There are myriad reasons you might want to look someone up online. They might be a new match on a dating site that you want to check up on before meeting or a potential employee you want to learn a little bit about as part of the screening process. If you’re concerned about a person’s history, you can always perform a comprehensive background check. But many people do these types of searches to find long-lost family members or find out what is online about themselves. No matter the reason, these free people search sites can help you find what information is available. We took a look at the best options for those on tight budgets.
- True People Search: See phone numbers, addresses, relatives, and acquaintances
- Family Tree Now: Use public records to find distant relations
- Whitepages: Lookup by phone or address, or use TenantCheck for landlords
- Google: Search anything
- Facebook: See everything they care to share
- FamilySearch: Build a family tree
- LinkedIn: Useful for professional information
Delete Yourself From The Internet
It’s always a good idea to know what people might find out when they search for your name, and it’s an even better idea if you can control it. Follow these tips to take control of your public appearance, but remember that just because it isn’t on the first page of your Google search results, that doesn’t mean it can’t be found.
Dedicated People Finder vs. Social Media
There are two main methods for digging up a person’s information. You can either go with a site that specializes in the practice, or you can try to sift through social media. Both have pros and cons. Ideally, you will do both. But limited time requires choices to be made.
Free background checks aren’t infallible. You aren’t likely to be able to find certain information without forking over a little cash. But you might be surprised at how much you can learn before it comes to that. We hope you take into account that our list isn’t strictly hierarchical. Combining a number of the available options is the best way to dig up the dirt you need.
Do you need to reach out to someone, but don’t have their phone number or email? Or perhaps you’ve talked to someone online, and want to make sure they really are who they say they are. When your family’s security is at stake, you can’t be too careful. There are a lot of quality paid sites on the Internet that offer extensive services, but there are also free options that provide more information than you might realize. Here are the best ways to search for people online that are absolutely free.
Coming in at #7 is LinkedIn. Mainly used by professionals, it can tell you a lot about a person’s educational and professional background, as well as their current employment status and their coworkers. One of the benefits is that a higher percentage of the user base is active than on a lot of social networking sites, making it especially useful for research where you hope to make contact with the subject.
At #6 is FamilySearch, a tool designed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for those doing research on their own families, offering immediate statistics about your surname and where it comes from. You’ll need to create an account to get the full info on your search, but once you do, you’ll be able to learn a lot about deceased relatives. They also have an app that helps you build a family tree that you can share at the next reunion.
The #5 choice is Facebook. As the biggest social media network in the world, it is a rich mine of information, depending on what the individual chooses to share. If the profile is public, that might include location, relationship status, friends, and plenty of pictures. And if you see more than one profile for the same person, that could be a red flag. Not everyone uses Facebook, but don’t forget about it as a valuable resource.
Coming in at #4 is Google. The world’s most prominent search engine may return too many results to sift through, especially if the person has a common name, but you can narrow them down with a few useful tips. First, enclose the person’s name in quotation marks. This will only search for that full string, rather than each part separately. If that isn’t enough, try adding extra identifying information. The college they attended is always a good place to start. And if you have a photo, a reverse image search can do wonders. This is done by going to Google Images, clicking the camera icon, and either pasting a URL or uploading an image.
#3 is Whitepages, which provides more than just phone listings. You can start with a name, address, or phone number for individuals, or run a business search if you’re looking for a company. Whitepages will return several options from which you can pick the right person. You’ll see multiple addresses and locations, as well as relatives. There is also a service called TenantCheck, which provides screening information for landlords.
At #2 is Family Tree Now, which is a great resource for locating your own relatives. You can filter results based on living or dead people and the type of record used, and the site provides a long list of other possible relations, associates, addresses, and phone numbers. From there, you can construct your own family tree and get in touch with long-lost cousins. Their database of public records allows you to reach back hundreds of years to learn more about where you came from.
Finally, our #1 pick is True People Search, the best free option out there because of the wealth of information it provides based on just a name, phone number, or address. You’ll see previous addresses, multiple phone numbers, relatives, and a lengthy list of non-relation associates. Just type in a friend’s name, and you may find yourself listed as a potential connection.