Instant Checkmate is advertised as a source for obtaining personal background information online. Read Instant Checkmate reviews from editors and readers.
About Instant Checkmate
InstantCheckMate.com was registered on 6/17/2010. It accesses a variety of public records in order to create the reports it offers. These include “reports from millions of public records including information provided by state and local governments. All of the information contained in our reports is part of what is referred to as the ‘public record.'”
Anyone can request to have their information removed from the database via their opt out form. They have free and expedited options for this.
How much does Instant Checkmate cost?
InstantCheckmate.com is free to search. You can run searches on the site but if you want to access the reports, however, you’ll have to register and pay for it.
- 1 Month: $22.86/mo
- 3 Months: $14.86/mo
- 6 Months: $9.86/mo
- Single Report: $29.95 (This option was available in early 2013, but we are not seeing it in early 2014)
Before they even show you the prices, you must agree to a variety of warnings, such as the “shocking” nature of the reports and agreement not to stalk anyone. You also must give your email address first. After all of these reports are run – and the promise that you’ll get a reported emailed to you – what is eventually emailed, however, is a link to their search page.
If you attempt to navigate off of the page requesting payment, you will likely be given a pop-up offering you a 5-day trial for $1. Be careful, though, as they will charge your credit card for a subscription at the end of this 5-day period.
Performing a search on Instant Checkmate merely entails entering a person’s name, location, and age if known. A search screen then appears stating that such things as online activity, speeding tickets, arrest records, misdemeanors, felonies, lawsuits, marriage records, etc. are all being accessed.
You’ll then be given a results page which shows possible matches. The information shown is the age, location, possible relatives, and what information can be accessed for that individual. If you click on “Access Report,” more search screens appear, such as a social media report (below) which appears to search about 10 major social networks.
We ran reports on ourselves and the information that was returned contained a mix of accurate and inaccurate information. It seemed to confuse some people with other individuals of the same name, and listed relatives that did not exist. The more common the name, the more likely it seemed to contain incorrect information.
Our readers have expressed three primary complaints about Instant Checkmate: Incorrect information, billing issues, and customer service.
Incorrect or missing information
As we discovered in our tests, information may not be as accurate as one might hope. It’s unclear how much of this is in the control of InstantCheckMate.com. We’ve also seen traffic tickets show up as criminal results. There seemed to be a big problem with relatives, as they were quite inaccurate.
One concern which is definitely within the control of Instant Checkmate is that of billing. The biggest complaints we received revolved around the inability to cancel membership, or being charged even after canceling.
Complaints regarding customer service run the gamut, from rude to non-cooperative to difficult to understand.
Other Online Reviews
Instant Checkmate is featured on a number of other websites.
- Consumer Affairs gives the site a 3.5 star rating as of September 2014.
- There are nearly 300 reports filed on Ripoff Report. Many of these involve billing and recurring payments.
- Webutations gives the website a 70 out of 100, with downgrades for “Webutation Reviews” and “Web of Trust.”
- Scambook lists over 100 complaints unresolved.
If you decide to use Instant Checkmate, view your reports very carefully, and be sure to keep a close eye on your bank statement. Don’t expect to have “free” reports emailed to you.
Your Instant Checkmate Reviews
Have you used InstantCheckMate.com? We want to hear from you in the comments below.
Originally published April 13, 2013
Updated September 24, 2014