Find Anybody: Start Searching Billions of People Records
Conducting a people search is fairly common these days. Whether a person wants to find out more about a new neighbor, locate an estranged family member, or conduct a background check on a new employee, people finder sites can provide a wealth of information.
To understand how these sites work and which ones offer the best intel, we’ve created this guide.
What is a people search?
A people search or a people finder, as the name suggests, gives an individual the ability to find people online, usually through a specific search engine. The search results can provide personal information that’s obtained from public sources.
What kind of information is provided in a people search?
Search engines that are designed specifically to find people can provide a wealth of information. What can you learn about someone by conducting a people search? Here’s a list of possible information:
- Contact details
- Location history
- Criminal records
- A list of family members
- Social media profiles
- Marital history
- Personal information
Are people search sites free?
While many sites can provide a lot of details, it’s important to realize that not all of this information is free. Many sites offer basic personal information for free like a person’s name, address, and age, but charge for additional records.
Why would someone conduct a people search?
There are many reasons to conduct a people search. Here’s a look at the three most common reasons to conduct a people search:
Find a lost friend or relative
A lot of people use people searches to find old friends or relatives. Maybe there’s an old neighbor that moved away years ago that you’d like to reconnect with, or maybe a family member passed away and you’d like to get in touch with extended family - a people search can help.
Loss of time and money
Research shows the cost of a bad hire is equal to 30% of the employee’s annual salary. An employee whose salary is $35,000, for example, who isn’t fit for the job will cost the company an estimated $10,500. The expense is generated from lost work, lost productivity, and time spent firing and rehiring for the position.
A background check could provide details into a troubling past that includes workplace theft. This goes beyond stealing a stapler or a few notepads and includes problems like cyber crimes, gross misuse of company revenue, and questionable inventory practices. These are problems that every small business owner should know about long before hiring an employee.
If an employee causes a problem at work and it’s something the company should have known about, the company can be held liable for their negligence.
Let’s say, for example, that an employee files a harassment complaint against the new hire. If the company failed to do a background check, which shows a previous harassment lawsuit involving the new hire, the company can be found negligent because it’s something the company should have known.
Used as an investigation tool
Sometimes people work hard to disappear. Maybe someone’s running from the law or trying to skirt alimony payments, for example. In those cases, people search tools can be used to help authorities find those who don’t want to be found.
A people search tool is one of many applications that can help find someone, but it usually provides enough information to start a search.
How does a people search work?
When visiting a people search website, a small amount of information is entered into a search bar. The kind of information requested varies. You may have to enter:
A person’s full name
Usually, to find a person you’ll need to enter his or her full name. In other words, you need both a first name and a last. Many sites will work with just a name, but remember, it will likely return a lot of results with a name only.
To narrow the results, most sites give you the chance to add more information.
Current or previous location
In many cases, the addition of a city and state can help narrow the search. Many sites encourage you to supply this information in addition to a person’s name. That doesn’t mean you need to enter a person’s current city and state because you may not know that, but enter a location that the person was once associated with.
Some sites can conduct a reverse phone number search. In other words, by entering a person’s phone number, people search sites can provide a person’s name and maybe even a current address.
If you know a person’s address, that information can be entered into a free people finder as an address search. Let’s say someone new moved in next door and you want to know who it is. You know the address, but you don’t know the name. A people finder can conduct an address lookup and provide the information you’re looking for.
Where does the data come from?
Whether a reverse phone lookup is conducted or a cell phone search, these sites typically scour several databases and provide all of the information in a searchable website.
The information is pulled from:
- Public records
- Public profiles
- Court records
- Marriage records
What additional ways are there to find information?
While there are dozens of sites designed specifically as a people directory, there are also ways to find information outside of these sites. Three of the biggest names in the online world, Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, can provide unique results too.
To help people use Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn to find people, here are some tips:
The easiest way to find information is to run a simple Google search and look through the results. However, there are additional tools that can be used to conduct a more thorough search on this popular search engine.
Run an advanced search
Under the search bar, click on the word “Settings” and then click on “Advanced Search.” By doing so, a form will pop up. From here you can:
- Search someone’s exact name
- Conduct a search that removes certain words
- Search specific websites, like a company website
All of these filters provide more accurate results, and ultimately, limit the number of records that you have to sift through.
Search Google images
After entering a person’s name into the search bar, click “Images” right below the search bar. Instead of seeing a list of articles and text, you’ll only see images. If the results provide an image of the person you’re looking for, click on it to find out more contact information that can further the search.
Try other search engines
While Google is the most recognized search engine, there are other options. Try search engines like Bing or Yahoo and see what kind of information is provided there. In addition, a search engine like DuckDuckGo doesn’t track the searches that you conduct. For those trying to conduct a stealthy search, this kind of search engine could be ideal.
Facebook remains the largest social media network with 2.6 billion monthly users, according to Statista. Given the number of people who use Facebook, it makes sense to use it as a search tool.
To start, simply enter a person’s name into the search bar. Click on “People” to search for the person’s name, specifically. From there, use the filters that appear on the left side to improve the results. For example, select the Education filter and add a school to the search.
Consider combing through a person’s connections too. If, for example, you’re looking for an old friend, someone in your social media circle may be friends with that person.
LinkedIn is used as a professional social network, so this site can be particularly helpful for employers who are looking for identifying information. By simply running a search for a person’s name on LinkedIn, a person’s profile can provide previous job history, education, skills, certifications, and even recommendations from others.
Again, some of the information that’s found on a LinkedIn profile could be entered into other people search engines sites for additional information.