About Intelius

Intelius claims to be an accurate and fast people search that is updated daily, and to have fulfilled over 20 million orders to date.

Instead of being required to visit various government agency websites and submit dozens of document requests, Intelius claims to gather 20 billion public records annually, assign them to about 225 million unique people, and display this information in convenient reports.

But how easy is Intelius to use? Let’s take a look.

How Does Intelius Claim to Work?

First, you’ll need to start by entering the first name and last names of the person you’re looking for, as well as the city and/or state in which the person lives, and then pressing the Search button. Alternately, you can perform a reverse phone lookup in the field directly underneath.

Next, the results of your search will be displayed. In a best case scenario, you’ll see the person’s age, cities they’ve lived in, companies they’ve worked at, colleges/universities they’ve attended, as well as a list of related individuals. Finally, a green checkmark will appear if the person’s DOB, phone, or address are included in the report.

If you click on the orange “Get the Report On” arrow, you’ll be presented with three different report options:

  1. People Search Report – Includes full name, address, age & DOB, aliases, phone number, relatives, and address history.
  2. People Search Plus Report – Includes everything in the basic package, in addition to social network and email search.
  3. Background Report – Features everything found in the Plus report, in addition to a property report, criminal check, bankruptcies and liens, aliases, lawsuits, neighbors, and marriage and divorce records.

Seems fairly straightforward, right? But does Intelius’s ease of use necessarily provide you with a good value for your hard-earned money? Consider the following:

Where Does Intelius Obtain Their Information From?

Intelius obtains all of their information from public records, which are simply defined as “documents or pieces of information that are not considered confidential.” However, while this information is technically available to anyone who requests it, in most instances, you would be required to visit each individual government agency, depending on the type of information you were looking for (e.g. address, marriage information, criminal records, etc.).

Instead, people search companies like Intelius claim to save you time and hassle by compiling all the information for you into a quick, easy-to-read report.

Is There Anything That Inteiius Can’t Be Used For?

According to Intelius’s Terms & Conditions, the company is not a consumer reporting agency as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"). As such, you can’t use the information contained in an Intelius Report to determine an individual’s eligibility for credit, employment, or for any other business transaction (including leasing an apartment).

However, when compared to many other people search companies, Intelius does offer a employee screening services by partnering with TalentWise.

Are There Other People Search Options?

When it comes to searching for someone online, there are a wide variety of choices from which to choose, although each one claims to provide their customers with some kind of advantage. In this case of Intelius, it’s this:

“To get these records for the person you're searching for, you'd have to contact a variety of government agencies and request copies. To get this info, you'd have to obtain millions of records and then sort through them to find the ones that belong to the person you're searching for. To build a database like ours, you'd have to hire a team of data scientists and have them spend ten years inventing better ways to sort billions of records, fill in the blanks, and connect the dots.”

And while there’s no way to verify the above claims, it’s important that you check out (pun intended) all your people search and background check options, including sites like Instant Checkmate, SpyFly, and BeenVerified. Granted, most of these companies have similar reputations among customers, which is what we’ll talk about next.

Are Customers Happy with Their Intelius Reports?

Overall, based solely on online customer reviews, it appears that Intelius has a very poor reputation.

On ConsumerAffairs, 65 customers provided their feedback for Intelius, and gave the company an average rating of 1 star. Common complaints cited incorrect/incomplete information contained in reports, difficulty cancelling trials and monthly subscriptions, and rude customer service.

35 TrustPilot readers provided feedback on their experiences with Intelius, and gave it an average rating of 2.5 stars, with common complaints mirroring those noted above. Similarly, 28 Yelp reviewers gave Intelius an average 1-star rating, with most of the same complaints.

From a company perspective, Intelius is based out of Bellevue, WA and holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, despite 444 closed complaints (as of 3/16/15). As you might have guessed, nearly all of the same Intelius complaints noted elsewhere online were also prevalent on the BBB’s website.

Intelius Pricing & Refund Policy

Intelius’s report options are priced as follows:

  • People Search Report: $3.95 ($0.95 for Premier Plus*)
  • People Search Plus Report: $9.95 ($6.95 for Premier Plus)
  • Background Report: $49.95 ($39.95 for Premier Plus)

*Intelius’s Premier Plus program will cost you $29.95 per month in membership fees, for which you’ll receive 1 monthly Background report. However, any additional reports ordered will be priced as shown above.

You can also try out Intelius through their 7-day trial for $7.95. Upon expiration of your trial, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Intelius’s Premier Plus program, which means you’ll continue being billed $29.95 per month until you call to cancel.

According to the Intelius Terms & Conditions, all purchases are final, and no refunds are available.

However, in order to cancel your trial or your Premier Plus membership, you’ll need to contact customer service at (888) 445-2727.

Is Intelius a Good Way to Find People?

Chopping to the Point: Whether you’re thinking about choosing Intelius or any other people search company, because the information contained in their reports is publicly available, you might want to try searching for it through you favorite searching engine before paying for a report. This is especially relevant if you’re looking for basic information such as an address or phone number.

If you do choose to order a report through Intelius though, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on recurring charges, especially if you decided to sign up through one of their free trials. And you might be taking a shot in the dark when ordering an Intelius report, because regardless of the limited information one of their reports may contain, no refunds are available.

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15 Consumer Reviews for Intelius

Average Consumer Rating: 1.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 0 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 1 1 star:  14
Bottom Line: 0% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 15
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  • Scam!

    • Texas,
    • Jun 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company is a SCAM. Beware if you purchase their $0.95 seven-day trial, which is actually $7.95, and if you cancel within the seven days and you don't use their background check voucher, just know these scammers will CHARGE you $7.95 regardless! And god forbid you do use the background check voucher, then guess what? You're going to be charged $29.95 immediately, and for what? Because they don't find out anything you need them to. Oh, but guess what? They will refund your $0.95 though...

    This company is a joke and a scam. Note, what I will say in regards to positivity is that there customer service staff is polite, and although I'm not happy with this company AT ALL, that is something I didn't expect when I called in to get clarification on why I was still charged $7.95 so at least you will have a pleasant phone experience.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Terrible

    • Nebraska,
    • May 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    If I could give a zero I would. They charged me two months at one time for one background check on a convicted felon. The background check gave me no info except an address, total scam!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Scam

    • California,
    • May 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I paid $0.95 for a phone lookup. Instead, I got a "sorry no records" email and an invoice saying I would be enrolled in a $29.95 monthly service, or could cancel for "only" $7.95.

    I opened a PayPal dispute, sent a "don't enroll me" email, called the artists (you know what type). They insisted in the $7.95, I said "not happening," and they backed off.

    I gave a dollar too much to these idiots, but that was my assumed risk.

    Stay clear.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Crap service

    • Wisconsin,
    • Apr 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I paid $55 for two reports, one of which took three days to come back with NOTHING. I received no useful information from either. I found more off of using Google. It is supposed to be such a good service, NOT! Don't waste your time or money on this crap!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Scam, it's no 99 cents

    • Woodland Hills, CA,
    • Mar 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I used this for a reverse phone number. I now find out they charged me $7.99 for not using another service. Supposedly it's in the small print AFTER you do the first search. What a joke. I have now opened a PayPal dispute.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Intelius - don't waste your money

    I had decided to do a search on my ex-husband when I got some money. The search was $6.95 for the basic search. The information contained in the report was WAY out of date. There was no new information. The information contained in the report was 5-10 years old. When I called to make sure my credit card would not be charged again for a membership, I was told I would be charged an additional $7.95 for canceling. Just google who you are searching for and save the $15. You will get more up to date information.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Total rip off!

    We signed up for the $39.95 premium package. We were charged the $39.95 plus $19.95 for a background check even though a background check was included in the $39.95. The background check information was old and not complete. I found much more data for free on the internet. When I called customer service, they said they would refund the $19.95 but would charge me $7.95 instead! Total ripoff. We are out $39.95 for absolutely nothing. Did not even have a current address person has lived at for over a year.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Total scam

    I ordered one address but never received it. Then they proceeded to charge me $29.95 a month! They will not refund my money that was charged to my credit card without my authorization!

    Do not give them any information! Zero stars would be my rating, but there is no zero.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Terrible rip off

    I got caught in getting put into the Intelius premier plus. I was in a hurry to find information about a friend's uncle and this will cost me $7.95 for a service I do not want. I will be checking my credit card to see if they try to slip in some other charges.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    "7 day trial passed" and was charged $29.95, called for a refund

    • New Jersey,
    • Jul 23, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    The lady was nice but on a script, she said the trial passed so I was charged. I said okay no problem, I'll just issue a chargeback. My payment was refunded.

    These companies don't want to have chargebacks on their record as they already probably have plenty. Use this to your advantage to get your money back.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • May 30, 2018

      Rhonda S.

      How do you issue a chargeback? I was supposed to only have a $0.95 report but I was charged $29.95. I want my money back!

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Rip Off

    I tried to do a search. Their computer shut down in the middle of the search. I called and was assured it did not go through and I would not be charged. When I received my credit card statement, I was charged both for the search and some kind of membership fee. I called and they paid back the membership fee, but refused to give it back yet the search was never completed.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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