Instant Checkmate Review: Are Their Background Checks Accurate?

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Computer screenshot of Instant Checkmate homepage (caption: Instant Checkmate Review)Searching for a long lost high school friend? Not sure if the person you met on a dating site is legit? You can find a lot of information on just about anyone in the U.S. by using a people search and background check website like Instant Checkmate. With lots of similar sites vying for your business, how does Instant Checkmate stack up against its competitors?

Visit Instant Checkmate’s Website

Article Overview

What Is Instant Checkmate?

Instant Checkmate is a people search tool that scans millions of public records and online profiles to build custom background reports. These U.S. records have been filed or recorded by local, state, and federal agencies and are available to the public.

Instead of spending hours upon hours going to courthouses and agencies to physically search all of these records, sites like Instant Checkmate make it easy to find them in once place.

You can search for anyone in the U.S. by name, city, and state, and it’s all done anonymously. Instant Checkmate doesn’t notify the person that you’ve run a search on them.

While you can use Instant Checkmate for a variety of reasons, the site explicitly states that you can’t use it for consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance. You can use Instant Checkmate to research:

  • Lost family and friends
  • Unknown callers
  • Potential customers or business associates
  • Online sellers
  • A potential date

Instant Checkmate

4.4 / 5
Instant Checkmate
Customer Service & Support 4.6
Price 4.0
Data/Intelligence 4.5
User-Friendly 4.4

Pros

  • Clean page design with no distractions
  • Good bit of free information
  • Mobile apps for Android and iOS
  • Links at the bottom of the page allow user to navigate to full explanations of criminal records
  • Unlimited standard background checks with subscription
  • 5-day trial for $1

Cons

  • No pricing available without considerable wait time and giving up your email
  • Time delays in running a query
  • No one-time purchase options (monthly subscription only)
  • Hefty $19.99 upgrade fee for each premium report
  • $2.99 fee per report to download a PDF

Key Features

  • Ability to search millions of property, historical, business, consumer and court records, and social networks
  • Reverse phone lookup
  • Search pulls up name, age, aliases, residence history and possible relatives for free (this way you can be pretty sure you have the right person before forking over money)
  • Requires a monthly subscription (can cancel anytime)
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Customer support via phone 7 days/week
  • Company makes charitable contributions to nonprofits

Price

Instant Checkmate offers a 5-day trial for $1, but it’s not transparent on their website. They only offer this if you pause too long on the checkout page. So if you want to take advantage of the trial, wait a few minutes and this option should pop up.

Standard Background Reports

  • $34.78/month for month-to-month subscription
  • $83.47 for 3-month subscription
  • $4.99/month for reverse phone lookup
  • View all options

Standard background check reports may include:

  • A person’s date of birth
  • Phone numbers
  • Address history
  • Related persons
  • Arrest records
  • Government license information
  • Social media profiles including email addresses
  • Nearby sex offenders

Premium Background Reports

Once you sign up for a subscription, you have the option with every query you run to upgrade to a premium report for an additional $19.99 per report. Instant Checkmate says that premium reports contain more information; however, you won’t know if their database can find additional information until you’re already paid for the premium upgrade.

Premium background check reports may include:

  • Everything in a standard report
  • Criminal and arrest records, traffic violations, and civil judgments
  • Tax liens, foreclosures and Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings
  • Corporate affiliations and business associates
  • Property ownership and vehicle information
  • Neighbors
  • And more

What Do People Think Of Instant Checkmate?

Positive Reviews

My wife and I have subscribed to Instant Checkmate for business and personal use. We’ve found this service superior in every way to similar online companies. Regrettably, we had to cancel our memberships today, and this was accomplished quickly and efficiently by your customer service representative Christie. – Thomas C., BBB 7/2/2020

Overall good experience. I’m revising my review. I was able to resolve my billing issue with customer service: they were very responsive which was appreciated. I was able to accomplish what I was looking for. The information was better than one of their competitors. Could improve searches of social media accounts. – Colorado Christmas, Trustpilot 11/26/2019

Negative Reviews

I would leave NEGATIVE stars if that was an option. I was conducting research on an individual in connection with a civil litigation proceeding. Instant Checkmate fraudulently indicated that there were 10+ criminal records pertaining to the individual whom I was investigating. That was the only reason I opted to sign up for the month. After being misled and fraudulently induced into purchasing a report, I discovered the individual actually had 2 traffic violations. Had I known that beforehand, I would NOT have purchased a report from them. I notified them of this and requested an immediate refund… Then they continued to charged my credit card over 37 dollars for two more months, even after they stated in writing that my account was cancelled and no more charges would be placed on my credit card. – Melina C., BBB 6/10/2020

My honest opinion is that this site isn’t very helpful. I found almost as much information on Zaba Search and it was free. – Daryl L., Trustpilot 10/24/2019

How To Opt-Out

Don’t want your information on Instant Checkmate? It’s easy to opt-out. On its main screen, scroll down to the bottom menu. Click on “Do Not Sell My Info” under Quick Links. Then enter your name, city, and state and click “Search.”

The site then will pull up your name, age, aliases, residence history, and possible relatives, so you know you’ve got you. Then all you have to do is click on “Remove This Record” next to this information.

Our Final Verdict

Visit Instant Checkmate’s Website

We think Instant Checkmate is a solid contender as a people search site. It doesn’t get as many bad reviews as many of its competitors, especially when it comes to information accuracy. Inaccurate information is a common complaint with all of the people search sites because they all use third-party databases, and data can often be incorrect or missing.

It does take a longer than average time for Instant Checkmate to run their search, and the pricing is higher than average — particularly if you want to upgrade to a premium report. You may be able to find that same information on another site for just the cost of the monthly membership rather than having to pay extra.

If you want to see how Instant Checkmate compares to its competitors, check out our reviews of the best background check services. We give you pros, cons, pricing, and more for many sites.

Which background check service would you recommend?

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations in the late 1990s, Sally began a long career researching and writing about business, technical and scientific topics.

Her decades of experience as well as a passion to stay on top of the latest online tools and resources combine to help small businesses (and freelancers like herself) flourish. Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

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