You can never be too safe these days, and in order to protect yourself you need to know who and what you can trust. One of the best ways to find out if you might be putting yourself in harm's way is to run a background check. A little research can go a long way--and whether your query is in regards to a person, business, service, or consumer product, you'll get some peace of mind once you've cleared any suspicion. Listed for you here are 5 places where you can do a background check, and each and every one of them is free.
Better Business Bureau - The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a trustworthy source if you're looking for background information on businesses or charities--and their site is totally free for consumers to use. The BBB provides reports on both accredited and non-accredited businesses, and in order to stay neutral, businesses are never endorsed or favored--just reviewed. The BBB's main objective is to make sure that all businesses are held to certain standards so that consumers can make smart spending decisions with confidence. They work hand-in-hand with law enforcement agencies in order to prevent and stop fraudulent activity--and the BBB is often the first to know about scams and other suspicious business practices. If you would like to do a background check on a specific business or charity, simply do a search by name, website URL, phone number, or email address. The BBB reviews and reports on consumer complaints as well as court actions against businesses and charities.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission - Before you invest any of your hard earned money, you may want to do a background check on your broker or investment adviser using the SEC's free website. All brokers, investors, investment advisers, and firms must have proper licensing, and anyone can verify that this is the case by doing a little digging. The SEC website provides all the links you'll need to find out not only about licensing, but also about complaints, problems with other investors, regulation violations, and educational and employment backgrounds of investment professionals. Find out all you need to know about brokers and investors before trusting them with important financial decisions--otherwise the money you've worked so hard for could end up being lost forever.
Lifescript Doctor Review - Finding a doctor that you feel comfortable with can be tricky--but if you can find out a little bit of information beforehand, you'll probably feel a whole lot better. This website allows you to search for a specific doctor using his or her name along with a city, state, or zip code in which they practice. Search results bring up the physician's number of years of experience, specialty, office location, educational background, licensing information, types of insurance accepted by his or her practice, and disciplinary actions taken against them, if any. If you decide to make an appointment, follow-up on the website after your visit to leave feedback for the doctor that you were seen by. Your review may help others who are looking for a trusted physician.
Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website - This site, put together by the U.S. Department of Justice, provides information on registered sex offenders within the 50 states as well as in all U.S. territories. The site is free to use, and on it you'll find a comprehensive search tool to help you find out if someone you know is registered as a sex offender. This is a valuable resource for conducting background checks on baby-sitters, nannies, neighbors, employees, and more. If you are a parent, this site is one you should consider book-marking for future reference.
Safercar.gov - Background checks aren't strictly reserved for people--they can be done on vehicles as well. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) backs this free site for consumers to research the safety of vehicles, tires, child restraints, and more. If you're in the market for a new vehicle, you might find the site's 5-star rating system to be helpful. You can also use the provided search tool to find out about vehicle or equipment complaints, safety recalls, defect investigations, and important service bulletins. Another great search feature found here is the Child Safety Seat Inspection Station Locator for consumers who need advice or assistance with child restraint seats.
Written by Jean Clark. Jean writes for BackgroundCheck.org, a site that educates people about background check procedures.
I'm Louida from Atlanta, Georgia and I'm a mother of two daughters, blogger, and full time working mom at a Business Consulting Firm.
I love helping others learn how to start working from home on the internet free to supplement their current income.
I also blog at Productreviewmom.com
Subscribe to newsletter
Grab my Badge