Spokeo Review

Ideal For

  • in-depth social media network searches

Pros:

  • Search by social media network username

  • Access to more than 65 social media networking sites

  • Real time searches

Cons:

  • can only carry out a limited number of searches each month

  • some search options are hard to locate

The Bottom Line

Ideal if you want to look up people who live outside the US

Why Go With Spokeo

You can try Spokeo for seven days for a staggeringly low $0.95, so taking it out for a spin is really a no-brainer. But if that’s not enough, we’ll give you two more reasons: it’s fast and the monthly subscription fee is super affordable.

Speed

The speed at which a background check website turns up results depends on the software that powers the search engine. When you run a search, the engine has to go through millions or even billions of records in order to find a match. Sometimes, this can mean a long and frustrating wait.

Not so with Spokeo. The technology behind their search algorithm is designed to go through billions of bytes of data at record speeds. Unsurprisingly, you can turn up a detailed report in under five minutes.

It’s super affordable

Spokeo’s subscription fees are some of the lowest on the market. You can get it for as low as $19.95 per month when you pay for six months up front. That’s a lot of bang for your buck.

What They Offer

  • People search

  • Background search

  • Criminal records

  • Reverse phone lookup

  • Reverse email search

  • Social media search

More Reasons to Choose Spokeo

Spokeo isn’t just fast and affordable, it’s also really flexible. The service has a total of six types of tailored search you can run. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can either get the broad strokes on your subject’s background or hone in on specific information such as court judgements and arrest records.

What’s more, because Spokeo searches the web for any traces of online activity - including blog posts, photos, and online shopping accounts - you can find information on your subject even if they have no public records in the US. This is really handy if you’d like to get in touch with someone you’ve met whilst abroad, or even an acquaintance who moved to a new country.

And if you’re technically minded, you can also keep up with Spokeo’s development team as they innovate and improve the website’s search engine technology. Follow their regularly updated tech blog for the latest on their adventures in web and software development.

Search Results

Whether you’ve paid for one month, three months or six months up front, Spokeo will afford you the same level of functionality when it comes to search results.

All reports will turn up the following basic information about your subject, that is:

  • Name

  • Address

  • Phone Number

  • Email Address

  • Age

  • Marital Status

  • Education Level

With that being said, what other information you turn up will largely depend on what kind of search you run.

If you’re looking for information about your subject’s online presence, reverse email searches and username searches are your best bet. These types of search will turn up:

  • social network profiles

  • dating website profiles

  • blog posts and photos

  • videos

  • product reviews posted on online shopping sites

If, on the other hand, you want to find out more about an unknown number, a reverse phone lookup is your best bet. This should turn up information about the person the phone is registered to and also information about the network carrier, great if you want to get in touch to complain about a caller who’s been harassing you.

As you might expect, criminal searches will turn up the most detailed information. Your report will include arrest records, court judgements, sex offender records and even information about any outstanding warrants. You may also be able to turn up information about marriages and divorces.

Accuracy of Results

Spokeo doesn’t collect information in its own database. Instead, it trawls through records in real time. This means that there’s no need for Spokeo to regularly update the information it looks up. Because it accesses the data directly at source, your report should always contain the most accurate and recent information currently available.

Spokeo has access to a comprehensive range of records, both public and private. This ranges from federal, state, county, and local records to court judgements and even magazine subscriptions. But that’s not all. Spokeo’s search engine also trawls the web for any signs of an online presence - from social media profiles, to blogging platforms, to online shopping accounts. All in all, it has access to over 12 billion records. If the subject of your search has an online presence, however limited, it’s safe to say that Spokeo will turn something up.

We tested for accuracy by running a number of searches. These included a search for Spokeo’s own co-founder and CEO Harrison Tang. As we expected, the results of our searches were more accurate when we looked up younger individuals with a strong online presence.

We also searched for known criminals, including infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. In this case, while we didn’t turn up much when we ran a people search, the results were bang on the money once we ran a tailored criminal search.

Pricing Options

Spokeo has three price plans that get progressively cheaper the more months you pay for upfront. All have the same level of functionality. However, none of the plans includes unlimited searches. In addition, any unused searches do not roll over to the next month.

One Month$19.95/month
Three Months$14.95/month
Twelve Months$7.95/month

Help & Support

Spokeo offers three levels of customer support: phone, email and live chat. While the live chat is only available on weekdays - Mondays to Fridays between 8:00am and 5:00pm, to be exact - the toll-free phone number is available 24 hours a day. That means you can get a friendly voice on the line to help you out at any time. If the idea of getting on the phone makes you nervous, though, the email team is available 24 hours a day, too.

Spokeo’s website also has an FAQ section you can consult if you’re feeling up to the task of troubleshooting and resolving issues yourself. To be fair, we found this to be rather basic compared to the knowledge-bases on other background check companies’ websites. However, the information is easy to follow and written in simple language.

And, if you’re technically minded, the tech blog run by the development team is not only an informative read, but also offers an interesting glimpse into the inner workings of a background check website.

What’s Unique About Spokeo?

Spokeo stands apart because it is packed with features that no other background check website on the market has been able to offer so far. More specifically, we’re referring to:

  • Spokeo’s search algorithm, which allows it to sort through data points in real time,

  • its ability to find information on people located outside the US; and

  • the comprehensive list of social media networks it can collect data from.

Let’s have a more in-depth look at each of these features in turn.

Real time searches

When you use a background check website to run a search, its search engine typically trawls through a comprehensive database of records in order to compile information about your subject for your report. The information is collected from publicly available federal, state, local, and (in some cases) commercially available records.

However, there’s a twist. The background check website doesn’t access these records in real time. It accesses copies of the records that are saved on company servers. This allows the records to be accessed as quickly as possible, so you won’t have to wait too long to get your report. 

The downside to this method is that the database has to be updated as frequently as possible in order for the information to stay up to date. If you run a search before the database is updated, the information in your report may be incomplete, out of date, or downright inaccurate.

Spokeo’s technology does away with this problem altogether. Instead of compiling the information by tapping into its own database, it goes through records in real time by accessing its data points’ online databases. As a result, you can rest assured that the information in your report is always as up to date as it gets.

Comprehensive social media network data

When Spokeo started out in 2006, it was a social media aggregator. In other words, it was built in such a way that it could collect all of your different social media profiles and gather them together in one place for easy, more manageable access.

While Spokeo has evolved and changed considerably since its early days, this legacy lives on in its unparalleled social media search functionality.

When you run a Spokeo search, the engine will trawl trawl through over 65 social media networking sites: from Facebook, Twitter, and the other usual suspects to lesser known sites. In fact, it’s safe to say that Spokeo can identify any type of online profile and compile that information for you into one easy-to-follow report. And, if you’re looking for even more powerful and targeted results, you can straight up run a search using a social media network username. No other background check website can currently run this type of search.

National searches

When you use Spokeo to make a search, it’ll also attempt to find any online profile that might match the subject of your search. Because of this, you can turn up information on any person who has an online presence. This is ideal if you want to look for a person that has left the United States and settled down elsewhere.

Review In Short

Spokeo wins top marks for flexibility and speed. It can turn up a wealth of information, even on people who aren’t physically present in the US. And because searches are conducted in real time, you can rest assured the information in your reports is always up to date.

To be fair, the fact that you can only make a limited number of searches each month is a bit of a shame. With that being said, its super affordable pricing means it’s still well worth looking into.

About Spokeo

Spokeo was founded in 2006 by Mike Daly, Harrison Tang, and Eric Liang, three graduates of Stanford University. Initially a social media aggregation platform - a tool you could use to collect all of your social media network profiles and store them in once place - it soon evolved into the people search engine platform we know today. From its humble beginnings in co-founder Harrison Tang’s parents’ basement, the company grew from strength to strength. Today, it handles 18 million searches per month and is worth $78 billion. In 2016, it was honored by the Asian Business Association, which named it the technology company of the year.

Address

199 South Los Robles Avenue # 711 Pasadena, CA 91105, US

Contact Details

Phone:         1-877-913-3088

Facebook:   facebook.com/Spokeo

Twitter:       @Spokeo

LinkedIn:    linkedin.com/company-beta/167715?pathWildcard=16771

 
Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This site should not be used to make decisions about employment, tenant screening, or any purpose covered by the FCRA.

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