Are Online Address Databases a Scam?


Bit of a weird one.

I have an old friend who I’m a bit ashamed to not be in touch with anymore. I was 19 when we met, she was 52. I was kind of homeless at the time and she fed me, gave me a place to stay, and basically did a lot for me. (With no strings attached if anyone is wondering).

After we parted ways, I kind of took everything for granted. Within 6-months I’d passed my first-year exams at university and decided to move to New Zealand for a year. As things worked out, I ended up living in NZ for three years and we lost touch.

When I finally did return to the UK, I went back to the city where my friend lived. However, when I reached the street where we used to live, it was demolished. I was very limited for time and didn’t have time to stick around and find out where she had moved to or even if she was still alive. In fact, within another year I was living in Hungary.

Anyway, I have always wanted to find a way to get back in touch and a website called says that if I pay £30, they will give me her address. As a taster, they show the beginning of the postcode of the person you are trying to find, their age range, and their full name. You only get full address details when you sign up.

My problem is, that I’m pretty sure hat it is illegal to sell peoples personal private information to the highest bidder. - Especially with the advent of GDPR.

In this case, has anyone ever used a service like this to find someone’s personal contact details? And if you did, did it work out? What I basically don’t want to do is pay up and find myself facing another paywall or TOS reason why the company can not supply the requested information.


In Macedonia, we have a hotline run by the state, it’s an expensive phone number which gives you such information. However, there are many people that opted out, and now with other networks, and as you said new sensitive information laws, that thing might not even work anymore.

Usually, I look up people that I need, either on social media (but you don’t use those) or either try getting in touch with a friend that knows someone. Of course, you would have tried this if it was possible.

I think that does online databases work, as they have algorithms that cross-match every public-record databases. There was a similar company in the US which corporate clients use is for vetting potential employees. However, the US is a different thing than the UK. In UK privacy is taken a lot more seriously. However, there is a high chance that you wouldn’t find much information or not at all for a great portion of citizens. As they either don’t have a criminal record, they haven’t filed for bankruptcy, don’t take any social benefit - and similar. It’s a long shot, but you can certainly try for a person which have meant something to you. Although, probably it would be cheaper to fly with WizzAir/RyanAir to the UK :slight_smile:

Have you tried looking her up on LinkedIn - or try looking up some of the neighbors which lived near her. Of course, Freaky, that was like 10-15 years ago - and she is too old for LinkedIn…


One of my friends was a member of a social club where it was important to know that each member who wanted to join had no criminal record. She signed up for one of those online thing for a free trial and then decided to keep it.

It did give her some information but you still had to do hunting a pecking. What I mean by that is for instance you were looking for a someone named Victoria Lee Anderson. The more information you know the better it is for the system to narrow it down. If you know her age, birthday or someplace she may have lived and during what year, etc. It would narrow down the person with that or similar names that have a record of living in that area.

Vickie Anderson, age 52, lived on Pine Street, USA
Possible relatives: Mike Anderson, Amanda Anderson, etc.

Victoria Lee Stevenson, age 49, living on West Pine Street, USA
Possible relatives: John Stevenson, age 51; Kyle Anderson, age 29, etc.

With ages and such - it would also give you info on any warrants, arrest record, etc. but only public information that is obtainable. There is no private information like her blood type, medical history, anything that is private, not on a registry.

You’d have to figure out which one is the closest to the person you’re looking for from a list.

That is the directory in the USA. I’m sure what it would look for the site you listed.