Pros / Search tools make it easy to find people.
Cons / Work histories are not included in reports.
Verdict / Spokeo isn’t an especially expensive service, but its reports lack some crucial information.
Spokeo can help you find a person’s social media accounts, but its background checks are otherwise lacking. The information it gave us tended to be less current than the info on other services’ reports – especially compared to Instant Checkmate’s, which had the most up-to-date information.
We purchased reports for three people and had the individuals look through the results to check for accuracy and recency. Spokeo was found lacking in both areas. Ideally, a background check should include information about a subject’s addresses, email accounts, phone numbers and relatives as well as court records like marriages, bankruptcies and criminal history. While Spokeo included some email addresses and phone numbers, it often didn’t have cell phone numbers or list the most current email addresses our subjects used. Physical addresses were more up to date, though one of our subjects had moved recently, and their current address didn’t show – the service may not pick up on changes that happened in the last six months.
Spokeo upsells more aggressively than other services. Its basic reports don’t have information about marriages or criminal history. To get access to marriage records, you need to pay an additional $4.95 for a historical records report. We found this information to not be accurate when we added it on – several of our married test subjects were listed as single.
A background check with information about judgements, bankruptcies and criminal records costs $49.95, which is a typical price for that type of report. You can also subscribe to Spokeo for $13.95 a month, though you must upgrade for an additional $2.95 a month to get access to criminal and legal records. It costs $1.95 to download reports.
As you choose a background check service, it’s important to consider how easy the company makes it to find the person you’re looking for. Spokeo had one of the better searches. We found every one of our subjects, including those with common names. You can narrow results by adding cities, states and middle names. In addition, you can search by phone number, though not by email address.