Despite being far from fully-fledged fraud prevention software, Pipl is often used by analysts to help catch fraudsters – as well as for forensic investigations, customer verification, journalism, HR and sales, among others.
But are there any Pipl alternatives out there that may be worth your time? Let’s take a closer look at what you could replace or even complement Pipl with.
|Disclaimer: Everything you’ll read in this article was gleaned from online research, including user reviews. We did not have time to manually test every tool. This article was last updated in Q3 2023. Please feel free to contact us to request an update/correction.|
Best Pipl Alternatives
|Company||Core Features||Notable Clients||Summary|
|SEON||• digital profiling|
• whitebox AI transaction monitoring
• preset industry + customizable rules
• email, IP + phone data enrichment analysis
• advanced device fingerprinting
|Nubank, Air France, Kindred||Frictionless, unique customer profiling and flexible rules with ML insights|
|ArkOwl||• email + phone data enrichment |
• simple API integration or online search tool
• batch query feature
• first/last seen feature
• social media results
|N/A||Lightweight email and phone intelligence for manual and batch queries|
|Spokeo||• name, email, phone + address lookup|
• 100+ social media, including dating apps
• for both companies and individuals with enterprise options
• vast consumer & business index
• data enrichment from official databases
|ABC, Barclays, CNBC||Powerful people, property and business search for those based in the USA|
|Emailage (LexisNexis)||• email + IP analysis|
• machine learning
• behavior tracking
• custom rules + presets
• taps into the LexisNexis Risk Solutions network
|LV= GI, OFX, Gol Airlines||Email intelligence with machine learning to inform risk|
|PeopleLooker||• background reports|
• unclaimed money search
• business records
• criminal records search
• alert service for changes
|N/A||Affordable public records search for investigations|
|BeenVerified||• email + phone lookup|
• vehicle VIN search
• court/criminal records
• property records
• iPhone, Android, Apple Watch apps
|N/A||Handy US-focused OSINT tool for businesses and individuals|
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What Does Pipl Offer?
From the Idaho headquarters of Pipl, this privately owned verification services vendor points out how identity is no longer defined by documentation issued by authorities. Instead, it extends beyond, encompassing our online selves, multiple email addresses, and “dozens of identities” per person, as the official website notes.
Pipl seeks to solve this “global identity crisis”. Dubbing itself “the identity trust company”, it aims at delivering on that promise through enabling identity verification, investigation and contact enrichment, all starting with the traces people leave behind in their online pursuits.
The result for Pipl customers in sectors such as government, ecommerce, fintech and insurance is more confidence in others’ identity, and thus more trust.
In essence, what Pipl does is find you information about the person behind an email address or phone number to help with your manual reviews.
From its 2007 incorporation to June 2019, Pipl used to offer some limited search functionality for free to the public, but there is no such option anymore.
We should also note that because Pipl was built as more of a data enrichment tool than a comprehensive solution, it integrates well on diverse platforms such as Maltego, HubSpot, Salesforce and others.
In terms of specific products, there are:
- Pipl Trusted Intelligence: Helping manual reviewers identify connections and approve transactions.
- Pipl SEARCH: Tapping into 5+ billion trusted identities from more than 150 countries and 330+ billion identity elements.
- Pipl API: Bringing results from Pipl’s online identity index to various platforms and tools.
Pipl solutions feature:
- email data enrichment
- phone data enrichment
- social handle data enrichment
- location-based search
- digital form auto-filling
- pay-per-query pricing
Why Look for a Pipl Alternative?
Depending on what one uses Pipl for, there can be several reasons why you might want to look for an alternative.
If using this product to power your lead generation and sales, one consideration may be the fact that the database, though vast, is not live. Stale data, for example someone’s previous professional position which they have moved on from, can throw a spanner in the works depending on how you intend to use the information.
For those who utilize Pipl primarily to verify shopper email addresses and stop ecommerce fraud, this solution works only on a small scale, because it powers manual reviews rather than any automated system.
Though human reasoning is valuable, this method does not scale up as well as comprehensive fraud preventions solutions do – and is of course open to human error.
There are similar concerns in other industries. However, it might be more of a case of looking for similar products to add to your arsenal rather than replacing Pipl outright – though this will depend on pricing, too.
For forensic and legal investigations, for instance, the question would be whether Pipl returns as much reliable data as possible. Or is a competitor likely to provide even richer results?
Six Pipl Alternatives
Without further ado, let’s look at what else is out there that can replace or sometimes complement the functionality Pipl provides.
Features & Use Cases
Founded in 2015, SEON is a fraud prevention and risk management vendor with offices in London, Jakarta, Budapest and Austin, Texas.
Tamas Kadar and Bence Jendruszak, two professionals in the tech startup field, decided to develop their own solution when they realized that there was nothing available on the market that fully covered their own company’s needs.
Though SEON uses strong industry staples to prevent fraud – such as cross-browser fingerprinting, potent IP analysis and velocity/behavior checks – it also adds reverse email and phone lookups as well as data enrichment to the mix, thus offering unique insights.
SEON offers part of its reverse lookup functionality for free. You can try it out right here:
Tapping into more than 50 social networks, web platforms and apps, SEON’s data enrichment solution identifies and analyzes over 100 data signals to return detailed profiles of each user, complete with risk ratings that can be used for manual reviews as well as trigger risk rules.
Importantly, these rulesets can be set manually, adopted from industry-specific presets or even created specifically for a company using machine learning from its fraud event history.
Thus, the main differences between SEON and Pipl are the fact that the former allows for automation and scaling, as well as Pipl’s focus on one avenue of verifying users versus SEON’s multi-pronged strategy.
Features & Use Cases
The popular email address verification tool ArkOwl was founded in 2012 in Minnesota by Mike Greiling and Rob Daline, who sought to use open-source information to enrich email addresses and phone numbers, thus revealing insights into their owners and their legitimacy.
More than 81 data points are analyzed from live data, including historical breaches, domain whois and first/last seen. After the enrichment, fraud analysts are presented with a profile generated for each shopper that can tell us whether they seem to be genuine or a throwaway persona created to attempt fraud.
Among the benefits of using ArkOwl is the fact all data is live and thus more trustworthy than historical datasets.
Its free trial is appreciated by potential customers and the flexible pricing structure makes it easier to integrate – with options ranging from pay-per-query to monthly subscriptions and pre-purchase queries using real data.
However, this tool is only suitable for manual reviews, as it cannot trigger any responses to suspicious users, nor does it provide risk ratings. The social media lookup feature, though useful, is limited compared to other vendors, while phone number lookups do not find results on popular messaging services such as Telegram.
Features & Use Cases
Out of Pasadena, California, Spokeo hails back to 2006, when it was created as “a social network aggregator to simplify our digital lifestyle” – and soon became an online search engine for people looking to reconnect with family and old friends, build new connections and find information on the legitimacy of individuals.
Spokeo states that it serves million of customers a month by providing results from 6 billion consumer records, 89 million business records and more. What you can do with Spokeo is find social media, court records, historical records, business records, and consumer records linked to an email address, street address, full name, phone number or business name.
Customer reviews of Spokeo found online suggest that individuals may not consider the pricing model transparent enough, though businesses/enterprise customers are more likely to be satisfied with the service. There was also mention of information being “outdated” as most of these results are not live.
One important limitation is that Spokeo is US-only, including providing contact information for United States residents and not even accepting payments for Spokeo’s services from anyone abroad. Therefore, those in search of a Pipl alternative to look up individuals in several different countries, or those not based in the US, would be better off with a different tool.
Features & Use Cases
A startup founded in 2012, Emailage was eventually acquired by LexisNexis in 2020, becoming part of the data mining company’s roster of tools and solutions.
The main functionality of this solution is an email lookup tool that profiles a shopper or user starting with the email address they enter at signup. It also assigns them a risk score, triggering alerts when someone is deemed suspicious and potentially blocking them from transacting.
Thanks to its links to LexisNexis, Emailage has access to two impressive datasets: the Emailage network, developed through the company’s lifetime, and the Digital Identity Network, which grows by thousands of fraud events a day.
It should be noted, though, that neither of these indexes contains live data and that, though global, some search results may be lacking in certain countries, per customer reviews.
As may be evident to some readers, Emailage’s roster of clients is mainly looking to automate its defenses against fraudsters. They mainly come from the realms of financial services, insurance and big corporations, and include OFX and Gol Airlines.
Also, those interested in a Pipl alternative that integrates well with other tools may want to look elsewhere as, though integration is seamless with other LexisNexis products, it is not as easy to do in a more diverse stack.
Features & Use Cases
Available as a web app and a mobile app, PeopleLooker is a search engine that combs through public records for information on individuals and businesses – in other words, it conducts OSINT searches.
Similar to some others on our list of Pipl alternatives, these include people search, phone search, email search, property search, unclaimed money search, and business to business search. This can be done via the website or the company’s Chrome extension.
Professionals in sales, marketing and recruiting are encouraged to use PeopleLooker to enrich the information they hold on leads and customers, scrutinize potential new recruits, and conduct a series of other useful investigations.
This solution specializes in corporate use and offers multiple ways to search, though it should be stated that the functionality is often the exact same as some of the other solutions on our list, with some combining all their search modules into one and others keeping them separate but very similar in functionality.
Importantly, PeopleLooker will only trawl through US-based records and in fact “is not intended for use outside the United States or in any jurisdiction where its contents are prohibited”, per the official website.
This is because there are regions, such as the EU, which have different consumer and privacy protection laws, as well as separate records.
Therefore, this vendor’s products are only suitable for US-based businesses looking for information on US-based individuals.
Features & Use Cases
Another email lookup solution only available in the United States is BeenVerified. Note that American businesses will also need to only want to look at the details of US-based individuals and companies to benefit from this service; it’s not ideal for American companies who also want information on international users.
Running for over a decade, BeenVerified claims to have helped over a million people get reports, all originating from public records. In terms of market positioning, this OSINT search vendor highlights how useful its services can be to individuals as well as companies, who can find out whether someone they’ve met has a criminal record, as well as background checks for employment, etc.
For instance, when it comes to the vehicle VIN search functionality, BeenVerified claims to be able to yield information such as: specifications, equipment details, market value, ownership costs, accidents, theft records, sales, background searches and title checks. There are also phone, email, address and B2B lookups with similar breakdowns – any information that is available to the public.
In addition to the website-based search, there are separate apps for iOS, Android and Apple Watch.
Unfortunately, BeenVerified’s online reviews leave a little to be desired, as there have been complaints about inaccuracy of information. However, BeenVerified does not store information itself, and it’s rather a matter of whether the information is sourced and combined correctly, as well as of how stale the public databases it uses are.
How to Choose a Pipl Alternative
When choosing an alternative to Pipl, one important question to consider is whether you can afford to go US-specific, based both on your location and the location of your investigation subjects.
If you are US-exclusive, you have more alternatives, with all six of the above options available to you. If you are not, you should rule out BeenVerified, Spokeo and PeopleLooker, since they can’t serve your goals.
From there, explore what information each will give you and which parts will be useful to you. There is not much of a point of being impressed with the wealth of data available if it does not affect how you work.
Pipl Alternatives FAQ
Pipl pricing works in two different ways: annual subscription or pay-per-match. Some of the Pipl alternatives we’ve touched upon here work in the same way, while others use different models. The best way to approach this is to first select which might suit your needs and then speak to their sales teams, as they may offer free demos, trials and/or discounts too.
The official website is a good resource. We have also prepared a head-to-head of SEON vs Pipl, while reputable consumer review websites such as Capterra also contain a wealth of information.
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