Is Spokeo a Scam?

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Delving into Spokeo's legitimacy, we uncover controversies, user experiences, and its background. Is Spokeo truly a scam? Dive in to find out.

is spokeo a scam
Scam Grade:
B Grade: This business has a good reputation indicated by predominantly positive information across scam report sources. There are minimal concerns that would question their trustworthiness.

What’s The Background of Spokeo?

We delved into the world of Spokeo to understand its background. Founded in 2006 by Stanford graduates, Spokeo is a people search engine aggregating information from public sources like phone books, social networks, marketing lists, and business sites. This service aims to help users find people, their addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and more. Additionally, Spokeo offers features like reverse phone lookup and email search, which can help identify unwanted calls and suspicious email addresses associated with online scammers.

We looked at the reviews and credibility of this company to gain a deeper understanding. Spokeo has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A-, signifying its good track record in dealing with customer complaints and issues. Furthermore, ConsumerAffairs rates Spokeo 1.1 out of 5 stars based on user reviews, indicating mixed user experiences, with some praising the service and others raising concerns about its accuracy and data privacy.

It is essential to note that Spokeo is not a Consumer Reporting Agency, as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This means the information provided by Spokeo cannot be used for purposes like credit checks, tenant screenings, or employment eligibility. Therefore, the company’s primary goal remains to find contact information and not conduct background checks or financial evaluations.

Upon evaluating this company, we found that its services fall into these key categories:

  1. People Search
  2. Phone Lookup
  3. Email Search
  4. Address Search
  5. Username Search

Regarding pricing, Spokeo offers a monthly subscription service with options for single-use purchases of reports on the go. This flexibility in payment could be advantageous for users depending on their needs, albeit some users expressed dissatisfaction with charges and difficulty obtaining refunds.

Our analysis of Spokeo’s background shows that while there are criticisms related to data accuracy and privacy, the company has been operating legitimately for over a decade, and its service is focused on people-related searches rather than financial or credit-related investigations. We cannot label Spokeo as a scam.

Why Do People Think Spokeo is a Scam?

We’ve noticed several aspects that might make people think Spokeo is a scam. This section will analyze some of these aspects and discuss why they may raise suspicions about the company’s legitimacy.

One reason people might think Spokeo is a scam is due to the numerous customer complaints filed against the company. Many users have reported issues related to inaccurate information, unauthorized charges, and difficulties canceling subscriptions. However, it’s essential to note that the company has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2009.

Another factor that could make people skeptical is that Spokeo is not accredited by the FCRA law, as mentioned in a review. This means the platform can’t be used for specific purposes, such as screening potential employees or tenants, which may raise concerns about its credibility. However, Spokeo is primarily designed for casual people search and background check purposes and is not meant for purposes that require FCRA compliance.

We have found some positive aspects of Spokeo that may counterbalance the negative ones:

  1. Quick sign-up process
  2. Easy-to-use site and mobile app
  3. Multiple sources for accurate online background checks
  4. Resolved complaints and positive online reviews

Considering these points, we believe it is essential to consider both Spokeo’s positive and negative aspects when trying to determine whether the company is a scam. As a result, our judgment call would be to give them a letter grade that considers both sides and encourages potential users to research further before deciding to use Spokeo’s services.

What Spokeo Controversies or Lawsuits Exist, if Any?

The US Supreme Court was involved in a privacy lawsuit against Spokeo, which was eventually returned to a lower court for further examination. The lower court was instructed that it had not fully answered all the necessary questions.

In another notable lawsuit, Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in 2016 that sheds light on some aspects of the company’s legal challenges. The outcome in these cases is critical in determining whether Spokeo could be considered a scam.

To assess the legitimacy of the company, we gathered the following information:

  1. Spokeo received recognition such as Technology Company of the Year (Asian Business Association)
  2. Deloitte named Spokeo to its North American Technology Fast 500
  3. Spokeo uses court records to search for information thoroughly
  4. Some basic searches on the platform are free
  5. Users must pay for a more extensive search, and in some instances, court fees

Combining our knowledge with the available information, we consider the factors contributing to the company’s legitimacy. While controversies and legal issues exist, these alone do not conclusively determine whether Spokeo is a scam. We weigh all information and analyze the overall picture to reach an informed judgment.

What Did We Find In Our Research of Spokeo?

In our extensive research, we came across several resources that shared valuable insights into Spokeo’s legitimacy. AdvisoryHQ describes Spokeo as a mild-mannered background check and public records search platform. This indicates that the website might not be a scam, as it is not portrayed aggressively or misleadingly.

We found that ConsumerAffairs provides a mixed set of reviews from users of Spokeo. Some users reported positive experiences with the platform, while others were less satisfied with their results. Pros and cons to consider when using Spokeo include:

  • Easy-to-use website
  • Some features are free
  • Must pay for thorough searches
  • Extra rate for court fees

Moreover, a Review42 article on Spokeo offers a detailed evaluation of the platform, including ratings based on accuracy, pricing, ease of use, and customer support. Here are their findings in a nutshell:

  1. Accuracy: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  2. Pricing: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  3. Ease of Use: ★★★★★ 5/5
  4. Information Offered: ★★★★★ 5/5
  5. Customer Reviews: ★★★☆☆ 3/5
  6. Customer Support: ★★★★★ 5/5

As responsible scam finders, we also looked into Snopes, a known fact-checking website. They mentioned Spokeo’s privacy policy, which allows users to request the removal of their listings from the platform. This reflects Spokeo’s commitment to user privacy and indicates it’s not a scam.

Based on the data we gathered, we give Spokeo the following letter grade:

Legitimacy: B

What Is The Company’s Scam Grade for Spokeo?

At first glance, Spokeo might cause some skepticism. Still, after digging deeper into their services and history, we found noteworthy information that will help us determine if they are a scam.

Spokeo is a well-established online search engine, founded in 2006, that offers a wide range of services to help users find information about people’s sources. They aggregate data from multiple sources to provide features such as reverse phone lookup, email search, and address search.

We examined the following factors:

  1. Accolades: The company has received recognition, such as Technology Company of the Year (Asian Business Association) and being named to Deloitte’s North American Technology Fast 500 source.
  2. BBB Rating: The Better Business Bureau gives Spokeo a rating of A- on their profile page. It’s worth noting that their rating is not perfect due to some customer complaints. However, many legit companies have complaints lodged against them.
  3. Customer Reviews: A ConsumerAffairs page shows Spokeo has a 1.1 out of 5-star rating, based on 754 reviews, with many positive user experiences.

Although Spokeo has some restrictions in place, such as being not accredited by the FCRA law and only available in the United States, it seems to be a legitimate company source.

Considering all the factors above, we assign Spokeo a Scam Grade of B+. This indicates that the company offers legitimate services; however, users must be mindful of the limitations and use the platform responsibly.

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