policy

US Search Cons

  • No mobile apps, only web access
  • Does not follow FCRA guidelines
  • Cannot be used for employment/tenant screening
  • Some outdated or inaccurate data reported
  • Lack of clear upfront pricing on site
  • Auto-billing after initial subscription

Let’s take a closer look at some of the core features and search options offered by US Search.

Us Search Report Ready

The people search is the backbone of US Search’s background check service. By entering a name and optionally a state, you can instantly search millions of records to find contact information, location history, possible photographs, social media profiles, property records, and more for almost anyone in the US.

Helpful information provided by the people search includes:

  • Full names and known aliases
  • Age and date of birth
  • Possible photographs
  • Current and past addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Social media profiles
  • Professional licenses
  • Property ownership records

If you’re attempting to find a long-lost relative or friend, US Search’s people lookup can be a powerful tool to help you locate them using just a name. Of course, it’s important to respect others’ privacy and ensure you use any information discovered legally and ethically.

Reverse Phone Lookup

Have you ever been bombarded by calls or texts from an unknown number? US Search’s reverse phone lookup allows you to quickly uncover details about who a phone number belongs to, helping you screen for scams or unwanted contact.

Simply plug a phone number into the search bar and US Search scans hundreds of millions of records to find any available information associated with that number. Details revealed may include:

  • Full name linked to the number
  • Current and past addresses
  • Family members and known associates
  • Social media profiles
  • Location and carrier information

Keep in mind that US Search cannot access name details for numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. Private or prepaid numbers may also have limited data available. But overall, the reverse phone search is quite comprehensive and a helpful way to identify unknown callers.

One of the most common reasons people use background check services is to uncover any criminal history that an individual may be hiding. With US Search’s criminal records search, you can quickly find any available public records associated with arrests, convictions, sex offenses, and more.

The criminal records check scans federal, state, and county databases for misdemeanors and felonies including:

  • Assaults and battery
  • Drug offenses
  • Theft and burglary
  • Sex crimes
  • Weapons violations
  • DUIs and other driving offenses
  • Domestic violence
  • Fraud
  • And more

In addition to convictions, the report may show arrests, warrants, court records, mugshots, and incarcerations. Results can go back up to 20 years, ensuring a long history is available.

It’s crucial to note that not all offenses may be reported, and the data is not always 100% accurate, as we’ll discuss more later. You should verify any findings before making judgments.

Address Lookup

If you need to find out more about a particular address or property, US Search allows you to look up details with just a street address.

An address report may uncover:

  • Current and past residents
  • Property ownership and details
  • Neighboring sex offenders
  • Local crime statistics
  • Voter registration at the address
  • Bankruptcies and tax liens
  • Evictions and foreclosures
  • Demographics of the area

This can be helpful for evaluating a potential new neighborhood or identifying a property owner. However, you cannot use the information to screen tenants due to FCRA restrictions on US Search.

US Search vs Other Background Check Services

To help determine if US Search is the best background check service for you, let’s see how it compares to some top competitors:

US Search vs BeenVerified

Beenverified

BeenVerified is a popular people search engine that offers many of the same core features as US Search, including people lookup, reverse phone lookup, and criminal records search.

One advantage of BeenVerified is that they provide mobile apps for iOS and Android, making it easy to conduct background searches on the go. US Search currently does not offer any mobile apps.

BeenVerified’s reports are also slightly easier to navigate, as they are separated into clearer sections for important data points like contact info, relatives, social media, and criminal history.

However, BeenVerified limits basic users to 100 searches per month, while US Search allows unlimited searches for all paying members. BeenVerified’s unlimited plan costs $29.95/month, which is pricier than US Search’s $24.95 rate.

US Search vs Intelius

Intelius

Intelius is one of the longest-running people search sites, founded back in 2003. Like US Search, they provide people search, reverse lookup, criminal records, and property reports.

One of Intelius’ standout offerings is their “People Search Plus” which provides more comprehensive employment, education, and financial history for an additional fee. US Search does not currently have an equivalent premium search option.

Intelius offers a slightly lower base price at $22.86/month for unlimited reports compared to US Search’s $24.95 rate. However, the People Search Plus reports cost an extra $19.95 each.

In terms of data quality and search functionality, Intelius and US Search are quite comparable. But some users find Intelius’ interface a bit more cluttered and harder to navigate.

US Search vs Instant Checkmate

Instant Checkmate

Instant Checkmate has gained popularity in recent years as a go-to resource for detailed background checks. Their reports include standard information like contact details and location history as well as more unique insights like astrological signs, hunting licenses, and voter registration status.

One of Instant Checkmate’s key selling points is their deep web research, which may uncover data that isn’t available through standard web searches. US Search does not specify whether they scan the deep web.

Pricing-wise, Instant Checkmate is one of the most expensive options at $34.78/month for unlimited reports. But some users feel the extra cost is worthwhile for the exceptionally detailed information and user-friendly reports.

US Search Reviews: What Users Are Saying

To get a realistic view of how well US Search works for real people, we analyzed customer reviews and feedback from multiple third-party sites. Here’s a summary of what users like and dislike about the service:

Common Praise:

  • Unlimited searches and reports for paid members
  • Fast, easy-to-use interface
  • Helpful for locating lost friends and relatives
  • Detailed property records and neighbor data
  • Responsive customer support team

Common Complaints:

  • Some inaccurate or outdated contact information
  • Lack of mobile apps for on-the-go searches
  • Non-transparent pricing and auto-billing
  • Inability to use reports for employee/tenant screening
  • Occasional missing details like images or social profiles

Overall, US Search maintains a middling 2.7/5 star rating on Sitejabber and 3/5 stars on the Better Business Bureau based on about 300 total reviews. Most negative reviews relate to billing issues or data inaccuracies.

The company does appear to respond promptly to complaints and offers a clear process for opting out of their databases. They also provide a fairly comprehensive privacy policy on their site.

As with any background check service, it’s wise to take the information with a grain of salt and verify any crucial details through other sources if possible. But many users find US Search helpful for general research purposes like finding lost connections or vetting dates.

Is US Search Legit and Accurate?

One of the most common questions about background check services is whether the information they provide is legitimate and reliable. Let’s break down the key facts about US Search’s data quality and sourcing.

US Search Accuracy

US Search pulls data from billions of public records, including:

  • Federal, state, and county databases
  • Phone carriers and utility companies
  • Property records
  • Social media networks
  • Court dockets
  • Business filings
  • Mailing list providers

Because these sources are considered public information, the data is generally reliable. However, public records are not always perfect. Details may be outdated, incorrectly entered, or incomplete.

Some users have reported that contact information like phone numbers and addresses from US Search is not current. Others state that important records like criminal history sometimes get missed.

According to US Search, their data is updated frequently, but they do not specify an exact schedule. Most background check sites have a similar disclaimer that the information is accurate to the best of their knowledge but not guaranteed.

US Search and FCRA Compliance

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that regulates how consumer reporting agencies collect and use personal data. Companies that provide background checks for things like employment, housing, and credit decisions must follow strict FCRA guidelines.

US Search is not an FCRA-compliant background screening service. Their reports cannot be used for:

  • Pre-employment screening
  • Tenant or rental decisions
  • Loan eligibility
  • Insurance screening
  • Any other regulated purpose under the FCRA

Attempting to use US Search reports for these restricted applications is illegal and can result in hefty fines and legal action. Other non-FCRA regulated background check sites have similar limitations.

If you need an employment background check or tenant screening report, you must use an FCRA-certified service like AuthBridge or Checkr instead of US Search. These services require consent from the individual being screened.

For general curiosity, people searching, and non-professional research, US Search is a legitimate resource. But it’s crucial to understand the legal constraints and take the data with a grain of salt.

With the above benefits and limitations in mind, US Search is best suited for a few particular use cases:

Reconnecting with lost contacts: If you’ve lost touch with old friends, distant relatives, or past acquaintances and want to track them down, US Search’s vast people finding database can be a great resource. You may uncover current contact info and location details to help reestablish a connection.

Vetting a potential date or online match: Meeting someone new from a dating app or site often involves a lot of uncertainty. Running a quick background check can provide extra peace of mind by uncovering any major red flags like criminal offenses or inaccuracies in their story before you meet up in person.

Investigating unknown callers: If you’re receiving repeated calls or messages from an unfamiliar number, US Search’s reverse phone lookup can help ID who’s on the other end of the line. You can use these details to block harassers, screen for scams, or track down legitimate sources.

Exploring a neighborhood: Checking out a new neighborhood? US Search allows you to look up details about area properties including ownership, neighborhood crime stats, and even the presence of nearby sex offenders so you can scope out any safety issues before settling on a location.

General people research: From verifying a long-lost classmate’s identity to satisfying your curiosity about a new acquaintance, US Search makes it easy to turn up background details on almost anyone. As long as you use the information legally and ethically, the service can be a powerful research tool.

Just remember, US Search is not for employment screening, tenant background checks, credit decisions, or any use restricted under the FCRA. Stick to FCRA-compliant providers for those regulated situations.

US Search Review: Final Verdict

So, is US Search worth it? The short answer is: it depends on your specific needs and expectations. Here’s when we recommend US Search compared to other background check options:

Consider US Search if:

  • You perform frequent background searches and want an unlimited plan
  • You’re primarily looking up general people data vs. regulated checks
  • You want a company with 25+ years in the background check industry
  • You don’t need mobile apps or on-the-go functionality
  • You’re okay with a higher risk of info being outdated or incomplete

Consider other options if:

  • You need FCRA-compliant employment or tenant screening reports
  • You want the absolute cheapest background check service available
  • You require current, guaranteed accurate data for crucial decision-making
  • You prefer mobile apps and more modern search features
  • You want a free trial period to test out the service risk-free

Ultimately, US Search is a reputable, long-standing service for general people research and background checks within its legal constraints. Many users find it an affordable, effective tool for tracking down lost contacts and vetting individuals using just a name, phone number, or address.

However, it may not be the perfect fit for all scenarios due to certain limitations.

Key Takeaways

  • US Search is a veteran background check provider in business since 1993
  • The service provides people search, reverse phone lookup, criminal records search, and address reports
  • Unlimited searches are available with a paid membership starting at $24.95/month
  • US Search draws data from billions of public records but cannot guarantee 100% accuracy
  • Results include contact info, addresses, criminal history, relatives, social media, and more
  • The service is best for general people research but cannot be used for FCRA-regulated purposes like employment screening
  • Consider US Search if you need frequent, affordable background checks and are okay with occasional data limitations
  1. Is US Search free? No, US Search does not offer a free version or free trial. The cheapest option is a $24.95/month membership with unlimited searches.
  2. How long does it take to get US Search results? Most US Search results populate instantly, within a minute or two at most. The comprehensive reports draw from millions of records but are delivered very quickly.
  3. What is included in a US Search background check? US Search background checks may include a person’s full name, aliases, birthdates, contact info, address history, relatives, associates, criminal records, sex offenses, property ownership, social media profiles, and more.
  4. Can US Search be used for employment or tenant screening? No, US Search is not FCRA-compliant and cannot legally be used for employment decisions, tenant screening, credit checks, or any other purpose regulated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  5. How accurate is US Search? US Search sources data from reputable public record databases. However, these sources are not perfect and may occasionally contain outdated, incomplete, or inaccurate info. US Search does not claim or guarantee 100% accuracy.
  6. How do I cancel my US Search membership? To cancel a US Search membership, you must contact their customer support team by phone. Memberships are not eligible for prorated refunds and will continue until the end of the current billing cycle.
  7. What is US Search’s refund policy? At this time, US Search does not appear to offer any money-back guarantees or prorated refunds on their membership fees. All sales are final.
  8. Can I remove my own information from US Search? Yes, US Search offers an opt-out form on their website for anyone who wants their personal info removed from the company’s database. However, this does not remove the data from the original public sources.

With a history of over 25 years in the business and a database of over 10 billion public records, US Search is one of the most established background check options available. But it’s not ideal for every scenario.

Their vast search functionality and unlimited membership model make it an appealing choice for frequent people searchers who don’t need ultra-current or FCRA-approved data. Casual users looking to find long-lost friends, investigate unknown numbers, or check up on dates can also benefit from the affordable pay-as-you-go model.

However, US Search lags behind competitors in mobile access, transparency, and user interface, which may deter some searchers. The occasional issues with outdated or incomplete information can also be a problem if you need guaranteed accurate data for important decisions.

As a final recommendation: give US Search a try if you need flexible, affordable access to billions of public records and don’t mind some potentially imperfect data points. Avoid it for any use cases involving employment, housing, or other FCRA-restricted situations. And as with any background check service, always verify key details independently.

Hopefully this in-depth review has given you a clearer sense of US Search’s strengths, weaknesses, and ideal use cases as of 2024. While not flawless, it remains a powerful tool for diving into the backgrounds of almost any US-based person with just a few clicks.