Have You Been Ripped Off?


It seems so easy… You need information, so you type in a license plate number, a phone number, or a person’s name into a search box and wait for all of the “instant results” to pop up.

Unfortunately, a genuine license plate search, reverse phone lookup, or people search isn’t that easy!

If you’ve ever tried out one of these “instant results” websites, you’ve probably been scammed – and discovered two things in the process:

1.   You won’t get any “real” information without punching in your credit card number

Forget what the sales copy says.  No website is going to hand over important, useful information for free.  After all, how do you expect the website to pay for all of its costs (like buying access to databases and paying people to search for information), if it doesn’t charge you anything?  The websites that promise you free information are simply lying to you.

2.   Once you do pay, you still probably won’t get anything of value

Unfortunately, a license plate search, reverse phone lookup, background check, or people search is only as good as the sources your website has to draw from.  Lots of websites are just out to make a quick buck, so they buy old databases that are much cheaper than the current ones.  That way, they can give you “instant results” and keep your money – even though the information you’ve paid for is years old and probably not worth the paper it’s printed on!

Even worse, some websites offer to do a “thorough” search for you, take your money, and then simply offer you a list of other websites to try or pass you onto another service that will offer to charge you another fee to (hopefully) find what you’re looking for.

At Docusearch, we’ve seen all of these background check scams in action.  We’re totally disgusted by the tricks some websites use to lure people in.  That’s why we never promise “instant results”.  After all, a genuine search of license plate records, phone lookups, and other records takes more than a few seconds!

Have you been scammed by the promises of “instant results”?  Do you have some war stories of your own?   If so, we’d love to hear them!  At Docusearch, we like to let people know how they can avoid background check scammers.  Help us spread the word by sharing your story!

Published on: October 21, 2011 by Dan Cohn

5 Responses to “Have You Been Ripped Off?”

  1. Samantha Robinson says:

    Dear Docusearch,

    I was scammed by a license plate lookup site called license-plate-search.org. I was searching for the owner of a California license plate and entered the plate number on their site. They immediately indicated that a record was found and all I had to do is pay a one-time 23.00 fee for the information. After my purchase, all I received was a link to other for-pay sites, none of which could even provide the sought-after information. To make matters worse, they continued to bill me for a subscription that I did not want or need.

    The fact that I was “taken” made me hesitant to employ any other service, but decided to give Docusearch a try. Thankfully, I received the promised information without hassle or reoccurring expense.

    I just to say ‘Thank you’ and warn others about unscrupulous data suppliers.

  2. admin says:

    Samantha,

    Thanks for your story; it’s one that we hear all the time.

  3. Barb says:

    I contacted US Search.com for a search for bank and employment on a guy who sued me and lost. My Judgement was for just over $31K.

    They took my credit card number and told me I would have results in 24-48 hours. 72 hours later I had been charged $79 on my credit card but had received NO RESULTS.

    Calling back USSEARCH.COM they told me that They had no record of the call, and that I was nowhere in their data base. We are working on having the charges reversed at this time.

  4. Jenna says:

    I went to inteligator.com to do a background check on someone who I think has been defrauding my family for years. Once I paid the $30 fee, all I was given was info I could get out of the phonebook. They then said I could access advanced information and records if I joined there premium service – $2.95 for four days and then 19.99$ a month after unless I cancelled. The advanced search promised to provide me with a full report. Lies. As soon as I punched in my credit card numbers for the advanced service, I wasn’t given any further info and told I now had to pay 29.95$ for the full report. At this point I gave up, immediately emailed them to cancel my “subscription” and am now working to get a refund.

    TOTAL SCAM!

  5. admin says:

    Jenna,
    Thanks for sharing your story. Unfortunately, we hear it a lot.

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