Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

More and more individuals check people‘s background as part of everyday life. Hectic parents do it to look into their new babysitter or nanny. Entrepreneurs do it to look into prospective partners. Employers do it to determine whether or not to give someone a job. This all makes sense: there is no reason anymore to simply take someone’s word for their background and who they are, because it is so easy and cheap to simply check whether what they say is true or not. That being said, it is important that you understand exactly what you are doing, and the following FAQs may shed some light on that.

  1. How Important Is it to Check People’s Arrest Records?

The US Department of Justice has stated that, since 2004, increasing numbers of people have been convicted of crimes in federal and state courts, now exceeding one million. Around 60% of violent criminals and repeat offenders. Furthermore, a sex offender is 400% more likely to be recidivists. When you review someone’s background, therefore, you are protecting yourself.

  1. How Do I Find Someone’s Background?

There are numerous ways to do this. The easiest is simply to enter someone’s name in Google and seeing what comes up. However, if you want to delve deeper into their past, then you will need to seek out services that look into public records, including civil and criminal records. Here, you may even find out whether someone has been involved in a scam, has been declared bankrupt, is on the sex offenders register, and so on.

There are companies that claim to offer a background check for free. If you come across one of those, it is best to check their ratings with the BBB first. Unfortunately, there are quite a number of these sites out there that have clever ways of taking your money, and you can guarantee that you will never receive a refund for that. Do a little bit of research in the background of a company before you allow them to check the background of an individual, in other words.

  1. How Much Does it Cost?

As stated, there are some free services out there, and a Google search will never cost you anything. However, generally speaking, it is better to opt for a service that charges a little fee, simply because they are more reputable. Exactly how much this costs varies, but it is never a lot. Some also offer trial memberships, or they offer group searches, allowing you to look into the background of a set number of individuals, for instance. The cost depends on which records are checked, how much information you want, and the company you are dealing with. Another reason to properly review them first, in other words.

  1. How Long Before I Get the Results?

Again, this varies on what you want to know. A very simple check usually only takes a few seconds. However, if you want to delve into people’s records into greater detail, you can expect it to take two or three days.