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How To Find Information About People

Updated on October 26, 2009

Why find about people

It is estimated that 30% of all Google inquiries involve finding about people. There are numerous reasons to find information about people such as...

  • finding and reconnecting with old friends
  • checking out the background of potential clients
  • checking out the background of potential employees
  • seeing if the guy or gal you just met is a safe person to have a relationship with
  • to see what old enemies are up to

The list goes on and on, but since we are social creatures we will never get past this obsession. In days gone by you you were usually dependent on gossip or a direct inquiry about those that were with in your circle of acquaintances. Now days with the Internet things are different, much different.

Where to find about people

The best place to start is Google. Yes, this behemoth of a search engine will often cough up the address and phone number of the people you want to find out about. If you feed it enough data such as the persons name, city and state it will give you their exact address and often telephone number.

You can also type in a phone number and you can find out who it belongs to. All of these functions are a very helpful way to start and if their phone number and address are all you want you can probably get the job done right on Google.

How to find information about people

Just a phone number and address may not be enough in many cases and you may not want the person you are researching to know what you are doing. In this case some of the information you seek will cost you money.

Free stuff

The free stuff beyond an address and phone number is usually sex offenders background checks and some reverse phone directories.

Paid Stuff

If you know someones name and want their email address there are directories for that, but you will have to pay around $14 for the information or if you have several that you would like to find you can get a yearly subscription to the service. Cell phone directories also cost you around $2 per name or you can also get subscriptions to this service. Complete public record background searches can cost between $70 - $80 unless you have a subscription to those services.

While all of this may seem costly often such searches can save us so much more in time, money, and safety. For instance do you really know who the person is that wants to babysit your kids? Do you really know the background of the tenants that want to rent your apartment? What about that guy you met at the party last night? Is he just a cute guy or is he a Ted Bundy? Finding about people after the fact is usually much more costly than a quick background check beforehand.

Where to dig deeper.

There is never a free lunch! Or so the saying goes. It is true that you will find free people searches advertised all over the Internet but they are merely portals of curiosity to lead you to the paid stuff. So up front I will tell you that for detailed information you will have to pay money.

Having said that, I will tell you as a land lord who has researched every tenant to rent from me, and thank goodness I did, I have found there are certain sites on the Internet that provide good portals to find about people. These sites often take their "pound of flesh" by having you sign up for other free services but when you do you will get an unlock code to unlock the search results on your computer and you will have the use of a pretty good people search engine for free.

An Example is such a website. If you do your initial search it will come back only with the names, age, relatives and city they live in. If you want more information you will have to register. This free process involves entering your email address, which I found they really do not share with anyone, and then registering with My After about 30 minutes you will receive an email with your user name and password. Then you can use through that link and get free results. Also in such websites there are links on how to search for information about people by social security number, phone number, email addresses, and by background checks. These cost money, but if you need them they are worth it. This certainly isn't the only example out there but it is the one I used to research my tenants. To date I have discovered one child pornographer, a violent felony conviction, and several people who skipped out on previous rents before I rented my property to them and would have had to suffer the possible consequences of having them as tenants. So my advice is, if you are going to be involved with people you are not very familiar with to the extent that they could cause you, your family, or your property harm then pay the money and get the information that can protect you.


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    • Christian Walker profile image

      Christian Walker 7 years ago from Maryland

      While this may be true and I am not saying it isn't. The converse may also be true and if the person you are dealing with has not been up front about their past and you have to find out about it by searching the Internet then there are some serious red flags.

      Can I afford to risk my children or my property to find out whether a person has reformed or not and that is the bottom line.

      If I were a person with such a background I would be upfront immedietly with anyone who I was going to have dealings with. It is better that they find out from the person rather than by research.

      Having said all of that, I am a firm believer in redemption even if the road back is difficult.


    • profile image

      Scott.Life 7 years ago

      In this day and age of background checks, it may be advantageous to know the history of someone, but be careful in judging people by past mistakes. Many people have a past they may not be proud of and have worked hard to overcome, yet this will not be reflected or explained on a background check. Additionally many people have done horrible things that escaped the attention of the authorities but if you rely solely on a background check you might never know.

      Do not judge someone by a document or things done in the folly of youth or you might find yourself on the receiving end of the same discrimination.