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TruthFinder review

TruthFinder's search results are surprisingly accurate, although the user experience wasn't our favorite.

TruthFinder review
(Image: © TruthFinder)

Our Verdict

TruthFinder is an accurate source for people search and background check information, especially for criminal and traffic records.

For

  • Detailed criminal report information
  • Tools to monitor and hide your report information
  • Accurate basic data

Against

  • Relatively poor user experience and design
  • Cross-referencing search costs extra

TruthFinder is a more expensive option for those searching for the best background check services, but it does go above and beyond to deliver on value. Although when many embark on a background check they have a specific search in mind, many services will charge you a one-off price for a report which may not tell them everything they wanted to know. We prefer the monthly subscription offered by TruthFinder because it lets you delve deeper in your research, and you can always cancel your subscription when you’ve found the information you need. 

TruthFinder allows you to search for your own information on its database. This includes a dark web search which will tell you if your personal information has been part of a data breach. We were not impressed with the user experience offered by TruthFinder. The site demands that you conduct a people search before entering your personal information and paying for a subscription. This can be time consuming, and we also found reports difficult to navigate. Despite this, the thorough search results and accuracy of the information we received reassured us that TruthFinder is a reliable background check service which is worth the higher-than-average cost. 

TruthFinder review

TruthFinder is a consumer people search site and background check service, allowing subscribers to access publicly available information in one place, for a monthly fee. This includes data such as phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses associated to the individual searched for, as well as harder-to-find information such as criminal records and asset information. Technically speaking, all the information found in people search reports can be found through other means, but TruthFinder and similar data companies pay to aggregate that data and have it all in one online repository that's easily accessible.  

However, it is important to note that, due to the business practices of services like TruthFinder and others, the information found is not guaranteed to be accurate or up to date. There may be missing, inaccurate, or outdated information, or simply data associated to the wrong individual. This may happen in the event that there is more than one individual with the same name residing in the same state, for example. 

It is also important to note that the FCRA law dictates how this information can and cannot be used. Due to the expected inaccuracies in most, if not every people search report, TruthFinder cannot be used as a people search or background check service to determine a person's eligibility for any of the following: tenant candidacy, job candidacy, and any other purpose as outlined by the FCRA. 

Is TruthFinder legit?

Despite the illegal use cases, TruthFinder and similar companies are legitimate services that use the power of data brokerage to generate a profit. The information in reports is real, despite any inaccuracies that may occur. 

TruthFinder review: Sign up and cost

One of the biggest pain points of using TruthFinder is signing up for the service. Unfortunately, we could not find a direct way to sign up for TruthFinder – potential subscribers have to go down a 'funnel'. This means that you will be required to perform a people search and click on a specific report before signing up and paying a fee. This is a process that takes up a relatively significant amount of time, nearly ten minutes. This seems a waste of time, but it is necessary in order to pay for a subscription. 

Does TruthFinder cost money?

Yes. Using TruthFinder comes at a cost. For a 1 month membership, expect to pay $27.78. For a 2-month membership, the cost is about $46.04 ($23.02 per month). But remember that your subscription will renew automatically until you cancel. 

TruthFinder review: Advantages

Key features

Plans available: 1 month subscription (renewed every month), 2 month subscription
Cost: $27.78 for 1 month, $46.04 for 2 months (plus taxes)
Extras: PDF download
Additional services: address search, dark web search, sex offender watch, self-monitoring tools, report claiming
App: Yes (iOS and Android)

Searching

Performing a people search using TruthFinder is relatively easy once you've signed up and submitted payment. Search results appear in a matter of seconds and accessing reports takes just one click. We were also surprised to find very few profile duplicates, meaning that an individual will have one report attached to their name instead of several. However, this becomes more complicated if a person uses a nickname regularly – in that case, there may be several reports available for that one person, or there will be no report found. Before you start, we would recommend that you know a person's real name in full. It also helps if you know at least one state of residence to help refine results. 

Reports and information

One of the biggest advantages of using TruthFinder is the information in the reports. While there is no guarantee that all information contained within any given report is 100% correct and true, we found that there were fewer instances of misinformation in TruthFinder's people search and background check reports than for most other services. 

TruthFinder also provides a greater level of detail for certain types of information. Birthdays, for example, are revealed in full (day, month, and year) whereas most other services of the same kind only reveal partial dates. Many services choose to refrain from advertising such information because of the risk that the specific information could be used to commit fraud. However, from the perspective of the average consumer, this is valuable data. Similarly, while TruthFinder does not reveal any individual's Social Security Number, it can provide the year and state in which a person's Social Security number was issued. 

TruthFinder truly shines in three areas: criminal records, job history, and social media account results. TruthFinder has several tiers of likelihood for criminal record matches, meaning that you may find criminal records that may or may not be associated to the person you're looking for, but you're able to use your good judgement to determine whether or not those associations are correct. We searched for several people and found criminal and traffic records we couldn't find on most other people search sites. Those criminal and traffic records are also a lot more detailed than the records we've found on other people search sites and include case type, case number, and offense description among other juicy tidbits. 

In the case of job history, TruthFinder pulls information directly from LinkedIn when those profiles are available for public viewing. This method seems more reliable than the ones other people search sites use, and also results in resume form (which includes a list of skills, organizations, and groups). 

Finally, TruthFinder seems to cast a wide net when it comes down to associating social media profiles to individuals, so it is expected that a great many profiles don't actually belong to the person you're searching for. But we found unconventional results such as Amazon wishlists that may be of interest to subscribers. 

On a less serious note, there is some data that may not be considered to be strictly necessary, but interesting nonetheless. TruthFinder has included not just a person's astrological sign in their report data, but also enables users to check relationship compatibility with the person searched for. How seriously you choose to consider that information is strictly up to you. 

Finally, we found the timeline feature useful; it organizes the information in a person's report in chronological order. 

Self-monitoring tools

We recommend subscribers take full advantage of TruthFinder's self-monitoring tools. This is another area in which TruthFinder has some interesting features. You can claim your own report and make changes to it or, alternatively, hide your report from other TruthFinder users for as long as you are a paying customer. You also have the capacity to perform a dark web scan, which monitors your email addresses and other personal information to see if they have been part of a data breach. 

Subscription model

Due to the nature of people search sites, we very much prefer the subscription model that TruthFinder uses, above pay-per-report models – in the latter case, the subscriber is burdened with paying for report information that may or may not be the report of the person they are really searching for. 

TruthFinder review

(Image credit: TruthFinder)

TruthFinder review: Disadvantages

In reviewing TruthFinder's people search site, we found that most of the aspects we were unhappy with mainly occurred before signing up for the service, even when the reports themselves have their flaws. 

User experience

Most of TruthFinder's flaws are in its website design and the user experience. Before being able to sign up, potential customers are led down what is called a 'funnel'. This funnel is meant to persuade customers that their search is being done in real time – meaning that the website is actually sifting through millions of records at that moment. This is highly unlikely, and that funnel is there simply to provide the illusion that the information is as up-to-date as possible. Sitting through the extent of the funnel is a waste of time, as is answering questions asking for more specifics about the person you are looking for, such as whether or not they've lived in a certain state or if you suspect that they have a criminal record. Your answers have no influence on the results to your query. 

The fact that you have no choice but to go down the funnel in order to sign up also takes away from our otherwise positive view of TruthFinder. 

Reports and information

While the information in the reports we found was more or less accurate, we found the reports themselves somewhat difficult to navigate, mainly because we had no idea what we could and could not find. There was a lot of information we did not know would appear or not, such as bankruptcy, lien, or asset reports – these categories are more clearly defined on other people search sites. We think that TruthFinder's reports would benefit from both a clean-up and a little bit more detail about what can and cannot be found. 

The full extent of the tools available to a subscriber is also unclear. For example, we uncovered a lot of the self-monitoring tools through pop-ups while accessing different reports. TruthFinder would also benefit from a more organized user dashboard. 

Extra features 

We found it unusual that TruthFinder's other services came at an extra monthly cost. This means that, in order to cross-reference information found in a people search report by performing a phone number or email address search, you will need to pay nearly $5 more per month. Physical location addresses are included in a people search subscription, but we think that the extra cost undermines the relative high quality of TruthFinder's service. We were also dismayed by the extra cost attached to ordering a PDF version of a report. 

Cost

To put it simply, TruthFinder is not cheap, and we find paying any amount above $25 for a consumer people search service too much of a cost. This is a major drawback for TruthFinder, but those who are willing to pay the cost for short-term use may find the service beneficial. Less costly options include Spokeo and Whitepages. However, we think that, for the purpose of report self-monitoring and dark web scanning, consumers are better off subscribing to a more legitimate service. 

TruthFinder review: Customer experience and service

One of the biggest drawbacks of using TruthFinder, as it is for Instant Checkmate, is putting up with the funnel before signing up, and even after signing up, users may be frustrated by poor user design. But customers will likely find that the information contained within the reports they open somewhat offsets that customer experience. 

TruthFinder isn't very forthcoming about its customer service capacity: there is a number people can call for assistance, but customer service hours are not advertised. TruthFinder has an FAQ section on its website that may, however, answer your questions. 

TruthFinder: User reviews

Most customers report being generally satisfied with TruthFinder's information and reports, and even say that they're found what they've needed. And despite not having customer service hours displayed on the website, customers are also generally happy with the assistance they've received over the phone. The nearly overwhelmingly positive reviews also vouch for our findings that the information is accurate most of the time. The Better Business Bureau gives TruthFinder an A+ grade. It appears that most of the negative reviews express disappointment that the information is not free, a belief likely caused by the customer funnel. 

Should you choose TruthFinder?

No people search service is perfect, and TruthFinder certainly has its many flaws, mainly in regards to user experience and design. However, while this criteria is enough to sink any other people search service in our eyes, we found the information to be accurate and detailed enough to outweigh those disadvantages. We suggest short-term use of TruthFinder to mainly search for criminal and traffic records, job history, and social media accounts. 

Useful information

How to remove your information from TruthFinder

TruthFinder is very forthcoming with how to opt out of its service, meaning that you can request that your information be removed from TruthFinder's database. Go to the TruthFinder opt-out page and search for your own report to submit your request. TruthFinder indicates that fulfilling the request can take up to 48 hours. 

How to cancel a TruthFinder subscription

Cancelling your TruthFinder subscription is relatively easy. Under 'Your Account,' in the 'Membership Settings' tab, you can find the link to cancel your subscription. After clicking, you will be taken through a separate funnel that will try to convince you to stay: TruthFinder will even offer their services for a reduced price for as long as you stay a subscriber. As long as you click on the final notice to cancel your subscription, you should receive a cancellation confirmation notice in your email inbox.