Background checks are an important part of vetting someone new in your life, whether it’s a new love interest, employee, tenant or more. In the digital age, many consumers turn to convenient online background check services like Truthfinder and Spokeo to uncover everything from criminal records and lawsuits to marital status and address history.
But how do Truthfinder and Spokeo compare when you need to run a thorough background check? Which service offers more complete reports? And which one should you trust with finding sensitive personal details?
This comprehensive guide examines the key differences between Truthfinder and Spokeo, two of the most popular background check services available today. Read on for a detailed comparison of features, accuracy, pricing and more to help you determine which service best fits your needs.
Overview of Truthfinder and Spokeo
Truthfinder and Spokeo take slightly different approaches to delivering background check reports to their users. Here’s a quick rundown of each service:
- Founded in 2015, newer service than Spokeo
- Comprehensive reports focus on background details like criminal records, contact info and public records
- Reverse phone lookup and dark web monitoring services also available
- $28.05/month for unlimited reports
- Around since 2006, one of the first online people search engines
- People search focused on finding contact info, employment history, family ties, social media profiles and more
- 12+ billion records searched
- $19.95/month basic membership for monthly reports
While both services aim to provide online background checks, Spokeo positions itself as more of a people search engine, while Truthfinder focuses specifically on serving up detailed background reports.
One of the first differences you’ll notice is the search options available on Truthfinder vs Spokeo:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Phone number
- Email address
- Physical address
- Social media profiles
Spokeo offers more options for searching by social media handle or screenname. Its people search function allows you to input a name, username, phone number, email or address to potentially find social media profiles.
Truthfinder has fewer inputs, but allows searching by username. Both services will also let you run a background check using phone numbers with reverse lookup.
Number of Records
High-quality background checks rely on searchable records. Spokeo claims to search over 12 billion records while Truthfinder states they search 2 billion records.
More records mean you have a better chance of uncovering details about your search subject. However, keep in mind that some databases may have overlapping sources.
The types of records searched also matter. Truthfinder focuses heavily on public records like criminal history, court judgments, address details and more. Spokeo casts a wider net across public data, social profiles, contact details and other sources.
Costs & Membership Options
Truthfinder and Spokeo take different approaches when it comes to membership packages and pricing:
- $28.05/month – unlimited reports
- $4.99/month – unlimited reverse phone lookups
- $29.73/month – unlimited reverse email lookup
- $19.95/month – 1 month membership
- $14.95/month – 3 month membership
- $69.95/month – Professional
Spokeo offers discounted rates for longer memberships while Truthfinder has flat monthly pricing.
Both sites will allow you to pay per report if you only need occasional checks. Expect to pay around $30-$40 for a single comprehensive check from each service.
Truthfinder’s reports focus heavily on:
- Criminal records
- Court judgments
- Marriage & divorce records
- Property ownership
- Known aliases
You’ll get detailed background facts and history. Reports have disclaimers clearly noting any limits on availability of records.
Spokeo provides expansive contact details and personal facts like:
- Current and past addresses
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Social media profiles
- Family members
The reports compile various data points to help you identify the subject and learn about their online footprint. Expect to find less visibility into sensitive details like criminal history.
Strong customer support is vital for paid background check services. Here’s how Truthfinder and Spokeo compare:
- Truthfinder: Phone, email and chat support available 7 days per week.
- Spokeo: Email support available 24/7. Phone available Monday-Friday.
Both services offer round-the-clock availability via email. Spokeo lags for phone support on weekends.
Identity Protection & Privacy
Reputable background check services allow you to opt-out of their databases. Both Truthfinder and Spokeo make it easy to remove yourself via their website.
You can also contact customer support to have any unwanted or incorrect information removed from your report. Responsible services will comply with your request.
Pros and Cons of Truthfinder vs Spokeo
|Comprehensive criminal record details||Website not as modern as competitors|
|User-friendly report interface||Doesn’t compile digital footprint info|
|Clear record availability explanations||Limited search options beyond name & number|
|Dark web monitoring capability||Higher monthly membership cost|
|Expansive search options and filters||Lacks visibility into sensitive background details|
|Lower membership costs||Criminal / court records not available in reports|
|Modern website UI||Some advertised data points may be outdated|
|Social media linking capability||Customer support weakest on weekends|
- Purpose – Know whether you need a general people search or a detailed background check before choosing a service. Spokeo excels at uncovering digital breadcrumbs while Truthfinder reveals court records and criminal offenses.
- Search Inputs – Spokeo allows handy searches by social media username while Truthfinder focuses on names, numbers and emails. Identify the key details you have before selecting a tool.
- Pricing – Truthfinder costs a bit more but Spokeo offers discounts for longer memberships. Pick the plan that matches the frequency of your background check needs.
- Support – Both services offer email support 24/7 but Spokeo phone support is limited on weekends. Keep this in mind if live assistance is important.
- Privacy – Responsible background check sites make it easy to opt-out of their database or correct any inaccurate personal details. Don’t work with any company that ignores privacy requests.
FAQ About Truthfinder vs Spokeo
Q: Which service finds more records and information in background checks?
Truthfinder and Spokeo both claim to search billions of records, but Spokeo’s database is larger at 12+ billion sources searched. However, Truthfinder may dig deeper into public records for court cases, marriages, bankruptcies and more.
Q: Can I remove my personal information from Truthfinder or Spokeo?
Yes, both Truthfinder and Spokeo allow you to opt-out of their database search results. You can submit removal requests directly on their websites.
Q: Does Truthfinder or Spokeo offer any kind of guarantee with background checks?
No, neither Truthfinder or Spokeo can guarantee 100% accuracy or completely comprehensive reports. All background checks rely on available digitized public data which has limits. However, both services produce quality reports that can reveal useful insights.
Q: How far back do background checks on Truthfinder or Spokeo go?
Background checks typically include criminal records spanning 7-10 years. However, some public marriage, divorce, property and court records may date back decades. The range of coverage depends on the digital availability of records.
Q: Can I run employment background checks on Truthfinder or Spokeo?
No, you cannot run direct employment background checks suitable for screening job candidates on either platform. Both are designed for personal public record lookups only. For employment screening, you would need to use a service like Checkr or GoodHire.
Q: Does Truthfinder or Spokeo offer refunds if I’m unsatisfied with a report?
Truthfinder provides refunds if you cancel within the first 5 days. Spokeo does not offer any money-back guarantee if you cancel a paid membership or are unsatisfied with report results.
Q: Can I get a single report from Truthfinder or Spokeo without a subscription?
Yes, both Truthfinder and Spokeo will allow you to purchase single reports at around $30-$40 each. This lets you avoid paying a monthly fee if you only need occasional checks.
Q: Is there a free trial available for Truthfinder or Spokeo?
Spokeo offers new users a 7-day free trial. Truthfinder does not currently offer a free trial, but does have a money-back refund period.
Q: What payment options does Truthfinder accept?
Truthfinder accepts all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. They also accept PayPal.
The Bottom Line
- Comprehensive public records – Truthfinder
- Social media and contact info – Spokeo
Both websites provide high quality reports that can uncover details from someone’s past and online footprint. Take time to evaluate your specific needs, preferred features and budget to determine the best choice for your background checks.
By understanding the key differences between Truthfinder vs Spokeo, you can better match your search to an online background check service that fits the bill.