Whether you're looking for an old friend, a classmate, long-lost relative, or a business contact, the "people finders" below will help you find them, if there's a trace of them that can be found online. To start, I recommend that you just Google someone's name, and you will probably get more hits than you care to explore.
What Is A People Search?
Uncommon names are probably easier, because there will be less clutter in the results. But if your target is famous or unique in some way, you may need a bit of luck to find the right "John Doe" in the top 10 search results. Add to your search any keywords associated with your subject, such as their city, employer or school name, to increase your odds of striking the right person in this lifetime. Online white pages directories can be helpful at finding people. My current favorite is If you know only the person's phone number or street address, plug it into Google, or do a reverse lookup at The person you seek may very well be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or some other social networking site.
If your friend has a common name and you don't know where he or she is, that may produce too many results. Other free people search tools you can try are local newspaper websites, and information aggregators like Pipl. Pipl is designed to retrieve information from what's known as the "deep web," inside personal profiles, directories, publications, public records and other databases where most general-purpose search engines don't look.
It then works to cluster the results that pertain to a single person and present them to the searcher. Argali White and Yellow is a free software download Windows only that searches multiple online phone directories AnyWho, Google, InfoSpace, Switchboard, and others and presents the combined results in a clean ad-free format. It also does reverse lookups for phone numbers and addresses. The Home version is free, but only permits 10 searches a month. Another common question is how to find a person's email address.
It's difficult to do an email lookup, because even if you know the person's name, address and telephone number, an online email directory would be a source for spammers to harvest.
Your best bet is to look for them on Facebook or LinkedIn, and see if you can make contact that way. And of course, you could contact them by letter or phone, and ask! High school and college friends can often be located with Classmates. These are legitimate and useful sites, but both have been known to use spammy techniques to advertise their services.
Have you ever gotten a spam email with a subject like "A friend has searched for you, click here to connect"? Clicking the link sends you to the site, where you are prompted to enter your name and age, and then a search is initiated. The results will often list various people who purportedly have searched on your name.
The catch is that you have to join the site as a member to get information on your schoolmates. Be wary also of sites that spam you with not-so-subtle messages like "One of your friends has a crush on you! These sites are gimmicky or fraudulent, as is the case with any business that advertises via unsolicited emails. Some sites will ask you to enter your mobile phone number, then send you all kinds of advertising, and you end up paying for text messaging spam that can be hard to stop. If you don't want to lay out cash, try searching in Facebook first to find schoolmates, or find your school's website and get in touch with the alumni association.
If you're looking for information on a relative, or you're interested in genealogy, see Family Search or Ancestry. You can also check the Social Security Administration Death Index to search for information on deceased persons. It will ask for your name and email address to access the records. You can enter real or fake info there to get past that roadblock.
People Search & People Lookup
I've also found that online obituaries, typically printed in local newspaper websites, can reveal information about people, their location, and their relatives. If you know where a person lives, the local government offices may have a searchable online database with information about property ownership, mortgages, liens, judgements, foreclosures, matrimonial records, trade licenses and other public records. A Google search for the county clerk's website will usually point you in the right direction.
And just to cover all the bases, I'll mention that most U.
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To find a business online is usually much easier than finding a person. After all, businesses want to be found by potential customers. So most businesses list themselves in search engines and specialized industry directories.
Simply Googling a company name usually does the trick. But usually, you can find a business online without paying for the information. See my article on Finding Company Background Information to learn about several of these tools. Other sources of business information are the online business registration databases of State Secretaries, or any of several online Yellow Pages directories.
If none of those tools mentioned so far turn up the person you're looking for, then a commercial people search tool may prove useful. Paid people finders can locate people who leave few traces online. They can also reveal facts such as the person's age, unlisted numbers, property ownership, bankruptcies, previous addresses, and even criminal records. Sites such as Intelius and PeopleFinders.
The good news is that if they cannot locate the person you seek then you owe nothing. The bad news is that the information in paid people finders may be uselessly out of date. For example, a "relative" of a friend of mine identified by PeopleFinders is a woman he divorced in , and the latest address provided is equally outdated. Some people finders want you to give up your own personal data before they will give you anyone else's.
That quid pro quo is up to you, but think about who might be looking for you and whether you want to be found by them. Do you have something to say about online people search tools? Post your comment or question below Posted by: Warren 09 Sep Frequently it is helpful just to know where the phone call came from. Posted by: Joan 09 Sep Don't forget your friendly, neighborhood public library. It will often have subscriptions to one or more of the paid search tools. Your tax dollars paid for it, so go ahead and use it! Posted by: RandiO 09 Sep Another good topic, Bob Rankin.
But [IMHO] the bottom line is that it is pretty difficult to obtain accurate and current data when it is free. Your statement "Some people finders want you to give up your own personal data before they will give you anyone else's. Yet, the digital foot prints we all leave behind are so far reaching that boggles the mind.
And it is not just limited to money making operations from private companies like UPS but extends all the way out to sharing of particular personal data that is sold by the Department of Motor Vehicles in most states, even if such data is not technically "public" record! Posted by: Brad 09 Sep Tried for years to find my lost cousin by Googling her husband, a successful attorney - no luck.
One day, on a hunch, I Googled her name. She was mayor of a city in California. I learned an embarrassing lesson from that. Posted by: Pete 09 Sep I'm not impressed with either Family Search or Ancestry. Looked for myself, ultimately providing year and place of birth. Kiwi Searches will instantly begin searching through billions of records in order to find any available background information on that person.
In this report, you will find all sorts of public records about the person you searched for.
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10 Best People Search Engines to Find People Easily () | Beebom
Thanks to modern day technology, the internet has opened the gate for automated public records directories. Kiwi Searches cuts hours of searching into seconds with the click of a button. At some point in your life, you may have had to make a tough decision and gave your child up for adoption. After all, as a parent, you never stop caring.