Friday, September 3, 2010

Checking out the People Finder

I like to check the website from time to time to see what new databases have been added since my last check. Here's the Collections page at

The graphics tell us that there are now 120 databases available at, and that there are over 1 billion records now available. The counter increments every two seconds or so (I wonder if records are really added one at a time?).

The list of databases appears below the header, and there is a list of highlighted new or updated databases on the right sidebar. The latest "New!" database is "Living People Records" so I clicked on that link:

There are over 200 million entries in this database. I clicked on the "Search" link and saw:

I added my first name and last name, and narrowed the search to California in the dropdown Location field, clicked on "Search" and saw:

There were three entries in California for my name, including myself in two entries - one with my middle initial and one with my middle name, but neither lists my age. The third entry was for another person with my first name and middle initial. My first entry lists my mother's name and my wife's name.

There are two links to the right of each entry - one for "View contact Info" and the other for "View Public Records." I clicked on the "View Contact Info" link and saw this screen:

The top of the screen says:
br<"You've selected to view an advanced Contact Information Report.
Contact Information Reports are special reports which provide contact details for living and recently deceased US residents. This data is not freely available. Thus, for us to access this information on your behalf, we must pay access fees."

The screen indicates that this report can be obtained for 5 credits. apparently, provides 25 credits to subscribers as a subscriber benefit. I passed on this report, since I know where I live.

Clicking on the "View Public Records" link on the Results page provides:

The page above says that I can receive a Public Records Report for $29.95, and I have to use a credit card (no credits here, presumably because I don't have enough yet). The description of the Public Records Report is:

"To find more information about Randall J Seaver, confirm your billing details and click "View Report". Your public records report will show available information for the following:
* Up-to-date contact info (address + phone)
* Criminal records (state + nationwide)
* Address history, household members,and relatives
* Bankruptcies, liens, and judgments
* Property records
* Business positions and ownership"

Again, I'll pass on this, since I'm pretty sure that I know all about these items about myself.

What about the Credits? How much do they cost? There is a link on these last two pages for "Click here to learn more about credits." I clicked on it, and saw:

There's the Credit price list: The Contact Report and Phone Report cost 5 credits each and the Public Records Report costs 30 credits. At the bottom of the price list above is a button to "Add Credits." I clicked on it and saw:

To add 25 credits costs $19.95, and to add 100 credits costs $74.95. Credits expire 12 months after purchase.

So this website offers 25 free credits for subscribers to use (and they are worth about $20 total at the 20% discount value). They also offer to sell more credits at a 20% to 25% discount.

Is this a good deal? I don;'t know since I haven't compared similar offerings from other commercial People Finding websites. I recall that some of them offered a daily rate and a monthly rate that persons could buy to search for people. Some of my colleagues have used a service like this to find classmates for a school reunion.

Has any reader used this service yet, and want to tell about it? Or has any reader used another commercial People Finder service and want to share their experience?

Disclosure: I received a free subscription from for being an NGS member several months ago. I have not been remunerated by for writing this blog post.

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