An SSN search is one of the cornerstones of any people search or background check. Most often, SSN searches are conducted by members of law enforcement, lawyers and private investigators. Investigative journalists with access to social security numbers may also run an SSN search if they’re trying to get a complete background on their subject (or subjects). If it’s good enough for the professionals, an SSN search is probably right for you – depending on your purpose for searching.
The information typically found in an SSN search report is public records information. That is to say that it is information technically available to the public at a county/state courthouse or other government office (if you know where to look). The type of public record information available can vary somewhat from state to state, but it generally contains criminal records, marriage/divorce records, judgments/liens/bankruptcy records and more. In an SSN/People Search report, you’ll also receive an address and phone number history (including current address and phone number history) as well as associates and possible relatives based on these historical records.
The challenge for the average person trying to run an SSN search is that many companies that create the public records databases have a stringent application process before allowing you to run a search of your own. Similarly, you can commission a lawyer or private investigator to run a search for you, but you’ll likely be paying hundreds of dollars for the privilege.
Fortunately, that’s where people finder companies come in. For around $10, you can run a people search that will get you all the up to date public records available instantly and anonymously. And – while SSN searches are available – you can get a complete background check without a social security number by using just a name and last known city/state. The people search databases and sources of information they use are the same as those used by legal professionals and new records and pieces of information are added daily.
With that in mind, there are some instances when an SSN search – even one with a publicly available people finder company – should not be used. Not surprisingly, SSN searches with an intention to harass, stalk or intimidate are illegal.
Less obviously, SSN searches to check the background of a prospective tenant or employee are also illegal except by an FCRA-compliant search company (and with the permission of the person being searched).
But for any other reason – finding a lost friend/relative, reconnecting with an old classmate/roommate, or just plain curiosity, you’re all set to see what your SSN search with get you.