August 5


Instant Checkmate Review | Legit or Scam?

By Colette Murphy

August 5, 2020

Background checks are becoming a more popular way to find out more information about someone, even yourself. One of the most popular online background checking tools is Instant Checkmate, and in this in-depth look at the service, we are going to find out why so many people use it as their preferred background checker.

What is Instant Checkmate?

Instant Checkmate is a background check service that is able to dig up dirt on almost anyone in the US. If they have any events in their life Instant Checkmate will reveal it.

Does it work: Yes, suprisingly well.

I call it a secret exposing tool.

How does it work?

Simply enter the details such as first name, last name, city and Location like above. Then it will search its database like below.

It inevitably finds the person you are searching for (as long as they do not live off the grid)

Click 'Open Report' and it will bring you to the next page

You have to click continue a few times and tick a few boxes saying you agree to uncovering shocking information ect (some of this is sales). But you will eventually have to sign up.


  • 5-Day Trail - $1.00
  • Monthly Membership - $34.78 per month
  • Quarterly Membership - $27.82 per month
  • Each membership gives you access to Basic Background Checks and Reverse Email Lookups. You can also add Reverse Phone Lookup for an extra $4.99 a month to any package.

What are Instant Checkmate’s Pros and Cons?

Like any service, Instant Checkmate has its pros and cons. Here are the ones we found during our testing:


  • $1 Five-day trial
  • Lots of information from a single search
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Smartphone App for mobile searches
  • Includes Social Media accounts
  • Explains the results and information clearly
  • Multiple options when searching


  • Customer service can be hard to get hold of
  • Slow loading times on the website when searching
  • Will only refund up to 12 months of charges if you fail to cancel

How do they do a background check anyway?

Background check companies provide a person’s publicly available record, which includes addresses, cell and home phone numbers, social media accounts, and even criminal records and more, all in one convenient place.

Most background check services offer access to their database for a monthly membership fee, but Instant Checkmate is different. They offer a $1 five-day trial period, and their simple and intuitive user interface means you can get a lot done in just five days.

The information available from a background checking service is all publicly available and could be found for free from various government listings and other databases, but this would take a lot of time and effort. With Instant Checkmate, all of this information is in one place and can be searched quickly, as all the information is digitized and can be searched in a similar way to a Google or Bing search.

Does Instant Checkmate Work?

The information that background checking services hold is all the same data, the biggest differences in the services are ease-of-use and the payment plans.

Instant Checkmate has a very intuitive and easy to use interface that makes searching simple, and it displays the results clearly. It is also a reliable service, which is regularly updated and checked for accuracy. With Instant Checkmate, you can also search for a person’s information by their phone number or email address. This is perfect for researching someone when responding to a classified ad or something on Craigslist, and also for internet dating.

Doing a background check on someone you are going to meet for the first time is a very good idea if your relationship will involve love or money. There are a lot of con-people and ‘catfishes’ out there, preying on people’s hopes or dreams for their own profit.

How Much Does It Cost?

Instant Checkmate has a range of payment plans and options, which is one of the reasons it is so popular. It’s $1 five-day trial obviously attracts a lot of customers, but it also offers one-time reporting plans and a monthly subscription package. The standard report membership is the most popular and allows members to search the database by name and location.


5-Day Trail - $1.00

Monthly Membership - $34.78 per month

Quarterly Membership - $27.82 per month

Each membership gives you access to Basic Background Checks and Reverse Email Lookups. You can also add Reverse Phone Lookup for an extra $4.99 a month to any package.

Memberships can be paid by credit card or a PayPal account, and are re-billed automatically at the end of the agreed period. If you chose the Quarterly subscription package, for example, you would be billed $83.47 every three months from your initial sign up.

The $1 five-day trial is advertised a lot on the site, so make sure you have any ad-blocking software turned off when you visit if you want to take advantage of this deal. You will have to add your PayPal or credit card information to pay the $1 fee, and this account will be automatically charged for a full one-month subscription at the end of the trial period if you don’t cancel your membership beforehand. It is worth mentioning that this trial fee is significantly cheaper than its rival Truthfinders price.

After opening your account and running some reports, you will see that you can upgrade to a premium report. These higher-level reports contain information from more databases, many of whom charge Instant Checkmate for access to their data. These cost an additional $19.99 per report and can often include more in-depth financial information and history. You should be aware, however, that there is no guarantee that the premium report holds any information that is useful to you. PDF versions of any report can also be bought to download for a one-off charge of $2.99. This can be a much better way of keeping track of the reports you gather than by copying information or taking screenshots.

The Reverse Phone Lookup service is perfect for people who are receiving prank calls at home or at their place of business. For $4.99 a month, you can get an unlimited number of phone reports, getting information for every prank caller.

How To Get The Most From Instant Checkmate

It is important to remember that background checking services and the information they provide cannot be used to make legal decisions. The data you find cannot be used as evidence in a court of law. If you need to use the information you find here in a legal capacity, it must be independently verified and checked against official records, such as criminal records.

It is also improper to use a service like Instant Checkmate for any task that requires FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) compliance. This includes when making decisions about employment, insurance, tenant screening, household helpers including childminders, and for consumer credit services.

The information is for use as personal research, such as for finding contact information for lost relatives or friends, getting more information about potential romantic partners, finding registered sex offenders in your town or neighborhood, and researching adults who interact with your child, such as their friend’s parents.

How Accurate is Checkmate?

We used the $1 five-day trial to try out Instant Checkmate and found it to be very impressive. We ran a number of different types of searches and found the information provided to be accurate. Every feature of the service was tested, and they all worked well. The information you receive from sites like this should always be double-checked and verified before you jump to any conclusions.

At the end of our trial, we canceled our subscription, which was easy to do, and we were not charged further for the service. There was no form to fill out, just a simple button to press. To our surprise, our $1 was refunded to our PayPal account, so if you cancel your trial within the five day period, it should cost you nothing to try Instant Checkmate.

The level of service Instant Checkmate provides is fantastic, and the pricing structure is very reasonable considering all the data it provides you with from a basic search. The site is very reliable, though searches can be slow, and we like the reverse lookup features for both phone and email, which can provide a lot of peace of mind when internet dating or completing a transaction on Craigslist. The $1 five-day trial is also a great bonus and lets you get a good experience of the service before you commit to a subscription.

Instant Checkmate is a highly recommended background checking service, and the $1 trial makes it a no-brainer. This should be the first background checker you try.

If you're looking for an alternative I suggest you read my review of BeenVerified or check out my best background check services post.

Colette Murphy

About the author

Hi, my name is Collette, I was born, raised in New York where i still currently live. I am currently in my mid thirties and after changed career multiple times and struggling to find a passion I decided to leave the career based live behind and start an online community for like minded people. This community is a safe place for women and like minded men who want to steer clear of misogyny, sexism, degrading comments and racism. I hope you enjoy your stay.

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