Have you ever wanted to know more about someone…a neighbor, employee or just anybody? Have you had phone numbers left on your answering machine you don’t recognize? The internet has been a blessing to me when I need to find out more about someone. It only takes a little creativity and time. I’m going to tell you some of the things I do, some you may already know and use, some may surprise you. I’m sure you’ll think of additional ways to find the information you need.
First, if I have a phone number, I use a reverse directory website. I like the free one by langenberg.com. Put the phone number in the first box, and it will fill in the other search boxes. On this site you are able to Google the number and use several other reverse directories, and each one opens to a new window, so no going back to the original page.
I first Google the number. There I can find if it is used on any websites or ads, like Craigslist, which gives me an idea of what this person does or is in to, and Google may provide a name. I, also, will Google email addresses and, if the site after the @ of an email address looks like it is to a website, I’ll put that into Google. Google also may show who belongs to an 800 number. Of course, some of the hits on Google are totally not really related to the phone number, it’s a good place to start. Also, try some of the other search engines, as sometimes I get new and different results with them.
Next I use every reverse directory on the Langenberg site, because each sometimes gives a little different information. Even if the phone number is a cell phone, I can, at least, find that out and what city it is based. Every little bit helps when you need to investigate someone.
If I have a name, again, I will Google it…using quotation marks around it. Better if you know the persons’ middle name or initial, but if you don’t, but know what city or state they are in, add that with your search by using the plus sign then the state or city and state. This keeps the results down so you’re not going through hundreds of results. You’ll get more creative and proficient at Google searching the more you do it.
After I Google, I check out county records and court information, if it’s on the internet. Unfortunately, not all counties have this information on the web. I do the best I can, remembering, too, that it’s key to know the person’s full name, if possible. I’m in California, and most of the counties have either recorded documents (good for property owned, liens, judgements) and/or court records, though these aren’t as common.
Doing the above gives me a pretty good idea about someone and doesn’t make me feel quite so vulnerable. And it hasn’t cost me anything but some time! I’m sure you’ll come up with other great ways to research someone once you start.