Peoplelooker is proud to offer some of the most affordable, reliable, easy-to-use, background check services available. Our customers have found that we are a great resource for completing everyday background checks that help them lead happier lives and feel more confident about some of their everyday decisions. For example, customers use us to look up lost relatives, scope out online dates, monitor personal identities, updating contact lists, looking up phone numbers and so much more. However, there are federal laws prohibiting the use of certain public information in some scenarios. We take these laws very seriously, and our customers should as well.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you cannot use Peoplelooker or any other general background check service for:
Hiring Household Workers
Business Transactions Initiated by an Individual Customer
In order to use public information to make these decisions, you must access the information through a Consumer Reporting Agency. There are four major Consumer Reporting Agencies: Transunion, Equifax, and Experian all focus on credit and finances, while GoodHire focuses on employment screening background checks. A complete list of Consumer Reporting Agencies can be found at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The main difference between a background check service and a Consumer Reporting Agency is that a background check service compiles publicly available information about people, while Consumer Reporting Agencies work directly with creditors to get non-publicly available information about people.
Can I use Peoplelooker to check out my babysitter’s background?
No. While people understand that an employer cannot use Peoplelooker when making employment decisions, they often fail to look at themselves as employers. The FCRA’s prohibitions extend to household workers, which means that nannies, domestic workers, lawn workers, and caregivers for the elderly are protected by its provisions. While it might be tempting to do a quick background check on someone who will come into regular contact with your loved ones, if the person will be an employee, you have to comply with the FCRA’s rules about background checks.
Can I use Peoplelooker to check out the adults around my kids?
Sometimes. We have already explained that you cannot use Peoplelooker to check out people who are your employees, and many people who come into contact with your kids will have some type of employment relationship with you. However, if you are making a decision about whether to put your child in a club and want to check on the background of the volunteers for the club, you can use Peoplelooker. Want to see if driving records are clear before signing yourself up for a work carpool or arranging a carpool for your children? You can use Peoplelooker for that.
Can I use Peoplelooker to check out a potential roommate?
The answer to this question is yes, but it is a qualified yes. You can use Peoplelooker to check out potential roommates as long as you are not leasing to the roommate. However, if you own the property or are the named person on the lease and are subletting to the tenant, then you are in the position of landlord. Landlords’ use of public information for decision-making purposes is governed by the FCRA, which means that landlords need to use Consumer Reporting Agencies to check out potential tenants.
Can I use Peoplelooker to check out a potential business relationship?
Once again, the answer to this question is complicated. You cannot use Peoplelooker to make employment decisions, if you are the one doing the hiring. However, a potential employee could use Peoplelooker to check the background of a potential employer. Furthermore, you absolutely cannot use Peoplelooker to assess creditworthiness or whether a person is a considered a good insurance risk. You also cannot use Peoplelooker to determine whether a person meets the terms of an account.
Can I use Peoplelooker to check out someone I am dating?
Yes. Many of our customers use our services to run background checks on people that they meet in online dating sites or simply when they do not have friends in common with a new romantic interest. Peoplelooker can provide a wide range of information that can help you ask the right questions about a potential new love interest, such as marital status, whether he or she shares an address with other adults, whether he or she is a parent, and even a criminal history. However, Peoplelooker should never be a substitute your own judgment, even if there are no red flags in a person’s background check.
Can I use Peoplelooker to find a lost love or an old school friend?
Yes. Many people use our service to reconnect with old friends, whether it is looking up a current address for a holiday card list or reconnecting with a childhood best friend. However, be honest with yourself about whether a person wants to reconnect with you. If you are engaging in behavior that would be considered stalking or spying, especially behavior that is prohibited by law, using a background check service does not make the behavior any less wrong.
Can I use Peoplelooker to do background checks on buyers or sellers on online sites like eBay and Craigslist?
Yes. While the FCRA governs how businesses use background checks to make long-term business decisions, a consumer can use background checks to help verify the identity of buyers and sellers on sites like eBay or Craigslist.
Besides the examples above, there are other prohibited uses of PeopleLooker. You cannot use PeopleLooker to contact people against their will, spy or stalk someone, or steal an identity.