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Summary

Been Verified incorporates a wealth of good features and manages a seamless blend of tech and old fashioned leg work that gives you a wealth of info and the ability to dig really deep.

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BeenVerified: Overview

Over the years, background check websites have transitioned from entertaining curiosities into extremely effective tools for looking up all kinds of information. Leading the pack is BeenVerified (www.beenverified.com), a New York company founded in 2007 by Ross Cohen and Josh Levy.

Through its existence, BeenVerified has become one of the top background check websites on the internet by expanding its array of features and widening the informational database at its disposal. Along with its famed people search, BeenVerified offers a slew of handy features that cater to specific needs.  As of 2020, BeenVerified gets 10 million visits a month and has a subscriber base topping 100K.

BeenVerified delivers search results by combing a vast database of aggregated public data from dozens of sources and includes public records, criminal history information, property records, social media accounts, and more. Although this data is publicly available, having it all accessible in one place is very convenient. 

Is BeenVerified free to use?

BeenVerified is a subscription-based service: in order to take advantage of the service’s main features, you’ll need to purchase a membership, as none of them are free to use. However, the benefits of a subscription are generous, with members being granted unlimited background reports, phone lookups, email lookups, criminal records, and more.  Overall, it’s a great value for the money. 

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How does BeenVerified work?

BeenVerified gathers a wealth of information from thousands of public sources and makes it available in one place, allowing users to collect data with a single search that would otherwise require hours of independent research and multiple trips to courthouses, public records repositories and other places where records are stored.  

Even though it seems far-fetched considering the depth of information delivered in the company’s background reports, BeenVerified’s data derives solely from aggregated public records.  

Where does BeenVerified get its information?

BeenVerified’s data is culled from many disparate sources, including: 

  • Federal, state, and local public records repositories
  • FBI  and local crime data
  • U.S. census data 
  • Consumer reporting agencies
  • Commercial business data, i.e., magazine subscription lists and property records
  • Financial institutions like banks and credit unions
  • Social media accounts 
  • Court records

Could I track down all of this information without using BeenVerified?

While hypothetically speaking, you could gather any public information delivered by BeenVerified on your own by visiting county clerks’ offices, courthouses, police stations, and other record-holding institutions, it’s such a hassle to pay service fees, fill out forms, and sit for the mandatory waiting periods that it pays to have everything accessible in one place. 

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BeenVerified Features

BeenVerified advertises seven key features on its website. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

People Search

BeenVerified’s people search is the service’s main draw and perhaps the best of its kind on the web, returning heaps of publicly available information on any individual you perform a search on. 

How does it work?

Type in a person’s first and last name, along with any additional basic information that you have on hand that might yield better results, such as a date of birth or approximate location.

What info does it return?

BeenVerified returns a comprehensive report on the individual that may include the following information:

  • Names and known aliases
  • Age and date of birth
  • Current address
  • Full address history
  • Phone numbers
  • Possible relatives
  • Email addresses
  • Criminal history information
  • Sex offender information
  • Court records
  • Marriage and divorce records
  • Available photos
  • Tax records
  • Social media profiles

Reverse Phone Lookup

Receiving phone calls from unknown numbers–including prank calls and scams–is a nagging issue that everyone must contend with, but, thankfully, BeenVerified’s reverse phone lookup feature can help identify the culprits behind these calls. 

How does it work?

Type in the phone number of an unknown caller and BeenVerified searches billions of data points for information on the caller.

What info does it return?

BeenVerified returns any available background information on the identity of an unknown caller, including: 

  • A name 
  • A business name 
  • Location
  • Age of the individual
  • Email addresses attached to the number
  • Social media accounts attached to the number.

Unfortunately, the reverse phone search is not as effective as the people search since, by design, there’s often not much publicly available information for many unlisted numbers or random cell phone numbers. 

Reverse Email Lookup

Inevitably, email inboxes get filled up with emails from unknown senders, as the spam folder can’t catch everything. Similar to the reverse phone lookup, BeenVerified’s reverse email lookup reveals information on an unrecognized email address, letting you know if the sender is legitimate or a scammer. 

How does it work?

Type in an email address and BeenVerified scans its vast database for information about the sender. 

What info does it return?

BeenVerified returns information on the identity of the unknown sender of an email, including: 

  • Name of the person or organization tied to the email address
  • Social media accounts have been set up using the email
  • Personal information about the sender of the email

Reverse email lookup is a handy tool, allowing you to verify whether a person or company is legitimate or a scammer. It’s much more effective than a Google search in determining the identity of an email sender, and their motive for contacting you in the first place. 

Reverse Address Lookup

Another invaluable tool available to BeenVerified members, the reverse address lookup returns comprehensive information about any United States address you wish to learn more about.

Why use reverse address lookup?

Whether you want to gather data about a property you’re looking to purchase without contacting a realtor, learn more about your new neighbors, or would just like to get a better sense of a particular neighborhood, the reverse address lookup is a useful tool for any purpose. 

How does it work?

Type an address into the search and BeenVerified scans its records database for information on the home or business.

What info does it return?

  • Physical details about the home, such as when it was built, square footage, and the number of rooms 
  • Details about the people that live at the address, or have lived at the address in the past 

Username Search

Similar to the reverse email lookup, BeenVerified’s username search allows you to look up a unique username tied to a social media account or message board in order to learn more information about the person or organization behind the account. 

How does it work?

Type in a social media account username as it appears on a social media site and BeenVerified searches tons of social media sites, message boards, and chatrooms to collect information tied to the username.

What info does it return?

BeenVerified delivers a report with any data that can be attributed to the username, including:

  • Information about the individual or organization behind the user name 
  • Content posted by the user, including posts and photos

Compared to other BeenVerified features, username search is limited in scope, yet effective in what it aims to accomplish. 

VIN Number Search

This tool allows you to look up the VIN number, or vehicle identification number, of a specific vehicle to learn detailed information about a specific vehicle and its history. 

How does it work?

Type in a vehicle’s 17-digit vehicle identification number and BeenVerified scans its database for information associated with the vehicle. The VIN is located on the front area of the dashboard of the driver’s side. There should be a metal plate with the VIN engraved near the lower righthand corner of the windshield. 

What info does it return?

The VIN Number search returns any publicly available records tied to a vehicle, including:

  • Accident reports
  • Safety recalls 
  • Estimated value
  • Ownership history.

BeenVerified’s VIN number search is a must for anyone in the market for a used car. The tool can help you separate out any lemons and give you a more concrete understanding of a vehicle’s value and history.

Unclaimed Money Search

Many U.S. citizens are completely unaware of unclaimed money in their name. It’s easy to forget about an overpaid utility bill, lost savings bond, or an unclaimed tax refund, and private companies and government agencies would like to keep it that way. 

How does it work?

BeenVerified’s unclaimed money search combs scores of data sources to find out if there’s any unclaimed cash out there with your name on it, allowing you to start on the path to collecting funds that rightfully belong to you.

What info does it return?

The search returns any unclaimed money in your name so that you can contact the agency or company and collect the funds.

BeenVerified Mobile Apps

Along with the features available on the web, BeenVerified has also released mobile apps for iPhone, Android, and Apple Watch that allow subscribers to take advantage of BeenVerified tools and searches while on the go. 

What features do the apps include?

The BV mobile apps include all the features available on the website, and store past reports so that you can pull them up whenever necessary.

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Is BeenVerified legit?

The short answer is yes, BeenVerified is a legitimate company that is clear about its data sources and the services that it offers, and no, it’s not a scam. However, there are limits to public data, and reports delivered by BeenVerified are not always completely accurate, leading to some consumer dissatisfaction with the company and its service. In fact, there are many dissatisfied customer reviews on websites such as the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs.

However, many of these claims stem from unrealistic expectations about the product or involve personal vendettas people have with the company stemming from situations where information has been incorrectly attributed to them via BeenVerified reports. 

By approaching BeenVerified with a certain amount of skepticism and being aware of the service’s limitations, you’ll have more realistic expectations about what to expect. 

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BeenVerified Pricing 

BeenVerified memberships come in two “value plans”:

  • 1-Month Membership – $22.86 a month
  • 3-Month Membership – $14.86 a month 

BeenVerified does not have a tiered membership model and there is no difference in features between the two pricing plans. However, purchasing a 3-month membership for $52.44 results in 45% compared to paying the 1-month membership fee for 3 months. All memberships are identical and come with unlimited searches, lookups, and background reports. 

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Customer Support

The BeenVerified customer care team is almost always available and attentive to customer concerns. Their customer support phone line is open 7 days a week for 17.5 hours a day, and representatives respond promptly and thoroughly to customer queries sent through the site or to the support team’s email (support@beenverified.com).

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • People search returns detailed, comprehensive reports
  • Membership offers a wide array of features
  • Straightforward pricing model
  • Relatively transparent for a background check company
  • Quality mobile apps
  • Attentive customer support

Cons

  • Occasional long waiting times for search results
  • Search results are not always accurate
  • No free trial on offer

Wrapping Up

Internet background checks are now big business, and BeenVerified is one of the top names in the industry, delivering a reliable service and a slew of features for a fair price. 

It’s important to note that BeenVerified shouldn’t be used for tenant screening or employment background checks, which is illegal according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), but it’s a great service for tracking down long lost friends, updating contact information, or answering additional questions about the people in your life.

As long as you are aware of the limitations of the public data that BeenVerified uses to deliver reports and don’t mind a few inaccuracies or fruitless searches here and there, the company offers a solid product that compares favorably to those of its competitors. 

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Karen
 

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