Spokeo Review: What is Spokeo and Does it Really Work?

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    Spokeo is a popular people search tool designed to track down old acquaintances or learn about the people around you. Through billions of records, the platform pulls together information to help you paint an accurate picture of others in your life. This Spokeo review thoroughly examines the platform’s features and how it provides the results you need.

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    Spokeo logo

    Spokeo Review – Our Verdict

    Spokeo logo

    Spokeo is an excellent background check service whether you’re searching by name, phone number, email address, or physical location. Few other people search tools have such a range in their capabilities. Pricing is reasonable for what you get, and you can gather up some of the most basic data on your subject completely for free.

    There are caps on the number of searches you can perform in a month, although it’s unclear at a glance what these limits are. Spokeo is pretty accurate at getting things right the first time though, with over 12 billion records to find data from.

    • Reasonably-priced plans
    • Pulls from over 12 billion records
    • Free basic searches
    • Unclear pricing model
    • Available in the US only
    • No unlimited search plans

    Spokeo at a Glance

    Unlike many other people search sites out there, Spokeo gets you results quickly. Even with 12 billion records at its disposal, you’ll have a list of applicable search candidates in mere moments.

    You can view basic information on a search subject for free, but the information here is somewhat sparse. Many fields are blurred out, and detailed data is unavailable. To see everything unabridged, you’ll need to sign up for a monthly membership.

    Screenshot of Spokeo home page

    Spokeo has only one price point, a $24.95 package for name, email, phone number, and address searches. You’ll start off with a $0.95 7-day trial and can cancel at any time.

    The site’s biggest downside is its monthly search limit. There’s no clear answer on how many reports you can run per month or how much it costs to upgrade.

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    Who Spokeo is Best For

    Having knowledge about those around you can keep you and your loved ones safe. Anyone can use Spokeo to look up information on neighbors, colleagues, or someone they met online. The site reveals questionable past behavior and criminal records that could be serious red flags. Spokeo can’t be used to screen candidates for employment, tenancy, or financial services.

    Spokeo Pricing

    To find any price information on Spokeo’s website, you first have to start up a search. After entering a search subject based on one of Spokeo’s available criteria, the service will quickly track down your data. Clicking on one of the names meeting your search parameters takes you to some very basic information you can view for free.

    If you want a detailed report, choosing “unlock profile” takes you to a payment page as a new user. From there, Spokeo informs you that a one-week trial membership costs just $0.95. In the fine print, the site lets you know that you’ll receive a bill for $24.95 per month after the trial concludes.

    Spokeo’s help center mentions casually that a subscription has a maximum number of searches available each month. It goes on to say that you can upgrade your plan to increase this limit but reveals no potential costs for doing so.

    Spokeo Features

    There’s a lot you can do with a Spokeo membership. Read on to learn about some of the platform’s top features.

    Spokeo People Search

    The Spokeo search tool enables you to locate lost friends and family with no more than a name. It will find anyone in the United States with that moniker and reward you with a list of those individuals. If you have a previously-known location, Spokeo will be able to narrow down your search that much more.

    Choosing a name reveals any phone numbers and email addresses connected to the individual, along with all the places they’ve lived. You’re also made aware of any social media profiles the person has.

    Screenshot on the Categories of personal information available on Spokeo

    If you’re looking for background information, Spokeo shows employment and education history. It will also show accessible court records from any state in the country, making it one of the best background check services out there. The people search can help you screen online connections and avoid going out with potentially dangerous individuals.

    Keep in mind the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) doesn’t let you use Spokeo for certain purposes. You can’t use the site to make determinations on employment, lending, or selecting a tenant for your rental property.

    Run a People Search with Spokeo

    Spokeo Reverse Phone Lookup

    Decipher the person or business calling you at all hours of the day with Spokeo’s reverse phone lookup. With just a ten-digit number, the platform can provide the caller’s name, location, and whether you’re dealing with a cell phone, landline, or VoIP. If the system flags the number as spam, Spokeo will show you comments on the number from other Spokeo users.

    Screenshot of Reverse phone lookup on Spokeo

    Run a Reverse Phone Lookup with Spokeo

    Spokeo Email Search

    An email search locates the name of the sender and any other available contact information for that person. The report will also link any social media accounts and personal details of the person on the other end of the message.

    Screenshot of Reverse email lookup on Spokeo

    For individuals you’ve met online, the email search can discover if the person’s being honest or fabricating parts of his or her story. It can also deter you from scams or see who a partner’s been chatting with.

    Run a Reverse Email Lookup with Spokeo

    Spokeo Address Search

    Spokeo’s address search lets you obtain information on the inhabitants of a particular property. You can discover who lives at the location, contact info, and criminal records for anyone inside.

    Screenshot of Reverse address lookup on Spokeo

    You can broaden searches to check your neighborhood for safety concerns or sex offenders living nearby. Knowing potentially dangerous areas can keep you and your loved ones out of harm’s way.

    The address search also helps potential homeowners learn the property details of a home in question. While real estate reports only provide so much, a Spokeo search can alert you to issues you weren’t aware of. You can also get a feel for a neighborhood and whether or not it’s a good place to live.

    Run a Spokeo Address Search

    Free Basic Searches

    Spokeo doesn’t offer the option to pay upfront for searches. Instead, your initial search will lead you to basic information on the person or location in question. It will then point you toward the option of paying for more details.

    You’re more than welcome to remain on the basic information page and browse everything made available there. The snapshot blurs out some lines of text, but it may reveal enough to provide whatever data you’re looking for. At a glance, you’ll know some address history, family members associated with your subject, and whether they have a criminal record.

    Fast Results

    Most people search sites slog through data while up your search subject. Along the way, pop-ups ask additional questions you’ll have to answer. These prompts may help narrow down results, but can delay the process if you’re not paying attention. When all’s said and done, it feels a bit over the top.

    Luckily, this isn’t the case with Spokeo. Type in your search criteria, and in seconds, you’ll have results on your screen. You may have to scroll through a list to find the right John Smith, but at least this is something you can control.

    Wealth Data

    Wonder how much one of your coworkers makes? Spokeo is one of the few sites to share wealth data on a person in question. You can see income information from jobs alongside investments and financial interests your subject pursues. A search also shows any property the target owns and the approximate value of each place.

    Mobile App

    Users can download the Spokeo app to track down people while on the go. After installation, all of Spokeo’s features are instantly available no matter where you may be. The app searches the same databases and will even locate any missing information from your phone’s contact list. Through constant monitoring, you’ll be the first to know if one of your friends changes emails or gets a new cell phone number.

    The Spokeo mobile app is currently only available for Android devices. Support for other devices is coming down the line.

    Alternatives to Spokeo

    If Spokeo doesn’t resonate with you, here are some alternative people search services to consider instead.

    Truthfinder logo

    TruthFinder goes deeper than Spokeo, allowing you to check the dark web for stolen personal data. Discovering you’ve been subject to identity theft early on can minimize damage to your finances and credit score.

    The site has both people searching and reverse phone lookups to pull together data on a target. These reports may not scour as many records as Spokeo does but still produce accurate results most of the time. Unlike Spokeo, there’s no limit to the number of searches you can perform in a month.

    If signing up for two months at a time, it is possible to purchase TruthFinder for as low as $23.28 per month. There’s no option for a trial membership or refunds. TruthFinder does charge an additional $4.99 per month for phone number searches.

    Where Spokeo’s searches are lightning-fast, TruthFinder takes the long route to get your answers. The site throws additional questions your way as it searches, but many steps don’t seem to add much weight to the outcome. All in all, the entire process takes several minutes to complete.

    • Proprietary dark web scanning
    • Reasonable pricing for phone number lookup service
    • Unlimited reports
    • Must get a monthly subscription, no individual reports
    • Only includes results from the United States
    • Over-the-top process to obtain results
    Intelius logo

    It’s hard to top Intelius’s search prowess, perusing billions of records like Spokeo to pull together information. The service is very easy to use, with separate tabs dedicated to people search, reverse phone lookup, criminal records, and the like.

    Intelius stands out for its address search feature, similar to what Spokeo brings to the mix. Looking up a property can tell you about previous owners, revisions to the home, and what its value should be based on several conditions.

    Adding features like reverse phone lookup or address searching increases the overall cost of the package. Two months of people searching goes for as low as $21.13 per month, but adding extras can bring the price up to $34.95 per month. You can download reports for a $3.99 upcharge.

    To keep yourself safe online, Intelius offers an identity protection program for $9.95 monthly. This system monitors your credit for strange happenings and alerts you immediately if something’s amiss. When battling against identity theft, there’s up to $1 million in insurance coverage available.

    • Unlimited searches
    • The site is easy to navigate
    • Address and property searches
    • Other services come with additional fees
    • Hard to understand pricing options
    • Reports are sometimes lacking
    Instant Checkmate logo

    Instant Checkmate loves locating criminal activity and does it well. With so many government databases at its fingertips, you can learn all about the past of your neighbors or that potential love interest with a few keystrokes.

    Where Spokeo’s searches are fast, Instant Checkmate can take an eternity to provide results to your inquiry. You’ll need to be present for a search in case Instant Checkmate asks you additional questions to narrow down your search.

    Anyone constantly on the go will delight in Instant Checkmate’s mobile apps. The platform offers a search tool for both Android and iOS with the same functionality and results as the desktop application. With unlimited searches, you can look up that unknown number the moment you get the phone call. 

    You’ll have to buy a monthly membership to use Instant Checkmate, and prices aren’t cheap. A single month of reports will set you back $35.12, but those willing to pay three months at a time will only pay $28.09. Features such as phone reporting and dark web monitoring cost extra.

    • Accurate criminal and background checks
    • Dark web monitoring
    • Handy mobile app for Android users
    • Overbearing search process
    • Expensive membership fees
    • No option to pay per report
    Peoplefinders logo

    PeopleFinders is no stranger to the search business, having over 20 years of experience helping people reconnect. The site uses more than 120 billion records to help you find individuals you’ve lost touch with over time.

    You can generally obtain good results with nothing more than a first and last name, but knowing where someone lived at some point helps that much more. If you only have a phone number or address, PeopleFinders can work with that also.

    Strangely enough, PeopleFinders doesn’t use social media when checking for results. Conversely, Spokeo is quite good about leafing through these platforms for additional data.

    One month of PeopleFinders is the same price as Spokeo at $24.95. Through a current introductory offer, you can sign up for just $19.95. Three and six-month memberships bring that price down to $12.95 or $9.95 per month, respectively. PeopleFinders also offers a premium membership for $29.95, providing more detailed results.

    • 20+ years of service
    • Quality service
    • Easy to use
    • Requires a premium membership for comprehensive reports
    • Available in the US only
    • Doesn’t search social media

    Spokeo Review – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Still have questions about how Spokeo works? This FAQ serves to answer some of the most common questions about the service.

    Bottom Line on Spokeo Review

    Spokeo can work wonders for anyone searching by name, address, phone number, or email. The platform looks through billions of records before providing a detailed report on its findings. You can see basic reports without paying a penny, but it will require a membership to have an unobstructed view of all available data. Since Spokeo is not FCRA-compliant, remember not to use the service for business-related inquiries.

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