Many public records search sites offer background checks for several times the cost of a simple address and phone number check.  Most are legitimate, useful sites, a few are not.

Of course, the honest ones are offering what seems like quite a bit more information for public records background checks, over a simple name and address request.  Is it worth the cost?

Well, maybe.  But, certainly not if it’s a scam site.  There are things you watch out for to tell the difference.

First, look at the information they are offering. Some of it may be valuable to you, and since that information would be difficult for you to dig up on your own, it would certainly be worth the price, if you need it.

But, the information you might want only covers a few items, while the list of data you are being offered has quite a few more items on it, very likely information that isn’t really worth the extra cost.

So, weigh that cost against the what the value of that information is to you, then decide.  For some, it’s a bargain.  For others, maybe more than they really need.

But, if it is something you need, you also ought to be aware of scam operations.  Some shady sites are just out to get your money.  Here are some tips on how to avoid them.

Avoiding Public Records Background Check Scams

Most of the People Search Enginges offer legitimate services for reasonable prices, but some are completely misleading.

Usually, you just enter the names, addresses or phone numbers of the person you are looking for and you get a list of names that may or may not contain the the person you are looking for.

You look over the list which provides FREE information on the city, age and possible relatives of people with the name you’re looking for. You should not be required to pay anything for this list at this point. All information provided in that initial list is free.

However, the critical information that you want is usually not provided and is not free. You pay a small, very reasonable price to get the missing information on that list, the actual phone numbers and addresses.

When you pay that fee, you get all the missing information, usually the phone numbers and street addresses, for the whole list, not just one person on the list. That is because you still don’t know for sure if the person you seek is on that list or not, so you get the whole list, usually for ten bucks or less. That’s a reasonable cost for the convenience of using the huge databases provided by honest Public Records People Search engine sites. 

For public records background check scam sites, even fifty cents is too much.  But, once you get hooked by these sites, you’re going to be charged ten times that.  Watch out for these guys!

There have been many complaints against companies that pull stunts like telling you that the person you seek is in their database and charge a fee up front before you see any information at all. Does that sound like something you want to do? You have no information at all, no city information, no age information, no possible relatives, nothing.

How can that site tell you they have your target person and then charge you before you see any proof. You don’t even know at that point if the site you’re using has access to any database at all.

Another give-away that identifies a scam site is their prices. They promise you the moon for only about three or four times the cost from legitimate sites. 

But, don’t confuse the cost of a background search offered by legitimate sites with the price of merely obtaining phone numbers and addresses. Obviously, background searches cost more, usually around $25 to $40 or more.

Don’t pay scam sites that want money up front after they pretend to do a search for you, then come back telling you they found your person, but don’t show you anything. You should get a list of names of possible targets that might contain the person you are looking for, but there is a lot of FREE information on that list to help you decide whether your target person is on the list or not, before you pay for the final bits of information.

That is what the legitimate sites mean by a free search. Obviously, the honest services can’t provide their services for nothing, there is a cost to those business to actually put together their huge databases and to run the business.

But, they are still legitimately giving you a lot of free information before you pay their small fee at the end of your search efforts.

You are indeed getting a lot of good information for free to help you track down the people you are looking for. Use that information intelligently before you pay anything and the cost of your investigation will be well worth the convenience of using the pay databases.

There are lots of highly useful and legitimate public records people search engines to choose from. Use them all to find the ones most useful for you and avoid the scammers. Use your head and the scam operators should be easy to spot.