Spokeo Review – How to Do a Legit People Search in 2021

My Review of Spokeo

What does Spokeo Offer?

Spokeo provides people search and background check information on individuals’ White Page listings, social network profiles, emails, usernames, phone numbers, court records, historical records, and other public records. Easy to use, you just input one of several different qualifiers to start your people search: name, email, phone number, username, or geographic address….and receive very rapid search results information. Spokeo even offers a one-month free trial, allowing the customer to see if it’s the people search and background check service for them.  

Spokeo describes itself as the most popular free people search and background check service in the United States.” Spokeo aggregates and organizes vast quantities of people-related public record information from a large variety of online and offline sources, more than a billion records. The public record data is amassed with lightning speed and presented almost instantly, and the people search results presented in an integrated, coherent, and easy-to-follow format.

With Spokeo’s revolutionary people finder, you can locate virtually any one of the 300 million people living in the U.S. within seconds. Spokeo offers to find your long-lost friend or your loved one by entering his/her full name, email address, or phone numbers. Spokeo will then return that person’s available address, email, phone, photos, and any other public record information. Have trouble remembering the last names of people? No problem! You can even browse through the Spokeo people search directory by locating the first name first, then the last name second.

My Review of Spokeo-1
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Spokeo Features Review

Standard People Search Options

Background check search by name, phone, address, or email to look up information about people you know such as yourself, friends, family, acquaintances, and old classmates. Confidentially search for personal information including phone numbers, address history, social media profiles, email addresses, and more. 

Access available criminal records or historical records like marriage licenses, for additional fees. Verify facts to void catfish and other scams by verifying info from people you meet online. Stay safe by searching criminal records (upgrade required) to be aware of any potential threats. Search yourself to find out which elements of your digital footprint are viewable by others.

Geo-grouping Algorithm

Spokeo offers a unique geo-grouping algorithm, which organizes the results of its search and background check by location and makes searching for people easier. The geo-grouping algorithm organizes the search results based on geographical location. For example, if you are trying to find John Smith, you will get better results from your Spokeo people search, if you enter the state where he lives. 

Spokeo has been improving its user interface, adding features such as the Table of Contents, aiming to make it as easy to use as possible. There’s also an import feature, which can be found under the Friends tab. This feature will import your email address book and social network contacts, organize them into a friend list and alert you of your friend’s updates on the web. Use their easy geo-grouping algorithm to locate phone numbers or email addresses and get in touch with a long-lost relative or friend.

Spokeo Connections

Spokeo Connections is a social media tool that collects all your friends’ various social media profiles, photos, and posts and displays them in a single location. This allows you to view your friends’ latest updates across all social media platforms. It groups all your friends’ social media profiles in one place. That way you can keep up with all of their updates, without switching between profiles. There’s currently a 30-day trial offer of Connections while purchasing Spokeo membership.

When you purchase a Spokeo subscription, you may also see the sign-up offer for Connections. The first time you use Connections you’ll be prompted to upload your contact list. Select the correct domain for your email address and continue as directed. Once your contacts have fully uploaded, you’ll see the most recent updates from your friends and acquaintances in the right-hand column. From there you can select a person to see their updated information and latest posts.

More than just helping you find connections by its background check service, Spokeo has awarded eight deserving students with scholarships to pursue higher education through an online essay contest with its Spokeo Connections Scholarship program.

Public Search Directory

Spokeo is the most popular free people search engine in the United States. Spokeo aggregates and organizes vast quantities of people-related information from a large variety of public online and offline sources. The public data is amassed with lightning speed and presented almost instantly in an integrated, coherent, and easy-to-follow format. With their innovational people finder, you can locate virtually any one of the 300 million people living in the United States within seconds. Use it to find your long-lost friend or your loved one by entering his/her full name, email address, or phone number. They will then return that person’s available address, email, phone, photos, and any other public information. If you do not remember the person’s name, you can browse through the following people search directory by locating the first name first, then the last name second. 

The database contains millions of public records from a variety of different resources. It receives thousands of searches each day. Based on what’s happening in the news for a given week, we will see certain names beginning to trend. Stay up to date with the latest trends with this list of the hottest searches this week. Whether you are doing a search and background check for a phone number or a long-lost relative, Spokeo can help you find the people that you’re looking for. A leader in the people intelligence industry, it is the go-to site for people reconnecting with lost loved ones and fighting back against scammers.

Identity protect

Select memberships come with Spokeo Identity Protection benefits, the protection starts with monitoring the information that you provide. With the Identity Protection Membership, add as many email addresses, bank accounts, and credit cards as you’d like to start monitoring. The information you provide will be regularly monitored so that you can take action to secure your identity. The new Spokeo identity protection tool actively scans the Dark Web for your personal and financial information, allowing you to monitor and protect yourself if your information has been compromised. 

The Dark Web is a hidden network of websites not visible to conventional web search engines like Google and Bing. Access to it requires knowledge of specific server locations and may not even be available to a traditional web browser. Programs such as TOR can be used to randomly bounce encrypted traffic around the globe to provide anonymous access. The Dark Web is widely known for providing a platform for illegal and criminal activities. Reports have shown that cybercriminals were found selling millions of stolen credit card records on the Dark Web.

You will receive alerts as soon as we detect that your information appears in the dark web – an indication that your information may be compromised or illegally traded. You will also be informed when there is a major data breach. Alerts will be sent to the email address associated with your account. You will also find them on your dashboard under Personal Identity Protection and Financial Monitoring. For select memberships that come with Identity Protection benefits, identity recovery insurance is available to you as part of your Identity Protection benefits.

Crime and Court Records

Spokeo’s Crime and Court Record Search allows you to browse court data from over 600 million records originating from 1400 courthouses across the U.S. The search results may include a description of the offense, the date, and location of the offense, a disposition date, sentencing information, filing date, case number, and more. Once your payment to one of their paid plans is processed, you can immediately access the Spokeo Crime and Court Record database, which is available within each report. Additional fees apply for a single report. Available records include arrest records, misdemeanors, traffic violations, disposition dates, offense types, sexual offenses, felony convictions, and case numbers.

Regularly Updated Reports

For over a decade, Spokeo’s cutting-edge data technology has delivered the most detailed public records information available at a very competitive price. Spokeo receives thousands of searches each day. Based on what’s happening in the news for a given week, certain names beginning to trend. Like Spokeo, stay up to date with the latest trends with this list of the hottest searches that week. 

A leader in the people intelligence industry, it is the most popular site for people reconnecting with lost loved ones and fighting back against scammers. As well as an easy-to-use website, a team of Customer Care Search Experts is standing by 7 days a week to assist you. They also have one of the most detailed social media search experiences on the market today.

Reverse background check

You can reverse background check people with Spokeo’s Reverse Email Search and Reverse Username SearchIt provides search results on 100+ publicly accessible social media network platforms. Among those platforms are dating profiles such as Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Match.com, and Ok Cupid. Make sure prospective dates are telling the truth about their identity and marital status. Enter your partner’s known email addresses to search for any dating profiles or unknown social media accounts. Look up neighbors to see what they’re up to online to help keep your family safe. Look up the email owner’s name, location, social media profiles, and other personal info. Reverse Email Search can provide:

1.Owner’s Details

  • Full Name
  • Age
  • Relatives

2. Digital Footprint

  • Social Accounts
  • Dating Profiles
  • Photos

3. Contact Info

  • Location
  • Phone Numbers
  • Secondary Emails

4. Personal Details

  • Estimated Income
  • Property Ownership
  • Interests

Upgrade your search to an Enhanced Report to access marital status, criminal history, and much more. 

Identifies unknown calls, texts, and emails

The Spokeo reverse background check tools can help you to identify unknown calls, texts, and emails that you receive. Their Email Search sifts through hundreds of sources for the owner’s name and social media profiles and, where available, combines all the data into one easy-to-understand report. Look up any email to see who owns it and to search for more information on the owner. Avoid internet scammers by running a check on any suspicious email addresses you come across online.

Spokeo’s mobile app, for Android only, even helps you screen calls by viewing a caller’s name on your screen. You’ll be able to identify your unknown missed calls, possibly scammers, fraudsters, telemarketers, and debt collectors. You can decide to ignore them, manually block unwanted callers from your contact book, or block all unwanted calls.

Spokeo Review – How easy is it to use?

Inputting a person’s everyday public record qualifier, such as their full name and/or contact information. Spokes then conduct a people search and background check of over a billion records such as phone numbers. It provides to the customer the results information in a quickly generated search results page. These search results show basic public record information about people being searched.

Additional data, such as the person’s social media profile(s), public records historical records, neighborhood information, etc., are provided in their own unique blocks, which you click on to populate the information about people.

When I attempted to click on any one of these blocks, I was prompted to sign up for a monthly membership of three or six months.

After the free trial, Spokeo payment plans are as follows: Currently, it’s $4.95/per month for the 3-month membership and $3.95/per month for the 6-month membership. Although not overtly advertised, Spokeo also offers a $19.95 per single month plan.

My Review of Spk-2

Admittedly, these are some super cheap monthly plans for a legit Spokeo people search and background check service.

Even better, when I tried to leave the Spokeo site at this point, I was provided with an offer to try the service for a super-low $0.95 weekly trial period. I decided this was a great bargain, so I used my credit card to sign up for the 7-day trial.

At this point, Spokeo allowed me to finish my initial name search.

How accurate is Spokeo?

My first concern with using Spokeo was when I examined the information provided to me on a person I know very well. I found that the search page results contained several incorrect values, namely for this person’s age, current phone number, and birthday.

The only accurate piece of information was their current physical location.

My Review of Spk-3

Regarding this person’s family, Spokeo listed only one family member, even though I know that their rather large family lives in and around their current geographic location. Many of those family members even share their last name.

When I researched the one found family member, I saw that the Spokeo report on him was also inaccurate for critical information like a current address. This was surprising to me, and as a customer, because that family member has been living at the same residence for the last eight years.

I also searched on my own name and, although Spokeo did list my current and past addresses correctly, it assumed that I was residing at a house I sold nine months ago. As a customer, this made me wonder how often Spokeo updates its data banks.

I then tried to perform a more in-depth Spokeo background check search for my court records. I was not allowed access to those records unless I paid a $2.95/month fee or a one-time search fee of $49.95.

My Review of Spk-4

This additional fee surprised me because, at least in my experience, such public records are very easy to locate online. In fact, most U.S. states offer this for free via online databases or through the Freedom of Information Act online/paper request.

My Review of Spk-5

When I tried looking for my own public photos and social network profiles, I was again blocked and prompted to pay a monthly or one-time fee.

The Spokeo site has tabs at the top that can be used to search for someone based on their name and basic contact information.

On a whim, I decided to input that of my search person’s to perhaps locate more information on him. When I did so, Spokeo tantalizingly informed me that this person had shopping and dating site profiles available. However, when I tried to access that information, I was again prompted to pay Spokeo $4.95/month for this extra info or $4.95 for a single email report.

Also Spokeo reviews and offers neighborhood data, including average property value, average household income, and top area occupations. I found much of this data to be irrelevant to the kind of information most people would be looking for in a Spokeo legit people search and background check. To begin with, this kind of information generally has nothing to do with people of interest. Personally, I see it as filler that is easy, and for free, available elsewhere.

My Review of Spk-6

At this point, there was no further information I could extract from Spokeo on my person of interest or on myself.

Spokeo review: Advantages

All basic searches are free of any cost. Spokeo uses a wide variety of search options to help you get the information you need. Using billions of public records: property records, social networks, consumer and business records, just by the most basic information of:

  • First and/or last name
  • Email address
  • Mobile number
  • Other contact numbers
  • Physical address
  • Profile usernames for social media and dating profiles

Numerous Spokeo background check reviews have testified that users could find the person they were looking for by only inputting limited information. The following data can be obtained:

  • Contact information similar to the above
  • Personal details (birthday date, marital status, education background, interests)
  • Location history (current and previous addresses, neighbors)
  • Social media accounts (usernames, dating sites, gaming and app accounts)
  • Financial data (estimated salary, investments, properties owned)
  • Family background (marriage records, family members, birth records)
  • Using court records, Spokeo can even unveil Any criminal records, sex offenses, and DUIs

The Spokeo people search tool can be used for a variety of purposes:

  • Avoid being scammed by an online seller
  • Track down family members and long lost friends
  • Stop unwanted calls and texts
  • Protect your own online presence
  • Identify unknown calls and texts
  • Background check suspicious email addresses
  • Connect with potential customers and grow sales
  • Verify who lives at an address
  • Check your spouse’s online activity and whether they are cheating
  • Verify social media profiles
  • Access employee’s monitor usage, search reports, etc. as a business

It’s easy to search any name in Spokeo’s database, provided that you know the person’s first and last name and the state in which they currently live, or a state where they have previously lived. Results are quick to appear, and, when we searched a few names, there were little to no profile duplicates. When associating public record information to individuals, some people search services will mistakenly create two different reports for the same person.

This happens, for example, when a person has one or more aliases. The layout and the organization of the information in a report are easy to browse and find. Despite the hit-or-miss nature of a people search service, it manages to include some interesting information in its reports. Such information included astrological signs, wealth data, and interests. I also like that PDF versions of reports are available, for those who want to save the results on their computers or who prefer printouts. 

In reviewing people search services like Spokeo, I prefer subscription models to single report payments, simply because of the implied risk that the report that you intend to purchase may not be the one you’re looking for. It offers unlimited searches for a single monthly price, which means that you can see the information of more than one report. This comes in handy when you’re performing a people search on someone who has a very common name. 

To cross-reference any information you find in a people search report, you can search for a phone number, address, or email address to whom that information belongs. 

By using Spokeo’s online legit people search and background check service, members are able to obtain numerous background reports, to protect themselves from online scammers and fraudsters. People who want to track down family members or lost friends will also benefit from using it. Spokeo has reported that the service can be used to look for lost friends or loved ones, check spouse’s online activity, or prevent fraud.

Spokeo is 100% legit as it only uses billions of public sources for what it guarantees is always an accurate people search and background check. It is an affordable service, with a quick sign-up process, and offering a one-month free trial. With additional add-ons that can be purchased, all Spokeo subscription plans can be canceled at any time, no questions asked. 

Spokeo review: Disadvantages

Despite its advantages, there are obviously some disadvantages too. While it’s easy and quick to perform a people search, it was disappointing that searching was not more flexible. You need to search for a full name – first and last  – in order to get people’s search results. Searching for a single name will yield results for usernames and social media accounts that match. Searching for a first, middle, and last name will likely yield inaccurate results as the last name will not be included in the results. If you’re searching for someone with a common name, you’ll have to know which state they reside in or a state where they have previously resided – there is no other way to refine results. 

The information in the reports was by far the most disappointing feature of Spokeo’s people search service. For half of the reports, the information was generally sparse and any data in the reports were either outdated or inaccurate. For the remaining half, information in the reports was either inaccurate and outdated. Years-old, in fact. Addresses were not updated, phone numbers were incorrect, interests were unfounded, and wealth data did not seem to be based on anything other than real estate information and the residential address on file. Marital status was also wrong in one of the searches. In review, you have to account for the inevitable error here and there, but are Spokeo’s too inaccurate, many, and numerous? 

While most of the basic information in a people search report comes with the subscription price, there are some unexpected add-ons that come at a cost.  Criminal and court records, historical records (birth and marriage records, for example), and the PDF download of a report require payment. Many people search services that offer this information with a subscription. Furthermore, these add-ons were not advertised as extra costs upon sign-up.  

Spokeo gathers information from countless sources and combines it for you to browse through. Whilst the initial one-month trial is free, there are various paid subscription-plans to receive anything and everything more than the most basic of information. In addition, there are also further one-off charges for the most specific services. For example, you’ll be charged $2.95 extra for court records search and historical record search.

One main disadvantage is that Spokeo is only available in the U.S. And with the legit aim of using billions of public sources, Spokeo only provides background screening based on information gathered through these public records. Spokeo is not accredited by the FCRA law (Fair Credit Reporting Act) and can’t be used to screen potential employees or tenants.

It should not be used to determine an individual’s eligibility for employment, credit, insurance, or tenancy. Also, anything else falling under the FCRA law (Fair Credit Reporting Act). Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency under the Fair Credit Reporting Act guidelines. You may not use the service or the information it provides to make decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance. And remember, that Spokeo only provides and does not evaluate or verify the data collected. 

Spokeo Reviews

I searched, compiled, and have summarized other Spokeo reviews so that you can read what other people say about Spokeo.

The consensus is that Spokeo is a decent platform when it comes to searching for people, in the U.S. only, and most effective when it comes to finding friends or relatives, accessing background information, and filtering unwanted calls. Numerous Spokeo background check reviews have testified that users could find the person they were looking for by only inputting limited information. Another great thing about Spokeo is that it allows users to remove data they don’t want to share with the public. 

However, for deep background checks like criminal records, Spokeo is not that effective. This is partly down to their own marketing decision and strategy, emphasizing all of the positive reasons to research people and downplaying the Information Age’s darker sides. Sure, there’s some criminal info available on Spokeo, but the company’s website sends the clear message it would rather bring people together than keep them apart. Some searches don’t even provide fully accurate or even up-to-date information. There are a lot better sites out there for ‘digging up dirt’ on people if that’s what you need in a background check. But, if you’re more wondering what happened to an old friend or need to locate a family member you’ve lost touch with, Spokeo is perhaps the best, and cheapest, way to do it.

There are also many complaints seen in Spokeo reviews by customers regarding their billing practices – payment automatically renewed and you will be charged within 7 days until you cancel your subscription. 

In general, online Spokeo reviews are positive and any complaints appear to have been resolved promptly with satisfactory customer service. Other complaints are from non-members who requested that personal information be removed. Some Spokeo reviews state that the information provided isn’t accurate. Other than that this is a useful site and fairly easy to navigate.

What other people complain about

  • “I got a text from a strange email account and was trying to do a reverse email search. Spokeo said they had results but that I had to pay for them. After paying with my credit card I found that there were actually no results! They did refund my money but they cannot refund my wasted time.”
  • “I bought a single report for 0,95 USD. I had to pay to see that they found no records about my query. Later they are trying to charge 24,95 USD in my bank account.” 
  • “Finally, Spokeo made a refund for the monthly subscription and sent an email about it. Anyhow, I found that they should tell that the report is empty before they charge you for it.”
  • “I signed up for a Spokeo free trial which I canceled after an additional two months, using their ‘cancel any time’ offer. They continued to bill me which I didn’t catch right away.” 
  • “I took my phone number in and it said a different location and it said a different Carrier. It said AT&T. I have Verizon.”
  • “While Spokeo is ‘no-frills’ and easy to use and navigate, results are a best outdated and inaccurate, and at worst non-existent”

The other people love

  • “Whenever I need to look up information Spokeo is my go-to. You get information, not just promises and sites wanting you to pay more for information they really don’t have. If I don’t want to continue the subscription I always cancel in advance I’ve never had a problem.”
  • “They went well above and beyond my expectations.”
  • “I needed to find out some contact information about a person. The steps were easy to follow and my contact with the office was very professional. It was easy to sign up and also easy to discontinue if I wanted to.”
  • “During two recent conversations with customer service, I was greatly helped. Too complicated to explain: which speaks, in and of itself, to the terrific skills of the customer service staff to be able to resolve my issues.” 
  • “Whenever I need to look up information Spokeo is my go-to. You get information not just promises and sites wanting you to pay more for information they really don’t have. If I don’t want to continue the subscription I always cancel in advance I’ve never had a problem”
  • “Blocking unwanted calls. Spokeo serves the purpose that I subscribed to it for. I do not answer my phone if I do not recognize the number, so that sets me up to possibly miss important calls. With Spokeo, I can research the number after the call. Spokeo lets me know if the call is political, sales, robocall, or no name calls so that I feel safe in blocking those numbers from my phone.”

Spokeo Alternatives

Spokeo vs PeopleFinders

PeopleFinders is many reviewers’ top choice for its easy-to-use interface, accuracy, quick search results, multiple ways to search, and affordable pricing plans. You get more information for free compared to Spokeo, including age, aliases, some city/state residence history, and relatives/associates. This is important because it can help you know you have the right person before spending the money on a full report. With PeopleFinders you can make a one-time report purchase or go with one of their 2 competitively priced subscriptions. 

A big plus is their 3-day trial for a minimal fee of $0.95 for basic people search functions and $3.95 for full background checks. However, PeopleFinders charge a membership cancellation fee, which is pretty unheard of for online services these days.

Spokeo vs BeenVerified

BeenVerified shares and provides almost the same features and services as Spokeo. The main difference is that Spokeo offers a limited number of searches per member whereas BeenVerified’s membership includes an unlimited search. Also, BeenVerified’s advantage over Spokeo is that it ALSO has an iOS mobile app and Spokeo only has an Android. On the other hand, Spokeo is rated higher in online reviews.

Spokeo vs TruthFinder

The main difference between Spokeo and TruthFinder is the free people search tool that Spokeo provides. Although the free option gives you only basic information such as a name, last name, and perhaps address or a phone number, it is still free. TruthFinder, in comparison, has a better rating earned through its detailed and accurate reports, but you have to pay a subscription for everything from the very beginning. 

How is Spokeo’s pricing?

I had been assuming up to this point that the extra fees were being tacked on because I was currently on the cheap $0.95 trial plan. However, after reading Spokeo’s terms of use, I realized that those extra fees were a part of their regular pricing plan. So, in addition to paying $3.95, $4.95, or $19.95 per month for basic personal information, you also pay extra for any extra/add-on search service.

For example, here is the legal disclaimer located at the bottom of my prompt to purchase the email service. Such disclaimers popped up for any and every “add on” service.

I agreed to the Terms of UsePrivacy Policy, and Plan Specifications. I understand I will be charged $4.95 today for the Email Search Subscription. On the 30th of March, I will be billed $19.95 for my current subscriptions; and every month thereafter, I will be billed $24.90 for my current subscriptions plus the Email Search Subscription, until I cancel.

Something else that I discovered is that Spokeo places monthly search quota limits for members who have premium subscriptions. Within this imposed quota, unused searches do not roll over into the following month. All searches count towards this quote, even those that provide few or no results. However, members can increase their monthly quota by upgrading (i.e., paying more for) their Spokeo accounts.

My Review of Spk-7

How easy is it to cancel Spokeo?

Spokeo members can cancel online by going into their accounts and hitting “Cancel” on whichever Spokeo service they no longer want. You can also cancel by calling the general Spokeo customer service phone number, open 7 days a week from 5 am to 8 pm, but the phone tree recordings “nudge” you to go online.

My Review of Spk-8

Once you cancel a Spokeo service, you receive an email confirmation of the cancellation.

 My Review of Spk-9

Overall, it’s a pretty straightforward process and terms are explained very well on the Spokeo website.

Is Spokeo Legit?

Yes. Spokeo is a legitimate information-gathering service that only uses information that is already publicly available, so it does not breach any laws regarding confidentiality. The company simply takes the legwork out of finding public information, by gathering and aggregating it into a neat profile. For those who use it, Spokeo is a safe and confidential way to find this information.

Would I recommend Spokeo?

Yes, but you have to be aware of the various charges involved. If you want to use Spokeo people search and background check, it IS possible to cancel later, so don’t expect to stumble upon a scam.

There are many shady people search engines out there, and there are many legit ones that will charge you. The lines are sometimes blurred between the two because of this. Just because Spokeo wants to make money out of its service, doesn’t mean you should avoid it. If you have a need, it will do the job.

Give Spokeo a try here.

Spokeo FAQ

Is Spokeo trusted?

While reviews of Spokeo are mixed in terms of consumer satisfaction, which you could extend to mean that it isn’t universally trusted in the success of its results. However, there is no doubt that it is trusted in the regard that the platform, your information on it, including financial for paying for the service, are safe and secure.

What Can Spokeo tell you?

Spokeo provides people search and background check information on individuals’ White Page listings, social network profiles, emails, usernames, phone numbers, court records, historical records, and other public records. 

Is Spokeo Legal?

Spokeo only access information from publicly available sources, which means that they can’t access private information such as text messages, call history, and emails. The data has a lot of uses, from helping businesses mitigate fraud to finding long-lost family and friends.  However, they are not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Because of this, people cannot use the data to make any decisions about employment, housing, or any other purpose covered by the FCRA.       

Sally Reiling

Sally Reiling

Sally likes to approach online dating and safety with a practical approach. There are tools out there, so she uses them. As a result she's become a bit of an expert on these things, and writes about them here at Background Hawk.
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