Intelius Review: A Detailed Look

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Jul 16, 2020

Intelius is a people search website that acts as an aggregate service to pull data from public records and compile it into easy to read reviews.

In other words, all the information you’ll get in each report can be found elsewhere for free online—but you might struggle to track it down on your own.

It is not legal to use the information you’ll glean from this service in ways that could be considered discriminatory.

As a result, Intelius brands itself as a way to track down old friends, review property data on places that interest you, learn what might come up in your own background check, and assess details about potential romantic partners.

In this review, we take a detailed look at Intelius to help you decide if it is worth it.

Pros
  • Responsive, helpful customer service
  • Gives you access to monitor your own online footprint
Cons
  • Deceptive pricing practices
  • Information may be inaccurate
  • Tends to show less information than similar websites
  • You may have to pay a cancellation fee

How Does Intelius Work? My Experience

You can start the signup process by typing in the full name, city, and state (if known) for the person you are searching for.

Alternatively, you can search by phone number or address. In most cases, you’ll then see a list of potential people to choose from.

Upon clicking to open a report, you will be redirected to a loading screen where you need to confirm you won’t use it to make decisions that require FCRA compliance, such as consumer credit, employment, insurance, or tenant screening.

You won’t be able to see anything until you sign up for a subscription plan.

In some instances, loading took around five minutes, with several warnings interspersed about the potentially graphic content my search could reveal.

First, I searched for myself.

The site found me immediately, listing my full name along with past addresses and possible relatives. Of these, just three out of six locations were accurate, as were five of fifteen relatives.

My report gave me access to information ranging from my full name and age to work and education history, possible photos, phone and email contact information, known addresses, assets, criminal records, sex offender information, finances, business details, and social media handles.

Most of the account’s basic information was correct, but there were notable exceptions. Most “relatives” listed for me were strangers, and the only accurate phone number for me was my childhood landline.

Only three out of five listed addresses were accurate, and the report included lots of information that wasn’t relevant to others who might be searching for me, such as the names of nearby sex offenders.

Overall, the information available seemed reasonably accurate, if not especially valuable. Intelius didn’t display any of my real contact information, though it had accurate stats on my employment history and current residence.

However, that information is publicly available on many other platforms, including LinkedIn, so I wasn’t especially impressed to see it.

Searching the results of other people I know produced similar results.

Most of the basic information was correct, but it rarely went into much detail. Notably, the criminal records section was blank for everyone I searched, even in cases when I knew they had a record.

I also found the Intelius website challenging to navigate. The site’s scare tactics and attempts to get me to upgrade my account made me feel concerned about every click, and the inaccuracy within my background check made me wary of trusting anyone else’s.

Plans and Pricing

Intelius won’t display pricing information until you’ve waited for your first report to load fully. After that point, you can sign up for:

  • Monthly membership for $22.86 per month
  • Bi-monthly membership for $38.43 per two months

Sometimes, the site might offer you a discounted trial membership. For instance, I managed to pay $1.99 for five days of access, after which I would be billed $29.63 per month until cancellation.

Note that Intelius sneaks in many opportunities to upgrade your account. Upon enrolling, you might see an offer to download a report for offline use, and scrolling further down the page indicates this includes a $3.99 surcharge.

You might also get multiple offers to “access premium information” at undisclosed price points.

Other add-on options include access to unlimited phone reports ($4.99/month) and email reports ($4.99/month).

You can cancel your account at any point through your online profile. When I canceled my five-day trial, I immediately lost access and had my $2 refunded. If you cancel during a regular subscription, you might be required to pay a cancellation fee of around $8.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

35 customers had left reviews for Intelius on our website, which average 1-star with a 0% recommendation rating. Trustpilot reviews are similar, as the site averages 1.2 stars based on more than 80 reviews.

Here are the main takeaways:

  • Data seems out of date, easy to find elsewhere
  • Many users were unexpectedly enrolled in membership after free trials
  • Misleading pricing system – users were charged immediately after signing for the $0.95 trial
  • Expensive rates for single searches

Popular Alternatives to Intelius

There are many subscription-based people search sites available online. Here’s how some popular options compare to Intelius:

Intelius BeenVerified Instant Checkmate TruthFinder SpyFly
Monthly Subscription Cost $22.86, plus more for additional features $26.89 $34.78 $27.78 $29.97
Trial Cost $2 for five days (may not be offered to everyone) NA $1 for five days $1 for five days $2 for seven days
HighYa Review Average 1 star, 0% recommend (35 reviews) 1.3 stars, 5% recommend (66 reviews) 3.4 stars, 62% recommend (536 reviews) 3.8 stars, 73% recommend (1,370 reviews) 2 stars, 31% recommend (42 reviews)
Cancellation Fees Yes No No No No

Customer reviews of these services vary significantly even though they provide similar services. Far more people are happy with Truthfinder and Instant Checkmate than the alternatives, and Intelius receives the lowest score of all.

In fact, numerous customer reviews from Intelius users noted that they had found more detailed and accurate information from the site’s competitors.

Another drawback to Intelius is the pricing system. It’s difficult to only pay a flat rate for the service, as every add-on search feature requires an additional subscription fee.

However, it’s priced below its competitors, so these add-ons may make it relatively comparable to the others.

Finally, customer reviews indicate that many Intelius users were charged a cancellation fee or continued to be billed after they assumed they had canceled their account.

That’s not something you will find with these other three options. And though most people search websites pull information from the same online sources, the information on Intellius seemed sparser.

The Bottom Line

People search websites like Intelius often attempt to promise more than they can deliver by making the comparison to background checks.

The truth is that the information pulled together by this company is more limited, both in scope and your legal ability to act on it.

Intelius is also a poorer choice than other sites offering the same service.

The company’s pricing is unclear, you may inadvertently sign up for add-ons, and the displayed information tends to be more limited than what competitors may share.

Finally, it’s difficult to determine whether the information you’ve found is accurate in the first place.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of Intelius:
  • 35 Customer Reviews
  • 0% Recommend This Service
1.0 out of 5
5 star: 0% 4 star: 0% 3 star: 0% 2 star: 2% 1 star: 97%

 Our Promise to You

To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

Sort reviews by:

  • Complete scam! Data is decades old.

    • By Craig P.,
    • Chandler, AZ,
    • Aug 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I took the bait and ordered a one-person search for 95 cents. The data returned was at least 6 years old, maybe older, and completely useless. Not only that, but without warning, I was signed up to pay a monthly subscription going forward. I canceled it, but the cancellation included a message that I would still be ripped off an additional $7.95 for having a 7-day trial. No trial was, of course, mentioned when the 95 cents was paid. It is impossible to remove payment information but I am going to contact the payor to see if I can prevent the payment. Intelius is unethical and dishonest. Never again.

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


  • Fishing website!

    • By Michelle L.,
    • Philadelphia, PA,
    • Aug 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Stay away from this website. Be careful of the $0.95 you paid! There are more charges coming that can’t be avoided! They are using this low charge to trick you in! It somehow comes with a subscription. If you cancel it, there will be a charge. If you don’t cancel it, there will be an even higher charge.

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


  • Complete waste of time and money

    • By Micah R.,
    • Washington,
    • Aug 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Ran a check on myself, it was old information and they wanted more money to pull up criminal records. That's what I paid 30 bucks for in the first place. Super angry and they will automatically start a monthly charge on you.

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


  • False advertising

    Overall Experience:

    Site advertises a $.95 charge if you cancel before 7 days. I canceled the same day after I did one business search. Was charged an additional $7.95 seven days later. Why don’t they just say $8.90 for seven days minimum one person/business search because that is the bottom line?

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


  • Beware using Intelius, legally took money after account cancellation

    • By Chris A.,
    • Chesapeake, VA,
    • Jul 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Frankly, Intelius intentionally finds new ways to take your money after you cancel your account. READ all the fine print BEFORE starting an account with them.

    To make it short, I paid $.095 to start a 7-day trial account. I could cancel the account within 7 days and there would be NO FURTHER MEMBERSHIP CHARGES (as stated on the cancellation notice I printed and still have in my hand) or after the 7 days, the account would turn into a standard 30-day account and be billed at $29.99/month.

    I made 3 inquires with Intelius that disclosed outdated and unfortunately useless information. I canceled the account about 1 hour later and printed a copy of the cancellation info (just in case).

    Nine days later my PayPal account paid $7.95 to Intelius.

    I went to the Intelius website looking for a phone number and found in the Q&A section, "Why was I billed $7.95 after my membership was canceled?", interesting I thought - they were ready for me!

    Apparently, Intelius CLAIMS there was a disclaimer at the time of purchase (in fine print) that said if I canceled within the 7 days I would still pay them an extra $7.95.

    I stilled called them at (888) 445-2727 and they stayed firm and said they would not refund the money.

    So that is that - lesson learned...

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


  • Intelius is a scam

    • By Ben D.,
    • New York,
    • Jul 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Both Intelius and Omnisearch are owned by the same company and their websites work in the identically same way. They offer no pricing upfront. You have to put your name into a search field at which time the search engine pretends to be going over every record that exists on you. It takes about 5 minutes for it to process giving the impression of how thorough it is. Then it offers you a subscription for $29.95 a month but hidden in the wording is that you are actually paying $39.95 (non-refundable) for a one-time background search on yourself plus the $29.95 a month subscription. Once your account is active and you put a name into the search engine, it takes only 10 seconds to come back with results showing that the first search for 5 minutes is just a marketing ploy. I canceled the membership immediately but the company refused to refund my $39.95. Stay away! There are some legitimate sites but unless they offer their pricing plans upfront you should read the fine print.

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


  • Stole money from me

    • By George S.,
    • New York,
    • Jul 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I paid for a single document, I did not buy any membership whatsoever. They secretly started charging me $30 a month to my PayPal which I didn't realize for 3 months. Not to mention the report was of inaccurate/old information. I don't even have an account with them, how could I have a membership? They never sent one email to me about payments.

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


  • Horrible company

    • By Cris K.,
    • Massachusetts,
    • Jun 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Hidden fees for their $0.95 one time "try" me out charge. I wanted to confirm an old friend's birthday and used this service once. Paid my $0.95 and canceled immediately, a week later they charged me a $7.95 free week trial fee. BS. They won't refund the money even though it's clear I only used it for 1 search.

    Never use this company.

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


  • Poor results and sneaky back billing practices

    • By Ed L.,
    • Hershey, PA,
    • Jun 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    We did side by side comparison with our own search and found more than Intelius. We only found the $7.95 second charge mentioned in an email AFTER we paid $39.95 for the bogus report.

    I saved the cancelation screenshot because I know they will bill me again anyway.

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


  • Total scam!

    • By Leor T.,
    • Florida,
    • Jun 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I just paid almost $100 and got nothing from it.

    I paid for the more expensive pack and after I do a search for my own name and nothing really showed up on my report. I did another search of a different name and still nothing really showed up, especially not what it says you're paying for.

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


  • Bait and switch

    • By Slim T.,
    • North Carolina,
    • Jun 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The Information they provide is GARBAGE! Nothing "informative". You can find as much in the White Pages.

    The so-called 95-cent offer is BS! They will charge you $7.95 REGARDLESS within 7 (business?) days. I CANCELLED IMMEDIATELY after receiving REPORT because the REPORT was GARBAGE. And they still charged me the $7.95 and I paid the 95 cents. THAT'S $8.90 WASTED on garbage information.

    The information they provide on your subject is kiddish at best. Save your money. TruthFinder site will give you info that's in line with the answers you seek.

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


Showing 1-11 of 35

Write a Review for Intelius!

Share your experience to help others discover great products!

Write a Review
Intelius Review