When you Google someone’s name, a bunch of the results that come back are from companies that perform deeper background checks for a fee. Depending on the service, prices begin at about $9.95 and give you a lot of information gleaned from public records, including addresses (current and past), known relatives, phone numbers, marriage/divorce records, liens, lawsuits, and other judgments.
But what about the times when you just need a middle ground? In other words, when you want more info than you can get just from Google, but don’t need as much as a full background check would provide? And what if you needed this kind of info for a bunch of people, like if you’re planning a school or family reunion? That’s where the Intelius People Search 24-Hour Pass can help.
What you do is go to Intelius (formerly known as US Search) and register for free on the site. Then you purchase a 24-hour pass, which currently costs $19.95. After that, you just search for whomever you want (by first name, middle initial, last name, and city/state, if known) and view the instant results. It used to be called an “unlimited” people search, but they’ve changed it a bit. Now you get 1001 “credits”, and have to apply 1 credit to each report you view. Still, I can’t envision a scenario where the average person would be able to burn through 1001 credits in just 24 hours, so that part is pretty much negligible.
Now, the big question: Is the Intelius data reliable? I would say yes and no to this. I ran some test searches on people (relatives, mostly) whose address and phone information I already knew. In cases where the person had been living at the same address for a number of years, the Intelius information was correct. If the person had recently (within a year) moved, the data was usually not up to speed — even though Intelius says the databases are refreshed daily. Also, in many cases, the phone numbers listed were NOT accurate, no matter how long the person had been at that number. That’s probably not Intelius’ fault, but still… it’s something to bear in mind if you’re trying to locate a hard-to-find person.
One thing I’d like to see in the future is an easy way to print the search results. I didn’t notice a “print” option anywhere, which meant that I was stuck taking screencaps of all the results. Sure, if there’s just one or two past addresses in a person’s history you could simply write the info down. But for people that move frequently and have 10 addresses listed? Forget it!
Overall, I think $19.95 is a reasonable price to pay if you have multiple addresses and phone numbers to look up. I recommend preparing a comprehensive list before you make your purchase and get on the clock so you don’t waste any of your 24 hours. But really, even if you searched for every person you know, it probably wouldn’t take more than 3-4 hours. Twenty-four hours and 1001 credits is plenty!