Uncover Personal Information That Even Google Can't Find
4:55pm Wed March 18, 2015 by
Do you know all there is to know about your family members? What about the neighbors who babysit your kids? And the new flame you met online?
Everyone’s got a past and thanks to the availability of public data it’s now possible to uncover a whole world of useful information on the people in your life.
Public search engines like
make it simple to find out the truth (the whole truth, and nothing but the truth) about your acquaintances. Using totally public information sources like court records, public databases, and social media accounts sites like
can tell you everything from how many times your boyfriend’s been arrested to whether or not your new friend’s divorce has gone through.
So, why are so many people flocking to people search sites like
now? In decades past it was impossible to research publicly-available data on someone without trekking down to a county courthouse, sifting through files and old newspapers, and in some cases submitting a formal request. The digitization of all this data has made
searching public records
as simple as typing in a name from the comfort of your own home. And because many people search sites use a membership model you’re often unlimited in regards to the number of people you can search for.
Here are a couple of ways in which people routinely use online data to stay more informed:
- By searching for sex offenders on their street or offender registry lists for names they recognize
- Checking out the criminal records of a child’s new boyfriend or girlfriend
- Finding out if a member of the carpool has any outstanding warrants for DUI
- Confirming dates of a court case, a marriage/divorce, or other county certification
- Looking up available information on a new city council member or neighborhood association president
Why is public information like this useful? For many people, knowing who’s involved in their life – as well as in their kids’ lives – is an important safety precaution. In some cases it’s possible to learn more about someone from their criminal history than through dozens of one-on-one conversations.
Conversely, there are many positive ways in which people are exploring the online treasure troves of public data. There are plenty of stories to be found of old war buddies reuniting after a simple online search, and family members reconnecting after years of estrangement. Public data sites are also becoming an increasingly popular tool for adoptees and biological parents to locate their loved ones years after the fact.
“For personal security, it’s crucial to know exactly what information others can see about you with just a few clicks of the mouse.”
Security experts also recommend running your own name through a site like
to find out what publicly available info is out there. Knowing that people can see your old traffic citations, your marriage certificate, and even your current address may help you prepare to answer difficult questions down the road. For personal security, it’s crucial to know exactly what information others can see about you with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Other ways in which people use these databases is to check licenses and professional designations. Did you know your brother got his pilot’s license, or that your college roommate recently became an RN? Divorce records, contact information, and even outstanding warrants are all part of a comprehensive people search performed with little more than a first and last name.
In today’s climate of open source, publicly-available big data it’s not enough to monitor your social media profiles and your credit score.
Everyone’s got a story and odds are, they’re usually only telling half of it.
It’s your responsibility to be armed with the information you need to make smart decisions about who to let in your life, and people search engines are quickly becoming a critical piece of the puzzle.
Do you want to search someone you know?
New Website Exposes Cheaters With Hidden Social Profiles
4:55pm Wed March 18, 2015 by
For better or worse the internet’s made it easier than ever to connect with one another. In fact, statistics say that about one in four marriages start online, and with billions of people using social media it’s no wonder why. But at the same time, plenty of connections are being made online every day that threaten the foundations of otherwise happy, healthy relationships.
Today, technology’s not just facilitating these hookups, it’s helping uncover them too. Gone are the days when private investigators in trench coats staked out motels for hours – enter the people search engine. Search sites like
are becoming an increasingly invaluable tool for people who suspect their partner may be cheating, and memberships on sites like these cost just a fraction of a PI.
“…plenty of connections are being made online every day that threaten the foundations of otherwise happy, healthy relationships.”
People search engines
are designed to mine thousands of publicly available data sources for information in just a matter of seconds. Everything from marriage licenses to social media photos can be uncovered using
and more and more concerned lovers are using this information to get to the bottom of cheating scandals.
Additionally, sites like these also make it simple to double-check real world signs of infidelity, too. Run a reverse phone lookup on a suspicious number that keeps calling your house, or search for marriage records to prove your suspicion that your partner may have a whole separate family. Public data is public for a reason but until recently sifting through it meant a trip to the courthouse and a call to the public records office.
How are people utilizing the digital dirt they’re now able to see online? What if, for example, you ran your new boyfriend’s name (all you need to get started on a people search is a first and last name) and found out he was still married to his supposedly “ex” wife? What about uncovering dozens of photos of your girlfriend at the beach with someone else from a social media profile you didn’t know she had? As it turns out, cheaters can run from their infidelities but thanks to new technology, they can’t hide.
What are some digital signs your partner may be cheating? Experts say these are just a few.
- Multiple secret social media profiles for various locations and/or aliases
- Membership on a large dating site (safety in numbers is the thought)
- Different screen names linked to the same email address
Think about it: How many people do you know who’ve begun a relationship with someone they met online? We all know plenty of people glued to their smartphones…is it really that big a jump to imagine at least some of these people are developing inappropriate relationships with other online acquaintances? At the very least, the anonymity of the web seemingly makes it simple for the sly-minded to cover their tracks and hang out at a ‘digital singles bar’ without risking being seen. Or so they think.
“As it turns out, cheaters can run from their infidelities but thanks to new technology, they can’t hide.”
Psychologists estimate about 30-60% of married people cheat at least once during their union. Scientists say divorces caused by social media are on the rise particularly through the use of popular sites like Facebook and Twitter. And because online dating is now so prevalent, plenty of people are finding ways to set up profiles unbeknownst to their beloved. But like everything on the internet, these activities leave a digital trail of breadcrumbs sites data engines like
have no trouble following. Are they cheating on YOU?
Try a search on Spokeo today.
Criminal Records are Publicly Available Right Now
4:55pm Wed March 18, 2015 by
Everyone has the right to know if they’re living, working, or dealing with a criminal. Of course, someone who spent a night in jail for overdue traffic citations is probably a different kind of criminal than one who’s on parole for physical assault. Thanks to the recent availability of criminal records online, you can now find out everything you need to know from the comfort of your own couch.
A criminal records search used to involve the assistance of the police department or a private eye. At the very least sifting through criminal records meant a trip down to your local police precinct or courthouse to manually dig through files and folders of information. No more. “Big data” has officially cut out the middle man and made it simpler than ever to look through public records at your leisure.
“Most people are surprised exactly how much publicly available information is out there just waiting to be found.”
Sites like Spokeo, a people search engine, are designed specifically to aggregate public data on individuals from thousands of sources across the web. Members pay a monthly or one-time fee and can search unlimited individuals, finding information on everything from marriage licenses to recent criminal history. Most people are surprised exactly how much publicly available information is out there just waiting to be found.
So, how are people using Spokeo and other search engines for more information on criminal records? The possibilities are wide open but some of the most common ways you can utilize this data include:
- Perform due diligence on a love interest you met online
- Find out the real story on your teen’s new friend or significant other
- Look into a suspicious neighbor’s criminal history
- Check for appearances on the sex offender registry or other similar databases
- Search yourself to see which parts of your criminal history are still public domain
That’s right…Spokeo says a surprising number of people use their service to check their own criminal histories. It makes sense: knowing whether or not a new girlfriend can see your arrest record or if you should be prepared to answer questions about that juvenile DUI in a job interview can be important.
Many people don’t realize their publicly available data isn’t always correct. In some cases, expunged criminal records or invalid data can be removed from public databases if the right agency is contacted. But the only way to find out what kind of information’s available is to search yourself and do it often.
“Many people don’t realize their publicly available data isn’t always correct...But the only way to find out what kind of information’s available is to search yourself and do it often.”
Criminal records aren’t always nefarious but they can be telling. If someone, for example, has dozens of petty arrests on their record you might assume they’re more likely to commit a crime again. And if you know an acquaintance is on the sex offender registry but find out through a criminal records search the arrest was for little more than urinating in public you may have less qualms about your kids trick-or-treating at their home.
Conversely, dozens of stories come out each day about people who’ve lied their way into risky circumstances. A teacher with a history of physical abuse left alone with small children, or an online date turned perilous thanks to an unknown history of date rape. All too often a simple criminal records search could have headed off problems like these at the pass.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to hide their past thanks in large part to the proliferation of data. Over 65,000,000 Americans have criminal histories and not all of them are dangerous or troubling. Before you judge, condemn, or allow someone new in your life, shouldn’t you know exactly who they are? Welcome to the digital age.
You Have a Right to Know Who’s Calling You
4:55pm Wed March 18, 2015 by
Our phones have become our lifelines and are rarely, if ever, out of sight. When landlines were the norm things were simpler: Answering machines, White Pages, and *69. But now that cell phones have become the norm (90% of American adults have cell phones) the line between identity and caller has become blurrier.
The solution? More technology, of course.
Sites like Spokeo, a people search engine built to scan thousands of information databases at once, are becoming the for savvy tech users to look up phone numbers. In fact, Spokeo may be able to tell you everything from a full name to a current address all from a phone number. It’s called a ‘reverse phone lookup’ and it’s the digital age’s answer to the phone book.
“What used to take hours upon hours of searching at the county courthouse can now be accomplished with a few clicks of the mouse.”
Many people don’t know there are thousands upon thousands of sources of publicly available data points on just about every individual on the planet. If you’ve got a birth certificate, you’ve got a public record. Sites like Spokeo don’t just utilize official information like tax records and marriage certificates to help compile a complete personal profile, they also scan non-traditional info sources like social media profiles and dating site accounts, too. What used to take hours upon hours of searching at the county courthouse can now be accomplished with a few clicks of the mouse.
How can you use this kind of technology? Imagine being awoken every morning at 6am by an unknown caller who won’t answer your return calls. A simple phone lookup can help you find out if the number’s a stranger, a stalker, or even a telemarketing firm. Here are a few other scenarios phone lookups are commonly used:
Parents use the function to check out the numbers that regularly call their children’s cell phones
Online daters confirming the identity of a potential new love interest before meeting in person
Worried individuals checking records to see if those strange calls are in fact coming from a potential stalker
People deciding whether or not a missed call should be called back (it was a recruiter) or ignored (it was an old boyfriend)
And phone lookups aren’t just for the paranoid, either. Spokeo says plenty of people use their service for the same functionality in reverse: Searching an individual’s name to try and track down current contact info, including a phone number. In some cases, missed calls have turned out to be nervous adoptive children reaching out to their birth parents or old military buddies trying to track down a long-lost friend with a common name. And Spokeo recommends everyone with a membership regularly search their own name and phone number, too, to find out exactly what kind of publicly-available data is out there for the taking. It’s the first step in taking control of your online identity and data.
Just like you have a right to control your own information, you have a right to know who’s calling your phone. Even if you’ve put yourself on the “Do Not Call List” and made a concerted effort to keep your phone number out of phone books and off your social media profiles it’s likely still available through public records. Knowing who wants it so badly they’ll track you down to find it? That can be important information for your peace of mind or even your safety.
Want to look up a phone number that’s been calling you? Try a Spokeo membership here and see what information you can uncover.
Spokeo Announces Fall 2015 Scholarship Winner
We are elated to be announcing the FOURTH winner of the Spokeo Connections Scholarship (view past winners). The essay topics for this round of the competition ranged from using technology to keep us connected, to using open/big data to improve communities and lastly, using social media to help promote non-profit causes. We received almost 400 essays… Read More
Vote Spokeo for SXSW Interactive 2016
The 23rd annual SXSW Interactive Festival returns to Austin March 11 through March 15, and we couldn’t be more excited to announce that Spokeo is in the running to be a featured workshop at this year’s event! Spokeo’s proposed workshop is called “How to Build a Website to 18M+ Unique Visitors.” SXSW is an incubator… Read More
SPOKEO RANKS ON PRESTIGIOUS INC. 5000 LIST
Leading People Search Website Named Number 1,114 on List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies Pasadena, Calif. (August 12, 2015) – Spokeo, a leading people search engine, today announced that it was named to the 2015 Inc. 5000 list. The list represents the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. Spokeo has a three-year revenue growth of… Read More