Instant Checkmate Reviews – User Ratings, Pricing, FAQ 2021

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Instant Checkmate Review – What does it offer?

Instant Checkmate is one of an increasing number of background check companies in the United States. The search service checks billions of public records and social media accounts, to offer a background check service that, according to the company, delivers contact information, in the form of a background report, on a person’s date of birth, address, phone numbers, email addresses, family members, social media accounts, and court records (including marriage and divorce records). This background check information is provided in the service’s Standard Report. Instant Checkmate also offers a Premium Report product, especially aimed at the business market, which includes additional information including, tax liens, business and company foreclosures, corporate affiliations, voter registration, etc. It cannot be used for tenant screening. 

The Instant Checkmate company was co-founded in 2010 by COO Joey Rocco. Since that time, thanks to positive Instant Checkmate reviews and an all-around good user experience, the product has increased in popularity.

According to the background records report company itself, the exact description of what Instant Checkmate offers is as follows: “Instant Checkmate’s Standard Report contains, where available, a person’s date of birth, phone numbers, address history, related persons, arrest records, marriage and divorce records, government license information, social media profiles including email addresses, and nearby sex offenders. A subscription with Instant Checkmate allows you to obtain unlimited Standard Reports about persons during your subscription period. After subscribing, you will also have the opportunity to upgrade your Standard Report to a Premium Report, which will supply additional and supplemental data about a person, for $19.99.

Instant Checkmate Services Review 

People Search

Searching for someone? Well, locating a person can be tricky. People get married, change their names, or move away. The person you’re looking for may keep a low profile online, and there just isn’t much information about them on the Internet.

Instant Checkmate searches for people by information that is available in public records. With just a name and location you’d be surprised by how much public data you can find on someone (and even their family members) online.

What kind of information is publicly available?

1. Contact Information

Find out where someone lives, and has lived in the past. Get a list of any potential cell or landline phone number, including that they used to have. Contact information may include:

  • A list of previous states, cities, and zip codes
  • Location history
  • Telephone number hints
  • Links to relatives and their contact info
  • Date (and place) of birth
  • Social media (possible usernames and accounts)

2. Personal Information

Instant Checkmate allows users to add the following information for people you know (including yourself):

  • Ethnicity/race
  • Religion
  • Political affiliation
  • Height and weight
  • Hair and eye color

3. Financial and Professional Data

Find out the jobs and companies that someone has worked and even find professional licenses the person has held. You can even see their estimated net worth (how much they’re worth), when available.

  • Possible occupations
  • Previous jobs (History)
  • Employer(s) (past and present)
  • AVG net worth

4. Residential Public Record Items

Wondering what your neighbors are like? Search for their name and get an expansive list that could contain:

  • Estimated home value
  • Generations in household

Criminal Records Database

Every day, thousands of crimes take place across the country. Behind every crime that is committed, lies the criminal or criminals. The criminal/s who is/are capable of striking again anytime, anywhere. A public criminal records database search is a great way to to better protect themselves and their families. Instant Checkmate complies such searches into user-friendly, informative, and affordable reports. 

Glossary

Instant Checkmate provides a user-friendly glossary. This is a comprehensive list of common, and not so common, searches and search terms in the fields of business practice, professional licences, and criminal offenses. This helps ensure that no stone is left unturned in your people search or background check.

Arrest Records

Instant Checkmate searches traffic, criminal and arrest records nationwide; a valuable resource, which allow citizens to uncover a person’s past traffic, arrest, and criminal records. Criminal records can be checked by state, as well as the arrest records for the most populous U.S. cities.

Sex Offender Database

A sex offender database is a list of personal information about convicted sex offenders. Sex offender databases (also known as sex offender registries) can be private databases, but are usually made available to the public in the form of local and federal sex offender registries.

Once found guilty and convicted of a sex crime or of attempting to commit a sex crime, the abuser is required to register with the local law enforcement agency or the Division of Criminal Justice Services right after being released. Using the sex offender registry, government and law enforcement authorities can track and monitor what sex offenders do after being released back into the community. Each state operates its own registry, while the federal government relies on a national database maintained by the United States Department of Justice. Sex offender registries maintain a residential record of convicted offenders, including individuals who have already completed their criminal sentences. Details of an individual’s crime are contained within the registry and are accessible to the general public.

Instant Checkmate searches all of these at the press of a button. They can help to ensure the safety of loved ones, provide peace of mind or validate existing concerns, and often reveal vital information on your neighbors, friends, and potential partners.

Inmate Search

Are you trying to locate an inmate, convict, or prisoner? Instant Checkmate provides a federal and state prison inmate search service. An inmate search, also called an inmate locator or inmate lookup, is a searchable online database that can help you find a person in jail. To find an incarcerated individual, you only need their full name and last known state or location. Just try Instant Checkmate’s Inmate Search to find the inmate you’re looking for. It’s free, easy to use, and you can get results in a matter of minutes. Instant Checkmate’s inmate search can also help you learn if someone is, or has been in jail. With a background report, available with an Instant Checkmate membership, you can find someone even if they’ve been released from prison.

Crimewire Blog

Instant Checkmate’s Crimewire News Blog covers all things seedy and dangerous — from big time gangsters to the crook next door. It brings you news about the latest scams, the celebrities who run afoul of the law, and the court trials that are captivating the nation. It also offers practical tips on how to protect yourself. Crimewire shows you how to lock down your online accounts, identify dangerous criminals in your life with help from public records, and apply home safety techniques that help you sleep better at night. 

Sample Report

An Instant Checkmate reports would usually include:

  • Personal information
  • First, Middle, and Last Name
  • Possible Aliases (maiden or married names, nicknames, etc)
  • Birthdate
  • Age
  • Possible photographs
  • Contact information 
  • Phone Numbers
  • Addresses
  • Email Addresses
  • Social Media and Dating Profiles
  • Criminal records 
  • Criminal and Arrest Records
  • Dates of Arrest
  • Charge Descriptions
  • Traffic Records
  • DUI Arrests
  • Other Information including
  • Bankruptcies
  • Properties Owned
  • Vehicles Driven
  • Tax Liens
  • Professional Licenses

How easy is it to use Instant Checkmate?

I checked out and reviewed the background report platform, giving my verdict. Will I count myself as one more fan of the business company’s contact information and background report records product? Let’s see…

When you go on Instant Checkmate’s website, you are prompted to enter a person’s name and state of residence- once you do so, you go through several screens that appear to download information from the platform’s databases. Stay on your Instant Checkmate screen in order to maintain the downloading. At the end, you’re able to view the person’s name, age, and current and past addresses.

The Instant Checkmate platform is fairly clean and easy to use. After receiving the preliminary information on the person you’ve been searching for, you are prompted to purchase one of the following membership packages:

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If you try to click out of the page or leave the site, you are sent to this $1 trial package deal page:

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I signed up for the 5-day trial package by credit card (Paypal is also offered). Once set up, I was prompted to download my report. Interestingly, a window that popped up recommended that I download my report as a PDF- however, had I done so, I would’ve been charged an additional $1.99.

Luckily, there is a small link below the PDF report recommendation that allows you to opt-out of receiving a PDF. Nevertheless, it’s easy to miss that warning and end up paying more money.

Before I could access my report, I was also prompted to pay additional money to obtain more detailed information, like third-party-sourced criminal records, costing $19.99. I clicked on the lightly-colored “No Thanks” button. Again, had I intuitively clicked the “Continue” button, I would’ve ended up purchasing the supplemental report.

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How accurate is Instant Checkmate?

Looking over my own report from Instant Checkmate, I found it fairly accurate on the obvious information that almost anyone would be able to locate online. The platform correctly listed my name, birth date, phone numbers (back to 1997), physical addresses (back to 1988), related persons (my parents), two of my social profiles (LinkedIn and Google+), two Web profiles (Amazon and 10digits.us), and my astrological sign. I also received a satellite map of my current place of residence, with nearby sex offenders noted and their names, offenses, and photographs provided below.

However, there was a lot of information that the platform missed. For example, I have more relatives than my parents. When I’d used other background search services, I received a long list of relatives in addition to my parents. Also, my reported social profiles could’ve easily been picked up by a simple Google search because my full name is provided on those two social media platforms. My other social media profiles (e.g., Twitter) did not show up. Also missing from the list was a Facebook page that I maintain with my full name included.

Instant Checkmate states that it provides marriage and divorce records as well as government license information in its Standard Report. This information, at least in my case, was missing from my provided report.

Some of the provided information was also wrong. For example, my Amazon page provided a completely different last name and geographic location for me. I also had several incorrect names and addresses listed.

How is Instant Checkmate’s pricing?

Instant Checkmate offers a three-tier membership platform as follows:

  • Recommended: Month-to-month $22.86/month
  • Moderate Users: 3-month membership $44.58 ($14.86/month)
  • Power Users: 6-month membership $59.16 ($9.86/month)

While the pricing structure is straightforward and you receive useful information, you don’t receive the really vital (e.g., criminal, financial) information on the person you’re researching until you pay an additional $19.99 for a Premium Report. Instead, you get very basic information in your Standard Report. And those promised court records? They’re missing.

Also, Instant Checkmate focuses heavily on getting you to sign up for that Premium Report- with prompts throughout your generated Standard Report. Be careful to not click and end up costing you additional money.

Thoroughly read and comply with the cancellation instructions provided on the site or you will end up paying for a subscription service that’s automatically billed. This will happen even if you only sign up for the month.

Finally, if you sign up for the 5-day trial, keep in mind that cancellation requests take 24-48 hours to fully process. So, if you wait until day four of your trial, you could end up paying for a full month of service.

How easy is it to cancel Instant Checkmate?

I called within hours of signing up for the 5-day trial and quickly reached a representative. I was informed that my membership would be canceled the same day and I received a confirmation email within 15 minutes of my phone call. I was impressed with the speed of service and the no-hassle cancellation process. Also, my credit card was charged exactly $1 for the trial.

Would I recommend Instant Checkmate?

From what I’ve seen, after generating a report on myself, I would not recommend Instant Checkmate at even the lower rate of $19.86/month as you receive very little information for the money you pay. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that you will obtain in-depth information by paying an additional $19.99 for a Premium Report. Given the online complaints about Instant Checkmate, you may also not receive a refund for either your Premium or Standard Report.

Instant Checkmate nickel-and-dimes you at every turn to pay more money, whether it’s for a Premium Report, a PDF, or a longer-term subscription plan. You have to be extremely careful when navigating the site to not click the wrong button and end up automatically paying an extra fee.

Instant Checkmate maintains its own customer testimonial websites that feature glowing reviews from its users. However, when you to go third-party sites unaffiliated with Instant Checkmate, the testimonials are mostly negative.

In summary, I’d recommend going elsewhere.

Instant Checkmate Reviews

There are many negative reviews and outright complaints about Instant Checkmate, with some of this even located on the company’s own Google+ page. These fall into three major categories:

  • Unexpected monthly charges, but I suspect that customers simply aren’t reading the cancellation and billing T&Cs closely enough.
  • Missing/sparse information. The information provided in the Standard Report is very general and does not provide in-depth details.
  • Limited or no refunds. The service does not refund Standard Memberships, and only the Premium Membership fees are refunded, even if the Standard Membership was purchased just minutes before the call to the service center for a refund.

What other people complain about

“You get your information, but it is too pricey.”

“Should be able to go month to month without a subscription.”

“Will follow you FOREVER with annoying pop-ups!”

“I have no criminal record but it said possible criminal record found!”

The other people love

“Very accurate and informative.”

“Customer service rep was very helpful and understanding.”

“Able to navigate this service easily”

“It does what it advertises – reveals otherwise difficult to obtain information about individuals.”

“Gave me the information for me to follow up on to make sure my child would be safe.”

Instant Checkmate Alternatives

Instant Checkmate vs PeopleFinders

PeopleFinders is many reviewers’ top choice for its easy-to-use interface, accuracy, quick search results, multiple ways to search, and affordable pricing plans. You get more information for free compared to Instant Checkmate, including age, aliases, some city/state residence history, and relatives/associates. This is important because it can help you know you have the right person before spending the money on a full report. With PeopleFinders you can make a one-time report purchase or go with one of their 2 competitively priced subscriptions. However, PeopleFinders charge a membership cancellation fee, which is pretty unheard of for online services these days.

Instant Checkmate vs Spokeo 

Spokeo shares and provides almost the same features and services as Instant Checkmate. The main difference is that Spokeo offers a limited number of searches per member whereas Instant Checkmate’s membership includes an unlimited search. Also, Instant Checkmate’s advantage over Spokeo is that it ALSO has an iOS mobile app and Spokeo only has an Android. 

Instant Checkmate vs TruthFinder

The main difference between Instant Checkmate and TruthFinder is the free people search tool that Instant Checkmate provides. Although the free option gives you only basic information such as a name, last name, and perhaps address or a phone number, it is still free. TruthFinder, in comparison, has a better rating earned through its detailed and accurate reports, but you have to pay a subscription for everything from the very beginning. 

Instant Checkmate FAQ

Is Instant Checkmate legitimate?

Yes, Instant Checkmate is 100% legit as it uses billions of only public records sources.

Does Instant Checkmate notify the person?

No, Instant Checkmate does not notify the person that you are searching.

Is Instant Checkmate easy to cancel?

Yes, very easy to cancel. Just call up and you’ll quickly be connected to a customer service representative. Membership will be canceled the same day, with a confirmation email in your inbox within 15 minutes of the call.

How does Instant Checkmate get its information?

Instant Checkmate compiles information from a huge network of public records databases, social networks, criminal and court records, and other sources for comprehensive reports in any city or state.

Sally Reiling

Sally Reiling

Sally likes to approach online dating and safety with a practical approach. There are tools out there, so she uses them. As a result she's become a bit of an expert on these things, and writes about them here at Background Hawk.
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