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Thursday, October 6th
CheckPeople is structured like most people finding services out there. Your first search is free, and you can begin with a first and last name or a phone number. We recommend using your own information as the first search, so that you can see how accurate (or not) the results are and decide if you want to use this platform for ongoing research.
Surprisingly accurate to start
When you enter your initial search, it'll take a little under two minutes to scan through the available records. CheckPeople says this includes social profiles, relatives, court documents and much more. We found that the preliminary information we searched was right on the money: it matched the identity with the individual's current and past cities, maiden and married names, and all of the adult members of the person's immediate family.
Answer further questions
From there, click on "Open Report" . CheckPeople runs another scan across social media networks (which takes another 30-60 seconds), lists likely relatives you can opt to include in the report, and then moves on to yet another report-building page (criminal records). We also spotted another sidebar that asked if we thought the individual ever had a DUI, hidden social media profiles, or a criminal past and to click yes, no, or "I don't know" for each question.
Shocking, embarrassing, and unfiltered?
CheckPeople warns you that the person you're profiling may have user comments that are "shocking" , "embarrassing" and "unfiltered" , including "multiple criminal records" containing the name you've searched. Notice that it doesn't say those records match the individual you're looking into - just that their name has matching criminal records. The whole point is to get you hooked, and CheckPeople does a pretty good job of it.
Takes a long time to run
To save your results, you'll have to enter your first and last name, plus your email address... aaaaaand then you still have to wait for more report sections to load as CheckPeople "sorts information into an easy to read & accurate report" . All in all, it took about 10 minutes before we were taken to the final page, where we had only 10 minutes to decide if we wanted to pay $4.99 for a three-day trial that would let us see that report. The checkbox at the bottom of the payment information clearly states that if the trial isn't canceled within the three-day period, the membership will continue at a monthly price of $29.16.
Horrible reputation with the BBB
Given the accuracy of the initial name match, we might have considered paying for that limited-time offer. Unfortunately, CheckPeople has a horrible reputation. It starts with the worst possible rating from the Better Business Bureau - an "F" - due to nearly 1,000 complaints filed and the BBB's subsequent concern about CheckPeople's business practices. Beyond that, the BBB listing references a 2020 ruling against CheckPeople in Los Angeles County that required this people search platform to pay $775,000 in fines for automatically charging customers for ongoing subscriptions without their consent. Super sneaky, CheckPeople...
False and fraudulent
It gets worse. Not only are people still being billed for charges they never authorized here, but we found multiple complaints from people who used CheckPeople to look up their own profile - and discovered false reports with serious charges. Individuals with nothing more than a speeding ticket in their history are coming up with arrest records, records of being the plaintiff in lawsuits, and even a history of battery and abuse! Even people who think they're signing up for a $1 trial - should be pretty low-risk, right? - find themselves being charged $6.95 for an unexplained "PDF fee" , charged $30/month and then unable to reach anyone to follow the instructions to cancel by phone, and so on.
Run, don't walk
Is it any wonder so many customers describe CheckPeople as a scam? There are legitimate, reliable people search platforms out there - but this isn't one of them. Don't waste your time on the preliminary search here, and just go directly to one of the more reputable services in our evaluation.
There are hundreds of sites out there that promise to connect you with long-lost relatives, childhood friends, former classmates and coworkers - or to help you look into the background of someone on your radar. Most of these services utilize the same public records databases to deliver results.
So, what makes one people search platform different from the next? None of them guarantee the accuracy of their results - after all, databases can have incorrect information. But, the best services give you enough of a preview before you pay for a report that you can determine for yourself if you've found the right individual. They also may include a trial period of a few days to a week, letting you conduct multiple searches to see if you'll get what you need from their results.
Those trials typically convert to a monthly membership unless you cancel first. As you might guess, some people search providers make that cancellation more difficult than others - or they make it less likely you'll realize that you're opting into a monthly plan with your trial. Be sure to read the fine print.
Another thing to watch out for is the difference between a basic people search and a comprehensive one. What you'll get with almost every platform's initial search is just the basics of phone, address, known relatives and email addresses. More detailed information like criminal records and property ownership will almost always require an upgraded plan, either as a one-off fee for each report you want to run in-depth or as an extra monthly fee.
If you're concerned about having your own personal information available to other people conducting searches, you've got one good reason to visit every people search site, even the lowest-ranked ones: removing your own data from their records. You'll usually find that function at the bottom of the site, worded as "Opt-Out" or "Do Not Sell My Information" . Typically, you'll either enter your information and perform a basic search (no paid membership required), then click on your matching profile to request that it be removed. Finally, expect to get a confirmation email; after you've clicked on the link in it, your info should be removed within 48 hours (though, in our experience, some sites had our results gone almost immediately).
When you're trying to choose among people search providers, they all start to look the same. Confused? Don't worry! You can use these criteria to decide which one to use:
To help you find out more about virtually anyone, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular people search providers available today. We're confident that this information will make it possible to track down a long-lost relative, learn more about your prospective love interest, or see what your high school classmates are up to!
Select any 2 People Search Providers to compare them head to head