PeopleFinders Review 2019

PeopleFinders doesn’t require users to sign up for a membership. It has detailed, easy-to-understand reports. Drawbacks of choosing PeopleFinders are limited transparency about how reports can be used and membership cancellation fees that other companies don’t charge.

Best for standalone searches
PeopleFinders
Our rating:
3.7 out of 5.0
3.7 out of 5 stars3.7
 
$4.95
/mo w/ $0.95 for 3-day trial

    What do you do when a Google search doesn’t turn up what you need?

    If you’re trying to reach an old high school friend or long-lost cousin, you’ll need their contact information. If you’re going to meet a stranger for a business lunch or to buy their antique armoire, you may want to ensure everything is on the up-and-up. Using a background check service is a comprehensive way to get this information.

    PeopleFinders is one of the best-known background check services. It doesn't require a membership, but we're less impressed with it as an option for users who need ongoing service.


    PeopleFinders pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletDoesn't require a membership
    • Pro BulletOffers an affordable three-day trial
    • Pro BulletProvides detailed, easy-to-navigate reports
    • Pro BulletAllows for multiple search parameters
    • Pro BulletHas an app for easy mobile use
    Cons
    • Con BulletLacks transparency about legal uses of info
    • Con BulletCharges small membership cancellation fee
    • Con BulletDoesn't include social media accounts

    What we like about PeopleFinders

    The thing we like best about PeopleFinders is that you don’t have to sign up for a monthly membership—most competitors don’t let you purchase individual reports. If you don’t want to run multiple background checks and you aren’t comfortable signing up for a membership, PeopleFinders is one of your best options.

    Most competitors don’t let you purchase individual reports.

    The other big difference between PeopleFinders and the competition is its inexpensive trial membership. While a few other services offer trials, most don’t. If you’re sure you want to run background checks only once, sign up for the trial, run the reports you need during the three-day period, and cancel your membership before time’s up.

    Downside? PeopleFinders charges you $2.95 to cancel a membership. And if you forget to cancel or decide you want to keep using the service, you’ll be charged monthly for an ongoing membership.


    How PeopleFinders could improve

    PeopleFinders didn’t make the top few in our list of the best background check services. The background check company’s one huge drawback is its lack of transparency.

    There are lots of legal restrictions about how you can and cannot use information obtained in a non-CRA (Consumer Reporting Agency) background check. For example, PeopleFinders can’t legally be used to look up tenants or potential employees. When a site that offers background checks doesn’t state that up front, that’s sloppy customer service.

    PeopleFinders keeps its non-CRA designation and the related rules in a tiny disclaimer at the bottom of the screen. Competing background check companies do a better job of clearly providing that information to potential customers.


    Peoplefinders price


    PeopleFinders’ standard monthly membership costs $24.95, which is normal for the background check industry. However, some other background check companies, like BeenVerified and TruthFinder, offer slightly cheaper memberships. PeopleFinders charges $5 more for the Premium Membership, which lets you run background checks and view public records. PeopleFinders also offers a trial membership—something that isn’t available from BeenVerified, TruthFinder, or Instant Checkmate. It costs either $0.95 or $3.95 for a three-day trial, depending on the plan you choose.

    Remember, PeopleFinders charges a small cancellation fee ($2.95) if you don’t want to keep your membership. The membership won’t automatically cancel, so make sure you follow through if you don’t want to pay for a full membership after three days.

    Want to get a one-time service? Unlike some background check brands, PeopleFinder allows customers to buy the results of just one search:

    • One-time people search report is $1.95
    • One-time reverse phone lookup is $3.95
    • One-time background check report is $39.95

    Features of Peoplefinders

    The PeopleFinders interface is one of the quickest and easiest to use of the background check sites we’ve reviewed. You can complete a search in just a couple of minutes.

    Compared to TruthFinder and BeenVerified, PeopleFinders has standard features. You can reverse-lookup a phone number, turn up an address or other basic information through a people search report, or pull more comprehensive details using a background check report. Basically, if you need to get the scoop on someone, PeopleFinders can help you out. Just keep in mind that you need premium service to view detailed records.

    You can’t look up people using their Social Security numbers or find a Social Security number using a PeopleFinders search. Keep in mind: a person can contact the site to get their information removed. That may affect what the PeopleFinders search engine turns up.

    Want to remove your info?
    How To

    If you don’t want others to look you up on PeopleFinders, you can request to have your personal information removed. Just go to www.peoplefinders.com/manage/default.aspx.


    FAQs

    If you’ve never used a background check service before, you might have questions. Below we’ve answered some frequently asked questions about background check companies.

    How much does a background check cost?

    PeopleFinders offers monthly memberships or individual reports. An individual report costs about $40, so if you want to run more than one background check in a month, you’ll save money by choosing a membership.

    What turns up in a background check?

    The results of a background check will vary dramatically from one person to the next and from company to company.

    The exact report will depend on what information is publicly available, but there are a lot of things included in a standard PeopleFinders report:

    • Age/birthday
    • Phone number
    • Email address
    • Physical address history
    • List of associated people (e.g., family members)
    • Property ownership information
    • Basic info about criminal history and civil history (bankruptcies, judgments, liens, etc.)

    Some PeopleFinders reports include marriage/divorce records—but that service is available only for certain states. These records didn’t turn up when we ran our checks, but those results will vary by location of the person you’re looking up.

    You’ll notice that PeopleFinders also offers additional information related to background checks (such as more details about criminal records) through its Premium membership. A background check should generally be enough, but if you’re concerned about someone you know, you may benefit from pulling as much information as possible.

    A lot of other background check services give you information about a person’s social media accounts, but PeopleFinders doesn’t.

    For the most part, PeopleFinders includes the same kind of information you’d get with almost any other background check service. There’s one major exception—other background check services give you information about a person’s social media accounts, but PeopleFinders doesn’t.

    This is a small drawback because social media is a great, less invasive way to get in touch with old friends, classmates, or distant relatives. For example, reaching out to your college roommate through a Facebook message might be less awkward than calling them if they haven’t given you their phone number.

    What do customers have to say about PeopleFinders?

    Most of the positive reviews we read talked about people finding the information they needed to contact people.

    Negative reviewers complained about a frustrating interface and inaccurate information. While the frustration is understandable, we should point out you shouldn’t expect a background check to turn up perfectly accurate information every time. PeopleFinders, like its competitors, depends on information that is in public records—if public records are incorrect or out of date, the information that turns up in a background check will be incorrect too.


    Our recommendation

    While PeopleFinders didn’t quite crack our top background check services, it’s your best option if you don’t want to sign up for a monthly membership.

    >>Sound good to you? Give PeopleFinders a chance.

    Otherwise, we suggest using BeenVerified or TruthFinder, since both companies offer detailed reports and more transparent explanations of how background check services can be used.

    Contributing author: Brianne Sandorf