What to expect when ordering FREE

Background Checks



Background Checks can be an important tool for landlords and employers, and when searching for background checks online, they will find offers of "FREE" background checks time and time again. One would then ask, why pay for a background check from a company such as AAA Credit Screening Services when you can get a free report from one of these other companies? These companies make it look so easy, you just type in a few details and your result are a mere click away! Or is it?

Unfortunately many of these websites are misleading; they will allow you to initiate a search for free, show that there are records associated with a particular individual's name, and when you click on the name, they prompt you for payment to see the full report leaving you without the necessary information and wasted time on what you thought was a free service. Having accurate information is critical when using criminal background checks for employment or rental purposes and ensuring that the correct person has been identified such as Susan D. Peters vs. Susan L. Peterson. It is also important to be able to identify whether or not the person has been convicted of a crime, or if the charge were dismissed and the level of the offence, a traffic violation or a violent felony. There are often cases of mistaken identity when criminal background checks are not run through legitimate background screening companies using the applicant's social security number, date of birth and full name.

background checks
Legitimate background screening companies are required to determine the client's (landlord or employer) intended purpose for the reports requested. These "free" sites are very vague when it comes to the purpose or scope of the results that they are offering. It could be anything from a public records search, motor vehicle search, or a county criminal report. This can leave the customer without complete information, such as a full national criminal record report.

"Free" background check reports present another problem in the form of often-overlooked disclaimers. They allow you to search for a name on their home page, and the only reason that they are allowing that is the fine print that they place at the bottom of the page which include wording such as: "You may not use our reports for consumer credit decisions, tenant screening or pre-employment background checks or any other purpose where you are required to be FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) compliant. This concludes that unless you are trying to look up your neighbor, boyfriend or yourself, you or your company can face litigation when using the reports obtained from that site. Why? Because they don't require the applicant's authorization to run a background check, which violates the FCRA - they require an applicant's authorization before providing customers with criminal background checks, credit reports, etc. Another reason is that these databases aren't reviewed, unlike the ones used by legitimate background screening companies. Reviewing these databases help ensure the most accurate, up to date information.

You get what you pay for - using a free background screening site may seem like a good idea to save money, but in the end, it is not worth the risk. You may not get any information of actual value, information may be incorrect because of incomplete identifiers, searching the wrong databases or not searching for the correct record type. This makes the reports useless and a waste of your valuable time and in the end the "free" company will likely ask for a credit card number anyway for a report that you cannot use for legitimate purposes.

What separates companies such as AAA Credit Screening Services (AAACSS) and these so-called "free" services is the quality and accuracy of service and reports. AAACSS has in house staff providing customers with consultation on the best reports to be run given the employer or landlord's needs and confirms the intended purpose of the report being obtained ensuring FCRA compliance on all reports furnished to customers. There are no hidden fees, and customers only pay for the reports that they agree to have run on applicants. All reports are reviewed before it is sent out to customers confirming the accuracy of information and friendly customer service personnel will gladly assist customers with reviewing their reports.


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