We found Instant Checkmate to be the most accurate and up-to-date background check of the bunch. Instant Checkmate is one of the first companies to offer comprehensive online background checks. They've been in the industry for years and the quality of the product reflects that. The user interface was a bit dated but the information in the report was accurate and thorough. Check out our full review or use the form below to begin your search.
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Instant Checkmate is known as the 400-pound gorilla in the online background check industry. They’re one of the most popular services around. Despite the fact that they’re fairly old now (they were founded in 2010), they are constantly revamping their site.
I used Instant Checkmate a few years ago, but wanted to give it another try to see if they’ve improved anything. To try it out, I put it to the real test. One of my friends just recently started dating a girl, and I wanted to see if her background check revealed anything shady about her.
UPDATE: Instant Checkmate is now including "Premium" data at no extra cost. This used to be an additional $19 charge per report. As of right now, Instant Checkmate is one of the ONLY companies that doesn't charge extra for this upgraded data.
One of the most striking features of Instant Checkmate is the home page dashboard. It’s neatly organized, and all the reports you have pulled recently are listed in the order you last pulled them.
When I searched the woman’s name and state, I was presented with a results page that showed a lot of women with the exact same name. Fortunately, the results page also lists age, cities people have lived in, and known relatives. That helped me narrow it down to the background report I was looking for.
I was able to see a lot of data about her, but for the purposes of this review, I blacked out some identifying information in these screenshots for the sake privacy.
The report page is well organized. All of the data on the report appears on a single long page. There’s a navigation bar on the left hand side that reveals which section you’re looking at — plus how much of the report you’ve seen so far. If you want to jump to any section, you can jump straight to it.
One of the most innovative features of the Instant Checkmate report is the “Timeline.” It features all of the events listed in the report, like birth, criminal convictions, and appearances of new addresses, listed in chronological order.
It got all of the basics right, even some more advanced information, like her job and education.
Any secret family members she’s not telling about? When I checked the related people section of the report, I saw that it accurately listed the names of her father and two sisters.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Does Instant Checkmate provide accurate phone numbers and email addresses? Her report showed two: one older phone number and one current one. I checked with my friend to confirm that it did display her current phone number. It even listed her current email address.
Pretty impressive, considering that I was able to find all this info in under a minute.
The location section lists a total of six different places she had lived through her life, including her current address. They were all plotted on map. If I want to see more data about any location, I can click on “View More Location Details.”
About near the bottom of the report is the really juicy stuff: criminal records. Is my friend’s girlfriend hiding a secret past? Here’s what popped up.
That’s just a single traffic ticket from April 9, 2012. Other than that, she had a squeaky clean record. Good to know!
She isn’t big on social media, but the report does list her LinkedIn profile.
Checking other reports confirmed that it can also pull social media profiles from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and eve a bunch of social media networks I haven't heard of before.
Instant Checkmate offers another feature I’ve seen almost nowhere else: a sex offender map. It examines the most recent address for a person in a report, then reveals which sex offenders nearby.
Shockingly, it revealed that there are eighteen sex offenders near her home. I wonder if she even knew about that?
One thing I noticed about Instant Checkmate is that they give away what's referred to as "premium data". Most of the other providers charged up to $20 per report for this but it was included in my regular membership for free. That was a nice bonus.
Premium data included information such as:
You can learn a lot about people from the company they keep. This handy data category, available in premium reports, can provide information about people who lived in the same address or have some other connection that might make them associates.
Do their family or friends have an arrest record? The premium report can tell you if you should pull the background check report of someone close to them. I found out someone close to my friend’s girlfriend had a stunning 70 records.
The financial information section can include data like properties, bankruptcies, and liens. There wasn’t any info about properties and bankruptcies, but I was shocked to see that she had a tax lien from a couple years ago. I now know to warn my friend that she had some money problems with the California Tax Board.
I kind of can’t believe I’m allowed to see this information — or that I was able to get it in a couple of clicks. Other Features
Do you only have scraps of information? You can enter a phone number of email address and see if it connects to a name. If you find the owner, you can also try to run a background check on them.
Do you prefer to keep PDF copies of your reports? They are easier to keep on your hard drive or email to people as an attachment. For an additional 2$ you can download reports on as many reports as you want..
New data is being added to background check reports all of the time. If you want to be notified whenever more data is added to particular report, you can switch on data monitoring for an additional fee.
Instant Checkmate changes their pricing frequently, but monthly memberships can go up to $26.78. For that price, you get access to as many reports as you like. And this includes all that juicy premium data that I mentioned earlier (still can't believe that's included).
Instant Checkmate may have been one of the biggest background check reports out there, but they don’t rest on their laurels. Their reports were good before, but it’s stunning how many improvements they’ve made to their user interface and data accuracy.
A monthly subscription gives you unlimited access to premium background reports, which have a ton of info that other providers charge extra for. It definitely ranks up there with Truthfinder as one of the best online background check sites you can use.