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Spokeo Review

Sunday, June 26th

2022 Background Check Service Reviews

Spokeo Review 4 Star Rating

Spokeo

4 Star Rating
  • "A" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Over 15 years in business
  • Search by name, email, phone number, or address
  • "Search Concierge" included with membership
  • $24.95/month for 100 basic searches
  • $38.95/month for 150 basic + court/historical records searches

When you use Spokeo, you'll get access to more than 12 billion records across thousands of databases. In business since 2006, this background search provider conducts a half-million people searches each day, including not-for-profit organizations and adoption search helpers in their quest for connections.

Searching takes a little more work

In comparison with other background check platforms, Spokeo's process takes a few extra steps to complete. The service lets you start your search with a name, email or residence address, or a phone number - off to a traditional start. But, when you search by name, there's no place to enter a state: Spokeo makes you go to a second page where you select a state with results matches for that name, and then browse all of them at once or refine them by a particular city. Those results may be grouped within a metro area: one background check candidate we researched was from the Orlando area, and her records were found by clicking on that city and then looking for her listing among the suburbs shown there.

Results are on the money

Fortunately, once we narrowed it down with all of those clicks, we were pleased to see that Spokeo had located the right people - and that so much detail was included to confirm those correct matches, more so than most of Spokeo's competitors. We were able to see street names, all but the last four digits in the phone numbers, and so forth.

How much does it cost?

What you'll spend to access Spokeo reports depends on how much info you need. A single name report can be accessed for $1.95. Or, you can pay $0.95 for that same report and also get a 7-day trial to check out the results when looking up other individuals. You'll need to cancel your Spokeo account before that week is up; otherwise, you'll automatically be subscribed to their $24.95/month plan. You should be aware that the entry-level Spokeo membership doesn't include all of the available records - particularly the ones that are most sought after when running a background check (court proceedings, property history, arrest records). That's an extra $14 per month, on top of the $24.95.

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Up to 150 background checks per month

If you're not paying attention, you might overlook the fact that you don't get unlimited background checks here. Assuming you're subscribing to the higher plan, you'll only get 150 searches each month (or just 100 if you prefer the basic tier of service). If you're a law enforcement officer or need to use Spokeo for your business, reach out to their customer service team to get pricing information for high-volume plans.

Costs

  • $1.95 for a name report ($0.95 on special offer)
  • $24.95/month for 100 profile views: basic info only
  • Add $14/month for court and historical records

Want some help?

Spokeo includes a "search concierge" service with every membership. If you need some assistance tracking down the right individual for your background search or you're not even sure where to start, use Spokeo's live chat, email or toll-free number to ask for help - at no extra cost.

Good reputation

Spokeo gets both an "A" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, always a good sign. You'll see quite a few complaints filed there, but reading through them it becomes clear that people didn't read the details of what they were signing up for when paying for a trial membership. That's one of the easiest pieces of information to find during the Spokeo signup process, not hidden in any way - and it's no reflection on the accuracy of the background check results you can get here.

Solid service for background checks

Spokeo delivers decent results for background checks. It's not the cheapest platform out there, but we like having an option to get in-depth information with one monthly price (instead of paying for a "premium" report every time we need one). This should absolutely be a service you consider if you plan on running multiple background checks every month.

Where Can You Get the Most Accurate and Affordable Background Checks?

You're already well aware of the fact that you can find out lots about people with a simple Google search, but what if you need to know more? There are plenty of reasons to pay for a background check, from vetting your newest love interest to making sure a childcare provider doesn't have a criminal past.

These paid platforms can access records that won't show up in a traditional search - and they save you time by pulling together information from thousands of databases into one place. When you run a background check, most services will give you two tiers of pricing: basic and "premium" . What's the difference? A basic search typically renders results showing a person's known aliases (like maiden names) and relatives, address history, phone number, email addresses, and possibly social media accounts.

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Background Check Service FAQ

The information provided by a background check is determined by the service you select. Common details include traffic offenses and arrest records, known addresses and phone numbers, property ownership and court cases. Some of the more thorough services even attempt to track social media profiles and look for the individual's presence on the Dark Web.
That also depends on which provider you use to run the check. Most services make it more affordable to pay for a month of access than to run a one-off report. For example, one service charges $29.95 for a single background check, but $29.89 for a month of unlimited reports! You can take advantage of the longer subscription terms to research to your heart's content!
There are lots of reasons you might want to do a background check. Maybe you're in charge of a membership list that has outdated information and you need to track down the new contact details for a few people. Or you might be curious about your new neighbors and want to get some insights before you reach out (though, honestly, that might be a little creepy!). Background checks can also give you some peace of mind if you're into the online dating thing, to make sure that seemingly nice man or woman really is who they say they are before you meet in person.
Usually just a few minutes. You'll enter the information you have, like name and any known addresses, and then you might be asked to provide other details or confirm preliminary results as a match.
Absolutely! It's a great way to determine what someone else might find if they check YOU out! It can also give you a heads-up if you're going to have a background check done for some official purpose, like applying to be a foster parent or for a job that requires one. If you find something in your results that's inaccurate, it gives you time to get it fixed or to prepare an explanation for your agency or prospective employer.
Yes. You may not use consumer background check services to gather information to make decisions about tenant screening, insurance, employment or consumer credit. These all require FCRA-compliant platforms, which typically involve the consent of the person being screened. If you need a background check for any of these purposes, be sure to choose a service specifically designed to be legal and compliant.
This varies widely by service. Some providers really go to great lengths to return accurate results, while others seem to just scour the internet and dump every remotely-possible match they find. It's a good idea to read reviews and check out a background check provider's reputation before paying to run reports.
Most of the time, there isn't. However, many background check services give you a free trial, ranging from a day or two to a full week. Who knows, you might even be able to get the information you were looking for in that timespan and not need to continue on as a paid subscriber!
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Continued from above...

To get to the kinds of records you've probably got in mind, like criminal and court proceedings, you'll have to upgrade to the premium service. That may be included as an add-on to a monthly subscription cost or as a one-off fee each time you conduct a search.

As you consider whether or not to conduct a background check, it's important to understand that some uses are strictly prohibited - and every service will require you to acknowledge those limitations at some point during the process (usually with an "I accept" or "I agree" checkbox). Identified as FCRA (short for Fair Credit Reporting Act), this regulation means that you can't use a background check service to influence decisions on employment, tenant applications, insurance, and several other scenarios. There are a small number of services that offer FCRA compliant searches, but expect to pay accordingly.

No matter which background check service you ultimately select, there's one good reason to visit more than one site: to protect your privacy by requesting that your own records be removed from their listings. Look for a link at the bottom of the site that says "Opt Out" or "Do Not Sell My Information" . From there, you'll either conduct a search for your own records (at no cost) or provide the URL you got when you looked up your own profile previously. Once you click the link sent in a confirmation email, it can take several business days for your info to be deleted (though we've seen it happen almost instantly as well).

With so many platforms offering background checks, which one is right for you? Keep in mind these criteria as you make your decision:

  • Accuracy of Information. Background check services don't guarantee that their reports are accurate: public records can have errors, and with common names it's not unheard of to have incorrectly-attributed results. However, some services have a better reputation for quality data. You may want to search for your own report to get a feel for how on-target your results will be if you do a background check on someone else.
  • Value. What will you get for what you spend? Is there a trial period that lets you test out the background check service before committing to a paid plan? How does that monthly fee compare with rival services?
  • Reputation. What do other customers say about their experience with running background checks with the service? Has the Better Business Bureau given the provider a favorable rating?
  • Customer Support. Some background check services let you get one-on-one help to find the information you need. Are support reps easily reached if you have questions or issues with billing?

To help you get all of the information you need. TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular background search providers available today. Are you ready to find out more about your neighbor, date, or coworker? Choose one of our highest-ranked services and see what you discover!

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