Spokeo 2018 Review By Our Expert – Pros, Cons and Verdict

Is Spokeo Legit ? Our honest Review 

The World Wide Web has changed the way we look for information or get any kind of data. This has been so evident with the boom of social media sites, which have connected millions of people such as celebrities, classmates, doctors, lawyers, engineers, and workers.

Even more useful is the fact that public criminal records, which were once only confined to filing cabinets, are now available on the Internet. There are some good searching tools available online for looking for people and their related information.

Spokeo is one such versatile tool. It is a public-record search engine that is becoming popular since a past few years. Unlike the Google search engine that opens up with hundreds of links, this one provides direct access to reports that contain the searched person’s background details, such as past addresses, phone number, e-mail, and civil judgments, if any.

In the world of public records search and background check sites, the people search website of Spokeo is perhaps the gentlest one. Instead of assisting to look for a probable secret of an individual’s criminal past, it is more focused on looking for lost people or celebrities.

So, is Spokeo legit? What types of details can you obtain from it? Several seekers truly ponder about the information that such websites can reveal. How to use it? What are its limitations? Is it available for free usage? What are its pricing plans? Get to know about all these details in this post. Let’s read ahead to know more about this tool and find out whether it is a good one to try or not.

Overview of Spokeo

Exploring the History

The brand was initiated in 2006 at the Silicon Valley basement by the three Stanford University graduates namely, Eric Liang, Harrison Tang, and Mike Daly. It was originally founded as a platform of the social media cluster, with which you can gather all our network profiles and save them at a single desired location.

In no time, the platform transformed into a people search engine, the meaning with which it is popular today. Of all such engines or databases present on the Web, this one has one of the highly eminent user-friendly interfaces for having a recommended online presence.
Since its inception, the platform has managed to get attention via a myriad of news publications such as New York Times and Forbes. Apart from a website, it is also available as a mobile app on Google Play and the Apple Store.

There is also the Spokeo Enterprise version for businesses. It is specifically made to prevent fraud by facilitating a quick search of individuals ordering online or validating data prior to committing a business transaction. This version enables several users to be part of a single account and pricing is as per the number of monthly searches.

According to its official website, there are almost 18 million hits per month, which itself speaks about its popularity. According to the founders, Spokeo is there to aid its users in finding out more about the people they are looking for.

The tool does so by giving access not only to basic information such as phone number and marital status but also to their criminal records if any, court records if there, and social media profiles.

The graduates tend to advertise this tool for exclusively for ‘research’ purpose so that you can find unknown callers, reconnect with long-lost relatives or friends, and know about the prospective neighborhoods for shifting.

Apart from the people searching facility, the tool also offers the criminal record and background search facilities. On the whole, more than 12 billion records are available through the reports that this engine generates, including details of those who are not in the United States.
What a few Stanford grads initiated has certainly changed into one of the improved means of re-bonding your long, overlooked relationships. Although there is exposure to some criminal info, the founders have a clear vision to bring people together instead of separating them apart.
Well, until here, all about Spokeo sounds good! Let’s proceed further.

Spokeo Usage

For What to Use it and For What Not to Rely on It

Just because it is a people search engine, it does not mean that you can use this tool for any purpose. Most people consider it an all-purpose tool but it is not so in reality.

Due to its specific nature, there are some dos and don’ts to consider when it comes to using the Spokeo site or app. For instance, the site has clearly stated that it is prohibited to use this tool for screening employees. So, here are the recommended and the non-recommended usages of this tool.

Useful for Searching

  • Unknown callers
  • Business associates
  • Neighborhoods
  • Lost family and friends

Not for:

  • Employee or insurance screening
  • Lodger background checking
  • Credit checking
  • Any purpose in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Our Review

We have broken down our review into different sub-sections so that it becomes easy for you to read what you want to and know what you have not until now.

Working of Spokeo

The Spokeo search engine takes the help of profound Web crawlers for gathering the data as a response to the search query. It collects information from a variety of public records, right from local to federal, without any kind of digging into the personal data. Examples of these public records include social media and registry websites.

You can search by name, social media profile name, e-mail, address, or phone number. Even before subscribing to the services, you can easily find some basic information such as age, location, and relatives of the person being searched.

There is an opt-out procedure for users to delete details about themselves by giving the listing URL and a genuine e-mail address. The search engine service is available on a monthly subscription. Instead of buying a report of the person being searched, you buy a membership for one or more months.

This enables you to look for multiple reports within that validity period of your subscription. For some specific types of details of a person such as court and historical reports, you are required to pay add-on fees. These specific reports seem to be fairly cheap.

The Search Results

Keeping in mind the tool’s vision of reconnection and re-bonding, I performed a search of one of my close office colleagues who had faced some hard times. No one in our group had heard from him since some years.

I had been looking for him on other search engines but hardly could get any information about him. Yes, I got a long list of people having the same name and scattered randomly around the country. However, no information could reinstate my collaboration, as I did not get any information that was related to that colleague.

However, when I tried for the first time on Spokeo, I got a crisped list of names, locations, dates, and age. Well, I was quickly able to locate his details in this list and was happy to know that he has a new group of friends and stays well with his family.

Thus, it is agreeable that the search results came up exactly as advertised. The search format is simple but flexible enough to accommodate anything you remember about the individual you are searching. It is okay even this information is incomplete. This is because you still get a handy list of probable matches.

After choosing the most likely candidate, you can quickly validate whether you have got the right individual by analyzing the extensive relatives’ list and location history. While some contact details may be outdated, it is easy to identify the most recent one. However, this can be a trial and error in some cases.

It is true that Spokeo penetrates into over 60 social media networks due to which your chances to reconnect become even stronger than before.

The Speed

Most background check or people search sites usually end up with a long, upsetting wait. This is because its speed of getting and showing the results is reliant on the software that drives the search engine. Usually, the engine has to dig through billions of records for getting a suitable match.

However, this was something Spokeo easily overcome. The software seems to be designed to navigate through billions of bytes at the highest possible speeds. Thus, you can get a detailed report in less than five minutes.

What To Like

  • Quick and ease of use
  • Real-time functionality
  • Free features that otherwise are available after paid subscription
  • Social media search support
  • Detailed reports, including the criminal ones

What Not To Like

  • Not fully accurate information (phone number may not be the latest one)
  • Limited monthly searches
  • Not so strong when it comes to crime details

Reports on Offer

  • People and their background search
  • Criminal records
  • Reverse phone and e-mail lookup
  • Social media search

Information Included in the Reports

  • Current and last known addresses
  • Phone numbers and other contact details
  • Possible relatives
  • Arrest and conviction records, if any
  • DUI arrests, if any
  • FAA and DEA licenses, if any
  • Properties owned

Customer Reviews

The affordable membership plans, which many popular competitors do not offer, make us wonder whether this site is legitimate or not. Well, as per our review shared above, this site or app is fully legitimate.

To support this, we have gone through many Spokeo reviews before writing this post or reviewing the tool. Here are some reviews from the users of this tool: 

  • As per a review at the BBB, initially, I found it difficult to use the account. To overcome this issue, he called the customer service centre from where a representative not only made using the account easier but also gave a 6-month trial for free as compensation to make up for the faced problem.
  • As per a review at advisoryhq.com, a business user has simply praised the ease of use of this online service. According to him, he had quickly and easily found someone’s phone number for job purpose. He also revealed that the customer service was amicable and quick.
  • According to a review on the Spokeo’s official site, I found my father after 25 years along with the grandmother. I thank the tool from my heart, as it was a long search that did not reap me any sweet fruits. Today, that search has ended. All thanks once again to the staff and site, as I no longer have to miss my beloveds.

Spokeo Pricing

Spokeo is available for use with either 1-month or 3-month membership plan. Right now, there are discounts on both membership fees. The 1-month membership plan is available at $13.95 per month after giving a discount of $6. On the other hand, the 3-month membership plan is available at $7.95 per month after giving a discount of $5.

Both the plans are progressively more affordable, as you subscribe upfront for more months. The level of functionality is the same for both. No matter which one you choose, you cannot enjoy unlimited searches or carrying forward of unused searches to the next month.

There is also a premium membership plan, which aims for a broad appeal to those who want to reconnect with school friends and old associates. The search quotas on offer are suitable for most users and they are available at a cheap price tag.

How to Use Spokeo

Following are the steps to use the Spokeo search engine:

  1. Go to the Spokeo homepage.
  2. In the search bar atop, enter the query and click Search. You can search by name, phone, social media username, e-mail, and address. In case you do not click any of these search types, the search bar itself will detect it as per the query entered. The gathering results page is displayed with all matching results. In case of search by name, it will list all people having that name along with their previous and current location, age, and relatives.
  3. Click See Results against the most promising match. The profile page is displayed with aliases, age, relatives, and locations. Then, a report outline is displayed with headings such as Personal Details, Contact Information, Location History, Online Profiles, Family Background, and Court & Historic Records.
  4. Click Unlock Profile. The membership plans page is displayed.
  5. Select a suitable plan and fill the required details.

Once you already have created your account as per the chosen membership plan, you can directly login and start the search.


How do I delete my Spokeo account?

You can cancel your subscription at any time. However, for permanently removing your account, it is necessary to speak with its Customer Care team. Once the team completes the account closure, you must log out to settle the process.

Is Spokeo anonymous?

Yes! All searches done on it are confidential. The one whom you are searching does not get notified about it. There is a Search History feature for reviewing the search queries performed in the past but only the account holder can access it.You can also check out other reverse phone lookup services , we made a big review list !

How do I cancel Spokeo free trial?

There is no guarantee of free trial included in the signup process. The tool provides basic search results, such as city and state, relatives, residing location, and age for free. Generally, all Spokeo services are paid ones. Yes, there are trials for some search types but they expire once their validity period is over.

In case you are the lucky one to get a trial, you need to cancel it prior to it getting automatically converted into an ongoing subscription once the validity period is over. To do so, you need to click Usage & Subscriptions in the account settings or talk to a Customer Care representative.

You can, however, cancel a membership plan. To do so, log in and select Usage & Subscriptions in the settings and proceed with further instructions.

Is Spokeo safe?

Yes, it is safe because both the purchase and search remain confidential. Nobody will know that you have brought the plan. Similarly, nobody will know that you have searched for which people. The information that you provide while signing up is not stored on any people data repository. Even your search history is that secured!


In a nutshell, Spokeo is a legit service to try. It provides a reasonably comprehensive set of search options although there is a restriction on search quantity. It is a fact that the search results provided are both affordable and fairly accurate, considering the number of details exposed. If you do not consider this, the accuracy is not 100%; still, it is commendable.

Customer service, available in the form of even live chat, simply adds to the reliability of this service. It is courteous enough to satisfactorily resolve the negative experiences or feedback from users. Spokeo grabs highest marks for speed, flexibility, and customer service. As searches are performed in real time, you are most likely to get updated details.