All posts by g_firestone@yahoo.com

Expose The Business Owner Behind A Website

The great thing about living in a small town is that you know everyone by name. You know their reputation and you know where to find them, especially if they’ve done you wrong. And so you’re less likely to be taken in by a pretty face, as you already know their true character.

Not so on the Internet. On the Internet the big bad wolf can masquerade as a happy sheep. And the ugly duckling can look like  a beautiful swan!

Don’t get me wrong. I like beautiful swans. Especially when they’re all so pretty soft and white. But if they’re an ugly duckling, I want to know about it. Because if the ugly duckling took all my money and won’t give me a refund, I’m going to go duck hunting.

So let’s talk about business websites. No, not the large companies that are publicly traded and easily found. But the small businesses. The ones that make nice professional web pages, where for some reason, the owner’s contact information is completely missing.

Yes, the websites where you’re unable to talk to a live person. And if you have a problem, you’re stuck filling out a complaint form which goes into the corporate abyss.

But what if you could find the business owners behind the website?  Perhaps express your joy to them at their personal email address?  Or maybe even send a bouquet of flowers to their house while they’re eating dinner?

Do you feel guilty for being so mad at them? Why not tell them all about it on their private cellphone! They may need to know about the awful dream you keep having. You know, the one where you repeatedly sue them and put a lien on their house.

Reaching real live owners is important, especially when there’s no evidence the business has been incorporated. If it’s not an official company, it means the owners could be personally liable. And so the more owners you can find, the more houses and property you can put liens on!

So this is a blog about hard to find businesses. Businesses that might not be incorporated and might not even have a bad reputation. (Yet)
The only thing you know for sure is that they owe you money and you need to reach real live people. People who can be held accountable for the wrongs they’ve done.

As an example, I will show you how to find the owners behind missiontripairfare.com. (AKA MTAF and Mission Trip Airfare)
Missiontripairfare.com is a great example of a site that doesn’t have easy to find contact information.

Just recently, Atlanta’s Fox 5 News reported they owe people over $250,000 for airline tickets. (They took the money, never bought the tickets and never refunded the money). Others have reported Mission Trip Airfare to be a scam and a fraud. And now the FBI is investigating them!

Once, their contact information used to be out in the open. But for some reason, it’s now all been neatly removed. So here I will use real public data to show you who the owners are and (if you like) how to reach them.

But before we begin, I must warn you: There’s a lot of information out there. So don’t get lost in it. Always keep in mind the following:

When You Get Their Names & Websites It Will Lead To Their Contact Info. When You Get Their Contact Info, It Will Lead To Their Names & Websites.
(So Everything Can Be Used To Find Who Owns What!)

Four Happy Tips

  1. Get their name and ways to reach them through their website, website address and older versions of their websites.
  2. Google any contact information you find, including their business names, plus any business or personal emails, addresses and phone #s.
  3. Use their names to get their contact info and their contact info to get their names. (Gather all the info you find. Even old emails and phone numbers could lead to other owners and hidden associates.)
  4. Confirm you have the right contact information. Plug your info into the free validators for their current emails, physical addresses and cell phone numbers.

Now Here’s How To Find Them:

Scour Their Current Website For Owners Names & Contact Info
Typically, ownership and contact information can be found on their  “Contact Us”, “About Us” or bio section. Copy any contact info into Word or notepad even if it’s just a first name. You’ll be Googling it later.

Sadly, through this method I could find nothing about the owners of missiontripairfare.com. The website was devoid of any helpful names, emails or phone numbers!

Scour Their Old Website For The Owners’ Names & Contact Info
Here’s where I hit paydirt! With the Way Back Machine, you can go back in time to what the website looked like in the days of yore. 

In other words, you may be able to see owner information before they got crafty enough to remove it! So with missiontripairfare.com, I was able to browse through 10 years of changes to find one of the website owners and how to reach her!

Here’s what missiontripairfare.com looked like in 2007. Note the contact info up top is now missing from the current website. But there’s no fooling the Way Back Machine!

The owner of Mission Trip Airfare is Elisabeth Greenhill, also known as Beth Greenhill. Her photo and bio is here (site as of 2005). I was also able to find a working cellphone # for her at 404-353-6824 (confirmed by the cellphone validator below). As late as 2016, she was still on the website as the founder and owner.

Lookup The Website’s Domain Name Registration For Names & Contact Info: Also Look Up Related Sites With .org & .net
Yes! Did you know that every website must register their domain name and provide contact information? Often this information can be found for free through a domain name lookup.

For large businesses, a domain lookup is pretty much useless. The reason is that any contact info you get is apt to lead to their IT department. And who wants to talk to IT people!

But it’s a goldmine for looking up small business owners. Often a domain registration gives you their name, their phone number and their email address. Sometimes you’ll even get their personal cell phone number. How about that!

But I was not so lucky with MTAF. For some reason missiontripairfare.com has concealed their domain registration. Sometimes people will pay extra for a private (or hidden) domain registration which can only be revealed through a court order.

But fear not! Sometimes you can look up a domain history which will tell you who owned the web address before they concealed it. This is how I found Beth Greenhill’s email address, which is bagreenhill@msn.com. Too bad it’s no longer valid.

For even more leads, try looking for who owns the same domain name but with the .net and .org suffix. Often people will reserve several domain names even if they’re never make them into websites. And sometimes, they will leave their contact info unprotected!

Through this approach I was able to uncover that Jonathan Andrew Greenhill owns missiontripairfare.org and missiontripairfare.net. WOW. He has the same last name as Beth Greenhill.

Is that a wild coincidence? Or could they be business partners? Whether they’re siblings or husband and wife is a separate issue.  But read on and I’ll show you that too!  But right now I’m just looking for liability. And the more partners the merrier! 

Google All Names & Contact Info For More Leads
Even if your website has virtually no contact information, be sure to do at least two Google searches.

You’ll always want to Google the business name and then do a separate search for the website address. In my case, I jumped the gun and Googled too quickly. I didn’t have the owners’ name yet. So I was overwhelmed with hundreds of useless hits.

This is what I found for missiontripairfare.com. I got more specific results when I did a separate search for “Mission Trip Airfare” (putting the business name in “quotes”).

If I knew the owner’s name earlier I could also have Googled Beth or Elisabeth or Beth Greenhill separately or in the same search box along with the website or the business name.

Also, I could have Googled any email addresses, physical addresses and phone #s to see what else comes up.

A Google search for“elisabeth greenhill” Georgia found she lives at 225 Warm Springs Circle, Atlanta, GA 30075. She owns this property as indicated in the Fulton County property lookups.

Check For Hidden Relationships
Note: To find hidden relationships between two people, I could have Googled Beth Jonathan Greenhill. Or I could have searched for their names along with a company they might own together.

In this case I confirmed that Beth and Jonathan Greenhill are brother and sister, not husband and wife.

To reveal their connection to each other, I simply checked for back links to missiontripairfare.com. This gave me the other websites which linked to them. While this won’t help for a big site like Microsoft, here it led me to the Greenhill family webpage.

And guess what?  In the middle of the page, Mama Greenhill boasts all about her 3 three sons and her daughter, the travel agent! Now ain’t that special!

For more on Googling, see Googling For Courts, Crimes, Marital Status & Names.

Find Owners Through A Company Name Search, Both Local and National.
Off the bat, I found nothing for missiontripairfare.com. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find your business. And how I searched will help you.

Be sure to search several states and in the various ways described below in red. If you find an incorporation, see if you can open up the original company filing. This will often have the owner’s cell phone number!

Searching Several Ways For A Business
For missiontripairfare.com, I did a preliminary national search making sure not to include a city or state. The free national search is good just to see what states have companies with the same name as the one you’re looking for.

If you find one in a certain state, click on the company name for their contact information. But don’t stop there. Even if you get their address, it could be an old one.

Now that you know the state where the business could be incorporated, go back to the free listing of Secretary of States and look up the most current contact info.

The national search ain’t perfect. It could miss records. So to figure out where they might be incorporated, I also would do a search where the owner lives and has lived, plus California and Delaware, which are where a lot of people incorporate.

So in the case of Mission Trip Airfare I checked with the Secretary of States in GA, DE, IL, SC and CA. Sadly, none of these had anything for MTAF, Mission Trip Airfare or MissionTripAirfare.com. In GA, I also searched for Beth Greenhill and Elisabeth Greenhill both as a registered agent and also as the officer/owner of any company. Nothing.

Now you might be asking what does it mean if your business is not
incorporated? In short, it means the owner can be personally liable for any debt incurred here.

Even when a business has incorporated, the owner may still be liable if they used the business to defraud people. So be sure to get legal advice on Piercing the Corporate Veil.

And this is where the fun begins! If more than one person is involved in the business, it could be a partnership where everyone is liable. This means you want to find all owners, so you can put a lien on all their houses! Now ain’t that something!

Plugin Names To See If They Own Other Businesses Which List Their Contact Info
If you find the names of people connected to the business, do a national search by their names too. Remember that names lead to contact information and contact information will lead to more names.

It may be they are the officers or agents of other companies. Companies where you can find where they live and send them a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Find Their Contact Info Through The Better Business Bureau Complaint Database.
The BBB allows you to search by website, business name, phone number or email address. Keep in mind that a new business may not have complaints. I recommend a search with and without their state. It’s possible their new business  in GA has no complaints, but the old one in AL does. This only works if the owner used the same name for both businesses (not uncommon).

WIth MTAF, I was able to use the BBB to locate their virtual office which is located at 10 Glenlake Pkwy STE 130 Atlanta, GA 30328-3495. They also listed “Ms. Beth Greenhill, Founder

Find Their Contact Info Through Other Domain Names They Have
Yes, you can get their private cell phone number, physical address and email addresses based on other domain names they’ve registered for. And you can do it simply by plugging in their old and new contact information. You don’t even need to know if they have a website!

So now all the contact info you saved is paying off!

Through a Reverse Whois Lookup you can find their other websites and domain names.This works by plugging in any of the following:Their name, the name of their company, their user name, or an email address of theirs.

Now let’s get back to Jonathan Greenhill of Mission Trip Airfare. With just his name I learned he owns the following web addresses:

broadcastatlanta.com 2005-11-02 GODADDY.COM, LLC
greenhillgroupllc.com 2014-10-01 REGISTER.COM, INC.
jacobgreenhill.com 2016-04-01 GODADDY.COM, LLC
jonathangreenhill.com 2014-08-11 GODADDY.COM, LLC
missiontripairfare.net 2014-03-27 GODADDY.COM, LLC
missiontripairfare.org 2014-03-27 GODADDY.COM, LLC
policycrowd.com 2014-04-15 ENOM, INC.
policycrowd.org 2014-04-15 ENOM, INC.
videoprosim.com 2014-08-11 GODADDY.COM, LLC

To find his current address, look for the latest website/URL. In this case it’s the one I marked in red. They don’t have a website up yet. But it’s always worth checking because an up and running website might have contact information.

Note that as late as 2016, Jonathan Greenhill listed his contact address as 1425 Rock Springs Circle, and his cell phone as 404-822-4185. Here’s a photo of the property where he lives.

Are you a shy person who is too afraid to shake his hand? Well in that case, why not  email him at jag1777@gmail.com? I’m sure he’ll be very glad to hear from you. The email is still valid. But if you need several more, just grab them from one of his other domain registrations.

Note: If my link to who owns a domain name doesn’t give out details on how to find him, you may need to go to GoDaddy or where ever the domain name is registered. Then use their WHOIS to find the owner’s contact information.

Confirm You Have The Right Contact Information
By now you have a slew of emails, phone numbers and physical addresses. But which ones are current? Does the cell phone number work? Who owns it? Is the email still good? And how can you know if they even live there anymore?

For emails, check to see if it’s a working email address. For physical addresses, do a reverse lookup to find if they still live at that location. You can also verify the name of the property owner.

For phone numbers, check out OKCaller.com and Spydialer.com. Both can tell you who’s behind the phone number. And Spydialer allows you to hear their voicemail without them ever knowing who called.

For More See

fraud fraudulent scam

Googling For Courts, Crimes, Marital Status, Names & Contact Info!

We’ve all been told “just Google it!”  Well, here’s how!

Below are the best ways to Google arrest records, mugshots, criminal convictions, lawsuits, their marital status, divorces and more!

Googling For Criminal Conduct
Use variations of the person’s name along with the words
arrested, convicted, sentenced, charges, charged, felony, fraud, guilty, misdemeanor, mugshot, NOLO, pardoned, paroled and probation.

1. Jason Smith convicted
2. Jason Smith arrested
3. Jason Smith guilty
4. Jason Smith NOLO
5. “Jason Smith” conviction (name in quotes)

6. “Jason R Smith” charges (with middle initial)
7. “Jason Richard Smith” sentenced (full name in quotes)
8. Jason Smith sentenced Georgia (common name, with  state)
9. “Jason R Smith” sentenced Georgia
10. Name above with the term felony or misdemeanor

Remember to search with the name in quotes and also without quotes.  If your name is a common one, be sure to include a state as well.

Googling For Federal Crimes
Use variations of the person’s name with the words
indicted, convicted, sentenced, charges, charged and federal.

1. Jason Smith indicted
2. Jason Smith federal convicted
3. Jason Smith “federal prison”  (one term in quotes)
4. “Jason Smith” “federal prison” (both terms in quotes)

5. “United States” v “Jason Smith” (both terms in quotes)
6. Jason Smith charges federal
7. Jason Smith sentenced federal
8. Jason Smith sentenced federal Georgia
9. “Jason P Smith” sentenced federal Georgia (middle initial)
10. “Jason Parker Smith” sentenced federal Georgia (full name)

Google For Civil Lawsuits (State or Federal)
Use variations of the person’s name (with and without quotes) along with terms like plaintiff, defendant, liable, lawsuit, suit settlement, settled or litigation.

1. Graham Firestone Plaintiff OR Defendant (OR must be in caps)
2. “Graham Firestone” Plaintiff OR Defendant (“” narrow results)
3. “Graham Firestone” v (as plaintiff)

4. v “Graham Firestone” (as defendant)
5. v “Graham B Firestone” (as defendant, middle initial included)
6. v Fonzerelli (defendant, one word so no quotes)
7. v Fonzerelli “New York” (refines the search by state)

Google For Marital Status
Start with broad searches with the first names of both people along with the guy’s last name. You can narrow it down with a state or other key words if you get too many hits.

Searches with the terms above can also include the words married, husband, wife, spouse, wedding, registry, divorce, divorced and custody.  If they’re listed as husband and wife, are they still married? Find out by Googling their names with the word divorce OR divorced OR custody. (A child custody issue between them would make the answer obvious).

Or try searching for their first names and last, but with the results limited to only the past year or two.

See the search examples below:

1. Harold Karen Gruberman (his & her 1st name and last name)
2. Harold Karen Gruberman Georgia
3. Karen Harold Gruberman Georgia (names switched around)
4. Harold Karen Gruberman Georgia wife OR married (use OR in caps.)

5. Harold Karen Gruberman custody
6. Harold Karen Gruberman wedding
7. Harold Karen Gruberman registry
8. Harold Karen Gruberman divorce OR divorced

Google For Divorces
Start with broad searches and refine if you get too many hits.  See the examples below where I search with and without quotes.

Searching with his name and divorce might work.  Or it could pull up every divorce attorney in town! Here’s how to bypass those annoying ads from divorce lawyers and still get the meat!

1. “FIRESTONE v FIRESTONE” Richard
(use quotes, may pull up several of his divorces)
2. “FIRESTONE v FIRESTONE” Richard Susan
3. “FIRESTONE v FIRESTONE” Richard Susan Georgia
(WARNING: Adding GA could exclude his divorces in other states)

Googling A Name
Try various combinations. Note that each variation can yield different results. See examples below:

Name Alone
Michael Cohen
(can pull up middle initial)
“Michael Cohen” (“” for an exact phrase, good for bus. records)
“Michael R Cohen” (middle initial, good for mugshots)
“Michael Robert Cohen” (full name, good for death records)

Name With Other Info
“Michael Cohen” “New York”
(narrow hits by state or city)
“Michael Cohen” architect (narrow hits by profession)
“Michael Cohen” ukulele (narrow hits by hobby)
“Michael Cohen” Microsoft (narrow hits by employer)
Michael Roberta Cohen (narrow hits by spouse or relatives)

Googling Phone Numbers
Try various combinations. Note that each variation can yield different results. See examples below:

1. 404-867-5309        (dashes)
2. (404) 867-5309     (parentheses)
3. 4048675309           (raw number)
4. 404.867.5309         (points instead of dashes)
5. “867-5309” Graham  (root # with a first or a last name)

Googling An Address
Less is more. Do not attempt to put the whole address into Google as it may exclude valid results. Here’s how to Google
515 Wyncourtney Ct NE, Atlanta, GA 30328.

First Enter
515 Wyncourtney

If you get too many hits or irrelevant returns, try
“515 Wyncourtney”   (“” keep phrases together)

Other Searches:
“515 Wyncourtney Ct”
“515 Wyncourtney Court”
“515 Wyncourtney Ct”  Atlanta
“515 Wyncourtney” Atlanta

Googling A Business Owner
Google his name or company (do both) and then do it again with the following words: suit, lawsuit, litigation, complaints, fraud.
.
At first, search without limiting it to a particular state.  You may discover he’s had the old business in other states where people have complained about him. Too many hits?  Then add your state too.

Googling A Home Builder (phrases in quotes)
1. “Edward Hightower” builder complaints
2. “Edward Hightower” builder fraud
3. “Edward Hightower” “home improvement” complaints
4. Edward Hightower builder litigation (name w/o quotes)
and
5. “Equine Barns” complaints (his company)
6. “Edward Hightower” builder litigation Georgia
7. “Edward Hightower” builder lawsuit Georgia
8. “Edward R Hightower” (builder’s middle initial)

See Also Google Like A Pro
For How To :
1. Google search 100 hits per page instead of 10 per page
2. Search for an exact phrase using quotes
3. See old versions of a website (Google Cache)
4. Search for key words once on a web page
5. Exclude Google returns that contain unwanted words
6. Search for recent results in the past week, month or year
7. Search within a particular website
8. Search For Images (Google Reverse Image Search).

6 Ways To Background Your Date

So you’ve been texting someone from hookup.com and you’re ready for your first date.

But who is this guy? To find out, your first thought might be to do a fee based background check. After all, you want to protect yourself and these pay sites promise they can find anything.

But do you even know what you’re looking for? And if not, why should you expect results because you threw money at them?

The Overrated Criminal Background Check
When most people think PAID BACKGROUND CHECK, they’re almost always thinking about a criminal records search. And often, they have no idea what to look for. No clue on what’s truly important.

Granted, it’s a little off putting to discover your date is a dangerous child molester. Or that he may have beat up his last girlfriend for eating too much dessert at the Taco Bell.

But most people don’t have criminal records. So you won’t learn much if the guy’s missing a rap sheet. It would be like thinking he’s safe to date, simply because he has no cavities or was never seen wearing a pink tutu.

Other Things You Want To Know
For example: What about the guy with no criminal record who’s hiding he has VD? Or the ex Boy Scout/choirboy who just happens to be lying about his age, his property or the fact that his recent photo is from the Carter administration?

These are the things you won’t find in a criminal records check. And trust me, you’ll want to know about them.

Easy Ways To Weed Out Creeps & Liars
Your first step is to confirm the information he’s told you about himself. Has he given you his correct name, his true age, or concealed or misrepresented things about himself? 

For example, does he rent when he says he owns? Is there a woman on the deed to his house? Does he have 5 different dating profiles with different ages… Or do any of his photos turn up on scam lists or at ashleymadison.com?

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Little lies are like little wildfires. Both are far more dangerous than they appear.

How To Search Criminal & Other Databases (excluding Google)

Less is more. Don’t fill in gender, race or county. Your attempts to be specific will cause you to miss valuable records. At first, try with just a first and last name only, no middle name. If you get too many hits, then add a state. For more see People With Common Names-How To Background Them.

Free Links To Do A Real Background Check

1. Reverse Searches of Cell Phones, Emails, Photos, User Names, etc
Most people volunteer information about themselves. To verify and uncover additional information about them, be sure to plug their contact information into these free reverse lookups.

As a byproduct you’ll often get their middle initial or middle name, age plus other places where they’ve lived. This can come in handy for the criminal searches which come later! For when you know he’s lived in another state, you’ll be searching there too! 

 

Red flags include not being able to find his name, or finding a different age or another person with his contact info. Check several sources as they’re sometimes wrong. For more see Verify Their Marital Status-Part II.

Look them up on at least three of these sites to see what comes up.  Often you’ll get a history of addresses, phone numbers and even prior jobs and schools they attended. And of course, their all important middle name or initial which is great for Google searching.

Note that employment and education are self reported and almost always taken from LinkedIn and Classmates.com. So take it all with a grain of salt.

But even false information on employment and education can be helpful. For example: Maybe your John Smith lied about going to Harvard. But at least you know it’s him when you see the same guy posting the same lies on imacheater.com!

 

Red flags include not being able to find his name, or finding a different age but with the correct contact info. Also note additional states he’s lived in and if there are female relatives within 12 years of his age. Could be a spouse. Check several sources as they’re sometimes wrong.

Once you know he’s given you the right name, and you have his middle initial, search for arrest mugshots, and the obvious criminal records. For example, federal prison records, sex offenders and the national databases for misdemeanors and felonies. Don’t search with his middle initial. Just keep it in mind when you see the results so you know it’s the right person.

 

Red flags include finding his mugshot, or his name with middle initial or any contact info that leads you to believe it’s really him and not someone else with the same name. For more see Is The Crime Still Online?

4. Googling

Don’t forget to Google him by name, as well as by any of his addresses, phone numbers, emails and usernames. For phone numbers, try like this 678-587-9228 and (678) 587-9228.

For names, Google with and without quotation marks.

Examples:
John Smith
“John Smith”
John R Smith
“John R Smith”
John Roland Smith
“John Roland Smith”

Too many hits? Then add their city or state. (or a prior city where they once lived.)

 Googling For Drama

To see if they’re a hot mess, you can add words like arrested or convicted or sentenced or indicted or fraud or lawsuit or plaintiff or defendant or married or divorced. If for example, the age/relative lookups show he only lived in two states, you can plug these in to further narrow your Google search. For more see Google Like A Pro (Quick Tips and Verify Their Marital Status-Part II.

5. Bankruptcies & Bad Debt
Bankruptcy records are free and it’s always good to know in advance if he can’t handle his finances. Obviously be on the lookout for recent bankruptcies. For more see the Sleuth For The Truth blog on Free Bankruptcy Records.

6. Verify Their Profession/License or Certifications
Are they really a doctor, lawyer or teacher? Many professions are listed at the Secretary of State or state bar or state medical boards. And for government workers you can also verify their position and salaries.

For more, see the blog on Who’s Dating My Daughter?

Conclusion
Don’t sit on your hands. And don’t think you’ve got it covered with just a criminal background check. The free links above will help you uncover the lies, half truths and omissions. So be safe and don’t forget to bring along your pink tutu.

Who’s Dating My Daughter?

So your baby girl is seventeen! Congratulations. But who in the world is she dating? And should you care? After all, at 17 she presumably has some sense.

Yeah right. Maybe she’s got more sense than a gaggle of other seventeen year olds. But seriously, there’s a reason we don’t allow them to vote or drink. Teenagers need our protection. They need time to think, to grow and to become more mature.

Your kid may be a genius at school. But knowledge is not the same as wisdom. What most teens have is impulse. They think. They feel strongly.  And they live eternally in the present, without much understanding of the past or the future. So it’s natural for them to assume that what they see, feel and want must be right, good and true.

But your teenage daughter does not have the lifetime of experience that you do. She can’t see the danger signs the way a middle aged adult can. So yes, you should know who she’s dating.

Anatomy Of A Background Check-A Real Story
To protect the not so innocent, all the names and places below have been changed. (Anyone who feels I’m talking about them can sue me!)

Recently I was approached for an intervention. A father knows his daughter is prone to date bad boys. And he wanted to protect her.  So he demands she give him the name and address of her latest love interest.

She says his name is Mergio Valdez, he’s 19 and he lives with foster parents Jill and John Longbottom at 123 Main Street SW, Backwater Georgia.  An address lookup of the property confirms that the Longbottoms do in fact live there.

So what do you do with this information?

Step 1: Assume His Name & Address Is Correct and Learn More About Him
My first step was to look up Mergio Valdez in the Age Lookups. I wanted to see if there was in fact a Mergio Valdez age 19 who lived in GA. I also wanted to link him to the address I was given.

Age lookups are great for they list relatives, addresses and the all so important middle name. They also include almost everyone in the United States over 18. Even when their number is unlisted.

Red flags to look out for would include if I couldn’t find a Mergio Valdez age 19, or if I was unable to find a Mergio Valdez in backwater GA or at that address.

In this case, I looked at several sites, but his name DID NOT turn up in the age lookups! This would be virtually unheard of if he were over 30.  But it could be he was still too close to 18 for there to be much about him just yet. But I wasn’t so sure.

What really was surprising was that there was no Mergio Valdez of any age whatsoever. If I saw his name in an older age bracket, this too would be worth investigating.

Step 2: Use Social Media To Get His Photo & What He Says About Himself & Others
At this point I needed a quick and dirty way to find him on social media. I knew I could root around in Facebook. But Facebook is confusing. Especially when you have no idea what the person looks like.

Facebook floods you with a billion people including those from other countries. I didn’t want all the Mergio Valdez’s from Mexico. Just the ones in the US, and preferably from Georgia. I also wanted a means to get to all his social media postings at once.

With Pipl I was able to enter in his name and his location. If I found too little I could always search again without his location. But in this case I hit the jackpot.

A Mergio Valdez from backwater GA was on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! And from his photo he looked like a dorky 19 year old kid. (Just as we hoped he’d be.)

Now was the time to find out if he was safe. I reviewed his tweets and postings and they were all about sports and school. There was nothing about sex or violence here.

And from the photos of his friends, it seemed his site was legit and that his friends were numerous and about the same age he was. I could even read about the 3 poems he had posted.

The age of his posts were also important. I noticed his posts were from three years ago to the present. This bolstered my conclusion that this was not just a made up site to lure in the innocent. He had this up and running for a while. But not for so long that I would doubt he was really 19.

Step 3: Check Criminal Records
At this point I went to check arrest records, and other criminal databases that would pull up anyone with his name regardless of where they live. These could also be restricted to a particular state if his name was a common one.

However, using a nationwide search I still didn’t find anything. He was either squeaky clean. Or he didn’t exist!

Step 4: Check If He’s For Real And Investigate All Other Leads
It bothered me that I could only find him on social media. I kept thinking about his posts and photo. Something seemed a bit fishy.

Mergio was just too clean. What teenage boy talks only about school and sports? Either he was unusually careful or an absolute saint!

Also, why did he keep posting the same dorky photo of himself? Add to this that he kept listing his city and state, yet I could not trace him to the address we had.

So now it was the time to see if there was anything about him that wasn’t for real. After all, he could be a real person with his own photo but using a fake name. Or it could be everything including the photo was fake. Perhaps the photo belonged to a model and he “borrowed” it for his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Using Photo Lookup And Pipl To Learn More Based On
His Picture, Usernames, Phone Number or Email Addresses

So I checked the photo in Google Image lookup to see if it came from another person or another website. But I didn’t find anything.

I also put his usernames from his social media accounts into Google and Pipl.  But I still got nothing. I would have plugged in a phone number or email address too if I had them. But you can’t use what you don’t have!

Googling His Name With What You Know About Him
My next step was to Google his first and last name with the main part of his alleged address like this:
Mergio Valdez “123 main” backwater Georgia.

Again I found nothing. But I wasn’t about to give up. Now was the time to Google based on other things I knew about him. These included the names of his foster parents and the fact that he claimed to be a foster child.

I Googled for him and his foster parents like this:

Mergio Valdez foster Georgia
John Longbottom foster Georgia
Jill Longbottom foster Georgia
Mergio Valdez Longbottom

I could have added a city too if there were too many false leads. But the searches above found nothing! It was as if he just moved there yesterday or never existed.

Step 5: Circling Back To Reverse Address Lookups
At this point I was getting desperate. As a last resort I decided to do a reverse lookup on the address. It was then that I hit pay dirt!

Both the Whitepages and PeopleSmart listed a Ryan Starko, age 25 who was associated with this address. Sure enough, Googling his name with the address pulled up arrest mugshots!

Starko was a bad boy. He had many arrests and had been busted for crack! I was able to see his age, his photo, and that he was living at this address as late as 2013.

So was he still there now? Was daddy’s little girl dating a 25 year old crack addict? Given her background, it was frighteningly possible.

Soon I knew there would be a heart to heart talk between daddy and daughter! But as for me, my job was done. It was time to leave this small, sad  town with all its troubles. And so here I travel on this lonely road.  Bravely walking off into the deep red sunset.

The End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Names-How To Background

So you Googled your date “John Smith” and got a billion hits.  Some of the John Smiths are felons.  And some are florists, bankers and lawyers.  But which one is the guy who just texted you?  Even Googling his name with “Atlanta” gives you 70 million to choose from.  So how do you know you have the right guy?

Google is great for rare names.  But for common names, it’s your worst enemy.  What you need is something more focused.  Something that allows you to discover other unique things about the person you’re looking for.  And once you know these things, Google becomes your friend again.

Spotting People By Their Unique Physical Features

Sketch of a Person-Physical Things Unique To Him

In the everyday world of face to face contact, we can spot our John Smith even when he’s in a crowd.  The reason is he has unique PHYSICAL features that make him different from everyone else.

For example: We can find him by his height , the shape of his face, the color of his hair, his voice and many other things that taken together, no one else has in the exact same package.

But when looking for records, you don’t always have the benefit of a photo.  So how do you find someone on the Internet when you can’t see their face?  The answer is to find the non physical features which like their face, make them unique. For common names, you’ll want a list of such before you start Googling.

So what non physical features make your John Smith stand out in a crowd?  What’s so unique about him that it’s obvious it could be no one else?

Spotting People By Their Unique Non-Physical Features

5.0 Stick Fig 3

For example: To find your John Smith in a Google or a criminal records search, it would be helpful to know unique things about him such as his middle name or initial, or his age or date of birth. This could narrow your search from ten thousand to 10 almost instantly.

What about the names of his relatives such as his spouse, his brother, his sister or his parents?  With this information, you could retrieve records with both his name and their names and disregard the rest.

Better yet, we would know we had the right John Smith, if his name was found along with his current and past contact information.  For example, a John Smith with at least one of the same phone numbers, addresses or email addresses as the one we were looking for.

6.0 Stick Fig 4

But why stop there?  Even without his contact information, we could still narrow down our list of John Smiths for we know our John Smith lived in 5 specific cities and states and that he’s also an attorney.

7.0 Stick Fig 5

Likewise, knowing his hobbies, his fraternity, and his college and employment history would also identify the right John Smith.  After all, there may be 10 million John Smiths.  But how many speak French, went to Harvard, liked skeet shooting and worked for Firestone tires?  And how many of these were Phi Beta Kappas?  Not many I bet.  In fact, he’s probably the only one!

So  even if the person has a common name, he’s still unique in other ways where you can identify him.  And once he’s identified, you can use these things to Google him. Or find criminal records that can only be him and him alone!

Where To Find Their Age, Relatives, Middle Name, Contact Info & More

Most of the commercial background check services give this information away for free. They are counting on the fact that you don’t know what to do with it, and will then pay for a more indepth background check. Take what they give. Without a credit card, they can’t charge you.

The best of these sites can be found at
http://www.consumer-sos.com/Georgia/People_Search/peoplesearch.htm#Age

How To Use These Sites
Enter in a first and last name only. Or add a state, if you know it. DO NOT fill in any other fields as you may miss valid records. Most people want to fill in all they know including a middle name, gender, age, city… But since some records won’t have a middle name or city, you don’t want to be too specific. This goes for any site you find. Search broadly. If there are too many hits you can go back and narrow your search terms with a city.

Other Resources For Free Background Checks
http://www.consumer-sos.com/Generic-Auto/People-Search/public-records.htm#TheirTrailofPublicRecords

Blogs On How To Do Free Background Checks
http://sleuthforthetruth.com/

 

Find Their Phone Number

Scientist say that 66 million years ago, a killer asteroid smashed into the Earth and gouged a crater hundreds of feet deep and more than 115 miles wide. The event set off a chain of global catastrophes. Seas boiled, mountains were flattened. And alas, 80 percent of all life on Earth went extinct—including the landline.

Actually, 50 percent of all Americans still own a landline. And so do many companies. The fact is that a landline can lead to a cell phone.  If you find their business info, often you’ll see a cell phone number beneath it.

So landlines are not to be scoffed at! But I ain’t skipping cell phones. So put on your big boy pants and let’s get started!

1. Free Phone Directories (Landlines Only)
Free phone directories are great for reaching retired people. So if you’re selling snake oil, reverse mortgages or hearing aids, you’re in luck! But the free phone directories won’t list cell phones.

To find younger people, use these as a means to an end. Be sure to Google every piece of info you get. Even old info. Googling an old address or phone number could pull up where they work, a cell # or their current address.

2. Age Relative Lookups Plus Phone #s (Landlines Only)
The Age Lookup sites list anyone 18 and over. You can use them to get their landlines and their addresses. Critical is that you can also find out where they’ve worked or went to school. From there, Google them with their school or company name, or do a search for them on the company website. This could lead to their private cell phone #s.

3. Googling Everything (For Both Cell Phones & Landlines)
In the course of your search you’ll often get their middle initial, full middle name, prior addresses and educational history. Google everything.

Here are some examples of how to Search:

Tiffany Jones “United Lex”  (Company)
“Tiffany R Jones” (Middle initial)
Tiffany Jones “United Lex” Atlanta  (Company & City)
Tiffany Jones 678-587-9228 (old landline)
“Tiffany Jones” “1 glenlake parkway” (address with phrases in “”)

See also how to Google for an exact phrase using quotes and also how to Google Phone Numbers and Addresses for even more leads.

4. Reverse Lookup Everything! (For Both Cell Phones & Landlines)
Photos, emails, websites, addresses, user names and even old phone numbers. Any of these can dig up a current work or cell phone number. Put it all into the reverse search engines and see what comes up!

5. Verify Everything!
So you found a few phone numbers for your college ex boyfriend. Great! But are they still his? And can you text him? If it’s a landline or VoIP line, don’t even try! So what to you do now?

The obvious answer is to CALL HIM. But maybe you’re shy. Or there’s a valid business reason not to tip your hand so fast. For example: say you’re a lawyer and just want to know you’ve got the right number. If you call him now, you could spook him. Not everyone wants a lawyer on their tail!

That’s where OKcaller and  Spydialer come in. Both allow you to see who owns a landline or a cell phone number. OK Caller is best for this, but use both to play it safe.

Then use Spydialer to hear their voicemail without them knowing who called. Spydialer will also reveal if it’s a landline or VoIP.  If the Hear Voicemail button is grayed out and unusable, it’s not a cell phone. So don’t bother texting them! See also Reverse Phone # Lookups.

6. Phone #s Through Your LinkedIn Contacts (Includes Cell #s)
Yes! Did you know that often you can get the phone numbers of people in your immediate contact list? Just click on your contact. Then click on SHOW MORE to the right. And wallah! Out pops their email address and often a phone #! Didn’t get  find their phone #? Then do a reverse lookup on their email, address or web address. Or, search the company website. See below for Phone #s From Where They Work.

7. Phone #s Through Their Occupation, License Or Certification
If they’re a lawyer, doctor, teacher or insurance agent, it’s usually easy to find their updated home or work phone number. To search the contact information for lawyers, doctors, bankers, pilots, CPAs, teachers and more, see Their Profession/License Or Certifications. 

Sometimes these professionals have their own practice. If they own a small company, all the better. Companies often have websites. And those that don’t have at least reserved a domain name. See below how this too can be used to get phone numbers!

8. Phone #s Through Their Domain Names & Websites
What if you could push a button and get their phone number from from all the websites they own? And what if you could do it with just their first and last name? Or the name of their company? You wouldn’t even have to know their web address! Well stop dreaming. Your prince has come!

Every respectable blog will tell you about doing a WhoIs domain lookup. All you have to do is enter their website address into the WhoIs search engine. (For example, you’d look up consumer-sos.com but without the http or www). At that point, you can see their contact information, including their phone number. The exception is if they paid to keep it private.

But there’s a catch. Normally people won’t tell you, “Hi, I’m Bill Jones and did you know I have domain names at www….” So often you’ll have no clue if they have a website or not.

But there’s a new kid on the block. It’s a Reverse WhoIs that pulls up other people’s URLs. This includes active websites and domain names they’ve reserved but never used.

And it does so with just their first and last name! Actually, you don’t even need a full name! It works with rare first names, or their full name, or an email address, or just by the name of the company they own. So you don’t have to know much. Any one of these will do.  And once you learn their domain names, it’s off to WhoIs for their phone number!

Why Should I Care About Their Websites?
Several reasons. You want their phone number right? And you’re not picky how you get it. So when you find a live website, look for their phone number on the homepage. Often you’ll see it at “Contact Us” “Contact” or “About.” Also, a real live website is more apt to have a current contact number.

Of course, not everyone has a website. Still, there are plenty of people who reserve a domain name, even if they never use it.

As mentioned earlier, you can do a WhoIs lookup on any of the active domains you find. Be sure to Google the expired domains as these won’t be in WhoIs. Google is like flypaper. It holds on to an everything, including the phone numbers of long dead domain names.

9. Phone #s From Where They Work
OK. Suppose you know that Jim Mcdonough works at Heninger Garrison Davis. The first stop is to go to the firm’s homepage and see if they list his contact info.

But what if it isn’t there? And suppose the firm doesn’t have a search engine where you could look for him? In that case, use Google to search for the phone number within the company’s website. And don’t forget to put in key words likely to return contact info.

For instance: You could Google within site for his first and last name along with the word Contact. For example: jim mcdonough contact site:hgdlawfirm.com. When you list the website you must leave out the http or www.

Some websites will block Google search within site. But don’t you fret. Try the same search without a search within site. For example you could simply Google Jim Mcdonough Heninger Garrison Davis. Often the number will be in news articles, marketing posts or on other pages floating around in cyberspace.

How To Find Where They Work
The easiest ways to search are on Google, LinkedIn, Facebook or the Age/Employment lookup sites. The latter grabs the data from Linkedin, and you don’t need a LinkedIn account to see it.

You could also look up the company they own. And from there do a reverse WhoIs for their domain names. At that point, just plug these domain names back into a regular WhoIs for any phone numbers you can find.

Note that many professionals must list their firm and phone number with their licensing board. So you may be able to find their personal or business number through their Profession/License Or Certifications.

10. Phone #s Through Companies They Own (Reserved Business Names)
You’d be surprised how many people “own” their own company. Own could mean a real company with a real product or service. But more often it means they simply paid $100 to reserve a  business name.  Yes it’s technically an INC or LLC, but it doesn’t do anything. Not that you care. You just want to look up their registration information or use it to find their phone number elsewhere.

So check the secretary of states offices where they could be an officer, agent or owner of a company. Do a separate search for each if allowed. It may be they’re just an agent.

Not sure what state to look in? Then search nationally for companies they may own, and then go back to the state of incorporation to hunt for phone numbers. A phone number could be listed in the articles of incorporation or in other corporate filings.

Can’t find one? Then plug the company name back into a reverse WhoIs for a cell phone # that’s buried within their domain name records. Perhaps now you can see why the reverse WhosIs is so useful!

For more on companies, see below.

Private Corporations (Consumer-SOS)
Search by individual or their company. You can search within a state or nationwide to find company and then look up contact info where the company is located.

11. Phone #s Through Their Trademarks (TM Owner Lookup)
If you find a trademark owner, you can often get their phone # as well. The USPTO Trademark Database allows you to search for their trademark or the name of the trademark owner.

Choose a “basic search” and in the “Search Term” box, enter the person’s name or their trademark. In the “Field” box, be sure to use the drop down to select “Combined Word Mark” or “Owner Name & Address.

When you’re on the page of their trademark, click on the TSDR button which is on the top left. At that point you’ll see owner and attorney contact information.

Although I filed my trademark without an attorney, my phone number was still found on the link to “Attorney/Correspondence Information“.  But to be safe, you’ll also want to check “Current Owner(s) Information.”

12. Phone #s Through Social Media
I’m told this works. Rumor has it that some people still list phone numbers on Facebook. You can also do a name search on sites that get their data from social media. For example, Pipl.com collects data which may include age, addresses, education, profession and phone numbers. You can also use it for reverse lookups based on username, email or phone #s.

Find Their Email Address

So you want their email address. Or maybe you just want to write them something nice.  Like “happy birthday” or “I’m gonna get you sucka!”

Of course, with their cell phone number, you can always text them. But for those like me who hate texting, try using Facebook or Linkedin. Both of these allow you to send messages or “inmails” even when the person is not in your network.

But what if they’re not on Facebook? If they own a small company, surprise them with a special message on their “Contact Us” page. Something in all caps like “HI JON, REMEMBER ME? I’M YOUR OLD SCHOOL BUDDY WHO YOU OWE A THOUSAND DOLLARS TO.  GLAD YOU’RE DOING SO WELL. I’LL BE DROPPING BY SOON…

That said, lets talk about emails! Thanks to spammers, email addresses are getting harder and harder to find. And what you find is often downright wrong or fabricated.

The Internet is rife with lots of crappy free email finders. These will give you emails of all sorts. But it’s a total mystery where they’re conjured up from!

For instance, I looked myself up on Melissa Data to learn I have an AOL email address. AOL? Seriously? Who uses AOL these days? I never did. I never will. The email result was bogus. So free email finders are a waste of your time. There are much better places to look.

Of course, you can always Google it. This works best for rare names or for common ones where you know their middle initial or company. But Google is just the beginning. And most people want to sort through less crap not more.

So Googling is not always best. At least not until you already have an email address. For more on Google, See #4 on Emails From Where They Work/How To Get Their Email Address.

Always Check If The Email Address is Valid
Obviously you’ll be tempted to use any email source you can get. But don’t email anything until you confirm it’s a valid email address. Valid means the address accepts emails. You don’t want your message to bounce back or be lost in the Bermuda Triangle.

But even with a valid email address, it may not reach the person you’re looking for. Maybe jsmith@yahoo.com still belongs to your old college friend John Smith. But maybe not. It could be he got a new email and it now goes to Jason smith. That’s why you should Google everything you find and see what comes up. You can also enter the email address in Pipl for even more leads.

So now let’s hunt for the fast and easy ways to get emails. What we want is the low hanging fruit. The places where if you shake the tree, the email falls into your lap.

1. Emails Through Your LinkedIn Contacts
Yes! Did you know that you can get the emails of everyone in your immediate contact list? Just click on your contact. Then click on SHOW MORE to the right. And wallah! Out pops their email address!

Looking for someone else in the company? With one email as a guide, you can guess the format for all the others. Often it’s a first initial last name@company.com.

Still not sure? Then plug your best guess into an Email Validator.
If it’s not valid, it could mean they’ve left the company, they have a special email address or you got the format wrong. There’s also a slight chance that the email is valid, and it’s a false negative. This could happen if the company’s server is uncooperative.

Think they’re still at the company? Then use an email permutator to list their most likely email addresses. And be sure to plug each one into the email validator until you hit pay dirt.

2. Emails Through Their Occupation, License Or Certification
If they’re a lawyer, doctor, teacher or insurance agent, it’s usually easy to find their updated home or work address. And in some cases, such as with GA lawyers, you can actually see their email address! To search the contact information for lawyers, doctors, bankers, pilots, CPAs, teachers and more, see Their Profession/License Or Certifications. 

Sometimes these professionals have their own practice. If they own a small company, all the better. Companies often have websites.  And those that don’t have at least reserved a domain name. See below  how this too can be used to get their email address!

3. Emails & Other Contact Info Through Their Domain Names & Websites
What if you could push a button and get their email address, cell phone # and physical address from all the websites they own? And what if you could do it with just their first and last name? Or the name of their company? You wouldn’t even have to know their web address! Well stop dreaming. Your prince has come!

Every respectable blog will tell you about doing a WhoIs domain lookup. All you have to do is enter their website address into the WhoIs search engine. (For example, you’d look up consumer-sos.com but without the http or www). At that point, you can see their contact information, including their email address. The exception is if they paid to keep it private.

But there’s a catch. Normally people won’t tell you, “Hi, I’m Bill Jones and did you know I have domain names at www….” So often you’ll have no clue if they have a website or not.

But there’s a new kid on the block. It’s a Reverse WhoIs that pulls up other people’s URLs. This includes active websites and domain names they’ve reserved but never used.

And it does so with just their first and last name! Actually, you don’t even need a full name!  It works with rare first names, or their full name, or an email address, or just by the name of the company they own. So you don’t have to know much. Any one of these will do.  And once you learn their domain names, it’s off to WhoIs for their emails!

Why Should I Care About Their Websites?
Several reasons. You want their email address right? And you’re not picky how you get it. So when you find a live website, look for their email address on the homepage. Often you’ll see it at “contact us” “Contact” or “About.” Also, a real live website is more apt to have a current email address.

Of course, not everyone has a website. Still, there are plenty of people who reserve a domain name, even if they never use it.

As mentioned earlier, you can do a WhoIs lookup on any of the active domains you find. Be sure to Google the expired domains as these won’t be in WhoIs. Google is like flypaper. It holds on to an everything, including the email addresses of long dead domain names.

For Past Versions of a Website Use The Way Back Machine. Lookup all domain names in the Way Back Machine to find old Websites even if they no longer exist. Or to see early versions of the current website. The reason? Even if the current website has no contact info, the subject may have listed it in earlier versions. And this could include a cell phone # or email address #!

4. Emails From Where They Work/How To Get or Guess Their Email Address
OK. Suppose you know that Jim Mcdonough works at Heninger Garrison Davis. The first stop is to go to the firm’s homepage and see if they list his contact info.

But what if it isn’t there? And suppose the firm doesn’t have a search engine where you could look for him? In that case, use Google to search for the email within the company’s website. And don’t forget to put in key words that are likely to return his email address.

For instance: You could Google within site for his first and last name along with the word Contact or Email. For example: jim mcdonough contact site:hgdlawfirm.com. When you list the website you must leave out the http or www.

Some websites will block Google search within site. But don’t you fret. Try the same search without a search within site. For example you could simply Google Jim Mcdonough Heninger Garrison Davis. Often the email will be in news articles, marketing posts or on other pages floating around in cyberspace.

How To Find Where They Work
The easiest ways to search are on Google, LinkedIn, Facebook or the Age/Employment lookup sites. The latter grabs the data from Linkedin, and you don’t need a LinkedIn account to see it.

You could also look up the company they own. And from there do a reverse WhoIs for their domain names. At that point, just plug these domain names back into a regular WhoIs for any emails you can find.

Note that many professionals must list their firm and email address with their licensing board. So you may be able to find their personal or business email through their Profession/License Or Certifications.

How To Guess An Email Address.
So he works for Microsoft? Then get a sample email address from Microsoft and copy the format. For example, many companies use a first initial last name approach.

To get a sample email, check the obvious places like their sales, marketing or legal divisions. Don’t forget to check your LinkedIn connections as well. Or do a WhoIs lookup on their website and copy the format from the email in their registration records.

Still can’t find it? Then use an email permutator to list the likely suspects. Once you’re armed with an email that could work, use an Email Validator to confirm it’s a good one.

5. Emails Through Companies They Own (Reserved Business Names)
You’d be surprised how many people “own” their own company. Own could mean a real company with a real product or service. But more often it means they simply paid $100 to reserve a  business name.  Yes it’s technically an INC or LLC, but it doesn’t do anything. Not that you care. You just want to look up their registration information or use it to find their email elsewhere.

So check the secretary of states offices where they could be an officer, agent or owner of a company. Do a separate search for each if allowed. It may be they’re just an agent.

Not sure what state to look in? Then search nationally for companies they may own, and then go back to the state of incorporation to hunt for emails. Emails could be listed in the articles of incorporation or in other corporate filings.

Can’t find an email? Then plug the company name back into a reverse WhoIs for emails buried within their domain name records. Perhaps now you can see why the reverse WhosIs is so useful!

For more on companies, see below.

Private Corporations (Consumer-SOS)
Search by individual or their company. You can search within a state or nationwide to find company and then look up contact info where the company is located.

6. Emails Through Their Trademarks (TM Owner Lookup)
If you find a trademark owner, you can often get their email address as well. The USPTO Trademark Database allows you to search for their trademark or the name of the trademark owner.

Choose a “basic search” and in the “Search Term” box, enter the person’s name or their trademark. In the “Field” box, be sure to use the drop down to select “Combined Word Mark” or “Owner Name & Address.”

When you’re on the page of their trademark, click on the TSDR button which is on the top left. At that point you’ll see owner and attorney contact information.

Although I filed my trademark without an attorney, my email address was still found on the link to “Attorney/Correspondence Information“.  But to be safe, you’ll also want to check “Current Owner(s) Information.”

7. Googling Valid and Invalid emails
Old or new, be sure to Google any email you get! You may learn they’ve changed jobs, have another email address, or there’s some other way to reach them.

 8. Ways to Find Email Addresses In Google & Twitter
Here are blogs that cover this subject better than I can.

 

 

Find Their Current Address

Life is full of surprises. And for me it’s always better to give than to receive. Perhaps your surprise is a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Or even a big fluffy pillow. People tend to like flowers and pillows.

Or maybe your surprise is a brand new expensive lawsuit. Most people don’t like lawsuits. Defending them can make them very unhappy. But since they made you unhappy, it’s only fair they get their rightful comeuppance.

If you want to hand deliver your surprise, you’ll need more than just their email address or phone number. What you need of course, is their current physical address.

But finding such isn’t easy. The Internet is teeming with old addresses, old phone numbers, and old blah blah blah. And people tend to move around a lot. They leave their state. They leave their spouse. They change jobs. They bail out on their landlords. And then after all is said and done, they try to run away from their own heat! Often you’ll see they have 5 to 10 addresses. So which is the one you send the flowers to?

What you need is some sort of date stamp. Something that gives you a snapshot of where they lived and when. So even if you don’t know their current address, you’ll get a good idea of where they last lived.  Maybe you’ll see they just moved in last week, and know exactly where to send the flowers to.

But don’t fret if you’re still out of luck. For you’ve got a friend in the US Post Office.  Yes, the link I just gave you shows how to make the Post Office send you their new mailing address. Now ain’t that special!

Starting With A List Of Addresses
You can find a list of their home addresses and other identifying info through the Age/Relative Lookup sites. This is a great place to get lots of addresses all in one spot. Plus you get other juicy info such as their middle names, middle initials, age, DOB, and employment history.

For common names this extra bit of information is especially important. It will come in handy later when you’re Googling and looking up voter registration records. At that point, you want to know you’ve got the right John Smith.

But disregard the dates next to any address. These commercial sites are often wrong. Just look yourself up and you can see they’ll have your old college address as the current one. And your current address will have the wrong date or be in the middle of the stack.

Places To Look For Their Current Address

  • Real Property Records (Locates Homeowners)
  • Licensing/Certification Boards (Locates Professionals)
  • Corporate Lookups (Locates Owners & Officers)
  • Voter Registration Records (Locates Voters)
  • Civil & Criminal Lawsuits (Address may be in the complaint)
  • Bankruptcy Filings (Locates Debtors)
  • Patent, Trademark & Copyright Filings (Locates Inventors)
  • SEC Filings (Locates Officers & Investors)
  • Government Salary & Employment Directories (Wanna Guess?)

Government Records That List An Address
Your next stop should be government records or a reliable site that gathers such.

The government likes you.  And they have a vested interest in where you live. Especially if you’re a sex offender, a registered voter, or someone who pays taxes on a home or business. You can count on the government to update this list, especially when they want your money.

Your first stop should be the county property records. Six out of 10 people own their own home. So if you find them here by name or address, you can bet it’s the most current.

For more, scroll to the bottom or see  Government Records That Confirm Addresses.

Professional Groups/Certification Groups That Regulate Members
Next, you can search for current addresses with professional associations that demand yearly dues or require yearly certifications.

If they’re a lawyer, doctor, teacher or insurance agent, it’s usually easy to find their updated home or work address. Why? You ask. Well, just like the government, these groups want your money too! And like the government, they want to know where to find you if you cause them trouble. So these records tend to be current.

But be sure to get such from the actual group that does the regulating. For example: If you want the current address for lawyer Graham Firestone, make sure to check the state bar which governs GA lawyers. Don’t bother with Martin Dale Hubble. The latter is just a commercial directory. It’s the State Bar that collects membership fees. So they will be the most current.

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For the current addresses of doctors, lawyers, bankers, pilots, CPAs, teachers and more, see Their Profession/License Or Certifications.

Government Records That Confirm Addresses

Look Up Home Owners (Consumer-SOS)
Search by owner or by address to confirm who lives there now. Can even do a name search for homes in other states!

Look Up Corporate Registrations (Consumer-SOS)
Search by name for the address of company. Can find them if they’re an owner, officer or registers agent. If the company is still listed as active, it’s a current address!

Mugshots/Arrests (Consumer-SOS)
Have they been arrested? Often returns their DOB which you’ll need for their voting records.

Voting Records In All 50 states & DC
Confirm their current address from voting registration records. Records may also show party affiliation. Will need their DOB and county. See DOB &_Marital_Status and Find Their County

Government Employees Salaries & Employment History (Consumer-SOS)
Search for federal, state, and county employees by name and see where to send the flowers to.  A recent salary history shows they’re probably still working there!

Look Up Their Recent Bankruptcies To Get The Debtors Address
Enter a last name and first with no commas i.e.
Smith John. Press the search button and once on the new page, scroll down manually or search by CTRL F (command F for Macs). Pages are long, so CTRL F search by a first name only or by whatever is least common to that page. Got several people with the same name? Mouse over the link you want and in the URL you can see the state and city where the bankruptcy was filed!
Click on name for their address.

Recent Patent, Trademark & Copyright Filings (Consumer-SOS)
Often it’s their attorney’s address. But just as often it’s the address of an individual.

Publicly Traded Corporations & Who Has An Interest In Them (Consumer-SOS)
Are they a bigwig at a fortune 500 company? Plug in their name to see where they work, their job title, their stock & salaries and what else they own. And if it’s a recent filing, you now know where to send the flowers to!

Sex Offender Registries (Most States)
Punch in a name (first, or last or both) and get their photo, description and address. To search the most states G click on National Search. For another site click Here

Get The Post Office To Tell You Their New Address!

Find Their New Mailing Address  (Consumer-SOS)
The Post Office will send you their forwarding address. Just send a real life letter to their last address and follow these handy dandy instructions! And don’t forget the stamp.

See Their House!

Show My Street
Instantly shows photos of the house or building as you’re typing the address! If it doesn’t then take off the suite #. A photo may show the address is just a concealed mail drop and not a real suite or business. (a strip mall with a UPS, Staples or Mailboxes Etc.) For more, see Other Street View Lookups (Google Search)

Google Tips

Googling An Address (Consumer-SOS)
Basics on how to find who lives there.

Google For Their Lawsuits (Consumer-SOS)
Might list their address in the complaint.

Googling For Criminal Conduct (Consumer-SOS)
Might list their address in the indictment or charges.

Googling For Recent Results In The Past Week, Month Or Year
In Google,  type in your search and press enter.  Then click on “Search Tools” up top and click on “Anytime”.

At this point, choose the past hour, the past day, the past week, past month or past year.  You can even use the Google calendar to customize your search to the last 2 years.

 

Verify Their Marital Status-Part II

Overview
Are they married but pretending to be single? Once you confirm you have their real name,  see if a spouse is listed through property records or the age/relatives lookup sites. Then Google both names together to see if they’re still married or recently divorced.

No one single database is complete. So look through a lot of them before you conclude the person is unmarried!  Obviously, if you find a possible wife you can skip a step and go to verifying their current marital status.

Great give aways include recent wedding announcements, gift registries and recent obituaries. I love obituaries because they often lists the names and marital relationship of those in attendance.
(ex:
his son John Tilden and his wife, Golda from Florida).

So let’s have some fun.  It’s time to pull off Santa’s beard and expose the fraud.  Enjoy!

Index
1. Verify You Have His Real Name
2. Check Property Records For A Spouse
3. Look For Female Relatives that Could Be A Spouse
4. Google Both Their Names Together For Current Marital Status
5. Googling For Divorces
6. Check Free Databases For Divorces or If “The Woman Filed For a Name Change

Step 1:  Verify You Have His Real Name (a married man may give you a false one)

Skip this step ONLY if you’re absolutely sure he gave you his true name, i.e. he’s an old high school flame or you’ve seen his passport, credit card or driver’s license.  Otherwise, TRUST BUT VERIFY.

Does his cellphone number, username, address or email address all pull up some other guy? (a different photo or different name)

To find out, see Reverse Searches: Verify by Their Contact Information (Consumer-SOS)

Same goes if he claims to be a doctor, lawyer or CPA, etc.  To practice their profession, they must first be registered with the appropriate Occupational Licensing Board in their state. So if he’s given you a nick name, be sure to check a Directory Of Nick Names for his proper name.  For example: Dick=Richard, Ray=Raymond, Bill= William. Then look him up using both names. If he’s not there, it could mean he’s being untruthful about his name or profession or both.

What If All I Have Is Just His Name And Nothing More?
If you have his name and nothing else, (no username, email or cell # from text messages, etc.) verify their name by matching it with other things he’s told you about himself.

For example: If through the age & relative lookups you can’t find “Adam Rosen” age 53 in Georgia, the:guy is either new in town, or probably lying about his name, his age or both. The age & relative lookups are extremely comprehensive! They list almost everybody. (Far more so than the online Whitepages.)

Step 2: Check Property Records For A Spouse
If a woman is on the deed. Don’t let him tell you it’s his sister. Jump to Steps 4-6 and verify!

Background Homeowners To See If A Spouse Is Listed As Co-owner (50 States & DC)
6 out of 10 people own rather than rent, which means you can find or verify the names of over a hundred million homeowners with just their name or an address. Results may also include their middle initial, the home’s value, or that a
spouse is also on the deed! If you can’t find them, it could mean they rent, it’s in their spouse’s name or they gave you a false name. It could also mean they live in NYC, or you have the wrong address or city.
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Step 3: Look For A Possible Spouse Listed Among His Relatives
The age & relative lookups in Group 1 and 2 below show who may be related to the guy and how old they are.  A woman within 12 years of his age could be a sister, a roommate, an ex spouse or his current wife. Write down any female names that fit the bill. Sometimes a woman’s age won’t show up even when the guy’s does. But you can get her age by doing a separate search for her as well.  

Try at least one lookup from both Groups 1 and 2.

Group 1 (Relatives)

Intelius.com
Enter their name and state they live in for their age and possible relatives. For more relatives, mouse over “View All”.  Even if it may miss a relative, you’ll often see other valuable info about them such as where they worked or went to college.  This can help you identify them among false leads when Googling for  common name.

US Search.com (National Database)
Has age, places they’ve lived and possible relatives.  For more relatives, mouse over “View More”.

Group 2 (Marriage Records)

Moose Roots Marriage Records
Can look to see if they were ever married and when, but it’s hit or miss as the database is far from complete. But if you see a spouse, you at least know who she is if her name pops up in a deed or other listing. Not good for showing divorces.

FamilyTreeNow (Marriage)
Enter a full name and can also enter in a state if you get too many hits. (first try without a state since you don’t know where else they’ve lived or where they may have got married).
Hit enter, then scroll down on left to FILTER RESULTS. Choose either Marriage Records, Divorce Records or Living People…  (Misses many who are either married or divorced, but it’s worth looking at.)

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Step 4: Google Both Their Names Together For Current Marital Status

If they’re listed as husband and wife, try Googling their names with divorce decree. Or try searching for hits only in the last year.

Google Search Combos For Marriage (start with broad searches and refine if too many hits)

Sam Karen Gruberman
Sam Karen Gruberman Georgia
Karen Sam Gruberman Georgia
(switched the names around)
Sam Karen Gruberman Georgia wife OR married (use capital OR to get either “wife” OR “married”)
Sam Karen Gruberman Georgia wife OR married (Google Set to Past Year Only)

Limit Your Results To Past Year Only
Click on link above and replace names and state with the ones you’re looking for. Or learn how to limit Google searches within the last year. See #6 of Google Like A Pro (Quick Tips & Tricks).
And if last month’s obituary shows they’re married, but he insists he’s not, make him cough up the divorce certificate!

Step 5: Googling For Divorces
Start with broad searches and refine if you get too many hits.  See the examples below where I search with and without quotes.

Searching with their name and divorce might work.  Or it could pull up every divorce attorney in town! Here’s how to bypass those annoying ads from divorce lawyers and still get the meat!

“FIRESTONE v FIRESTONE” Richard (use quotes, may pull up several of his divorces)
“FIRESTONE v FIRESTONE” Richard Susan
“FIRESTONE v FIRESTONE” Richard Susan Georgia (here limited by state, but could omit divorces in other states)
Pontrelli v Pontrelli Barrie (Rare last name, no quotes needed)

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Step 6: Check Free Divorce Databases or If “The Woman Filed For a Name Change

https://www.juralindex.com/
For divorces, enter in the last name of the person and then search by state and case name. Using the last name as a case name should pull up divorces and name changes. For uncommon names, omit the state. You can always add it later if there are too many hits.  OR try searching by plaintiff or defendant or all. Then hit VIEW CASE DETAILS.  Records may go back to before 1995.

Note: For all you google experts who use Google to search within the bowels of other websites: It’ a waste of time in this case! Google won’t puck up records that are there which means you’ll be misled even more if you find nothing. You’re better off going to the websites directly.

Related Links:

Reverse Searches: Background Them By Old Contact Info

Ever Google a common name like “Jason Smith” to find there’s thousands of them?  Or suppose you want to learn more about Carol Jones, the hot vendor who moved into the office next door?  Google lists over 100 millions hits for her.

So which one is the pretty blond without a wedding ring?  And is she really single?  Or does the wedding ring vanish, but only when she’s selling to her mostly male customers?

There are many reasons to do a background check.  For example: If Carol is single, just knowing what she does for fun could put you miles ahead of the competition.  Imagine her surprise when she hears you talk about her one true passion.  Which of course is to see the Special Olympics Unicycle Ukulele relay race. (Now I don’t recommend you lie.  But if you truly have similar interests, you’ll feel a lot bolder when you talk to her!)

So how can you find out this info?  And do it quickly without false leads?

By the way, this blog is a short add on to People With Common Names-How To Background Them and to the blog  Age, Relatives & Middle Name: The First Stop In Any Background Check.  In those blogs, I spoke about finding people by their unique identifiers, such as their age and middle name.  But  I assumed you only had their first and last name to work with.

Sometimes you have more.  For example: you could have their old or current email address, an old or current cell # or a prior home address. You might even have an old user name of theirs from when you met them on Match.com.  Obviously you waste nothing by plugging this into Google.  For more on that see Google Like A Pro (Quick Tips & Tricks).

But even before Google, you’ve got a powerful tool you may not have thought of.  Through reverse lookups, you can cut to the chase and find your exact Carol Jones in an instant.

Reverse Lookups (Searching By Contact Info)
When Googling  for common names, you know from my other blogs that it’s best to have at least a middle initial or maybe even a state where they once lived.  From there you sift through all your hits.  Usually you will find your target.  Usually.

But with reverse lookups or Reverse Searches, you can shortcut this process.   Key is finding the right FREE websites where you can plug in whatever piece of information you got.  The best of these instantly give you more information than what you started with.  They don’t take forever to load; and they don’t string you along.  Key is that they hone in on your subject, not someone else with the same name.

Well, guess what?  I just gave you these links both above and below!  And they’re organized based on the type of contact info you’re most likely to have!  Emails, phone numbers, addresses and user names.

For example:  this link in Pipl.com searches based on my email address of g_firestone@yahoo.com.  Now click on a few of the links and you can find my middle name, my Twitter and Facebook accounts, my age, my profession, etc.  What’s more, the hits you get are linked directly with this email address.  So you know you got the right Graham Firestone.  Not that there was any doubt.  I’m the only Graham Firestone on the block. OR in the world!  But it matters when your name is a common one.

For phone numbers, you could get similar hits to the above.  Or you may just find the invaluable middle name.   But Google whatever you get for even more results.

Note that you can always plug an email, phone number or user name directly into Facebook or other social media.  Sometimes it even works!

So stop lollygagging and start searching!  And don’t forget to comment if you have thoughts, feelings or suggestions.  Doing so makes me feel warm and fuzzy. And I like warm and fuzzy.

Good luck!

Reverse Searches

Emails Phone #s
Photos/Images Street Addresses
User Names/Dating Profiles Websites/Intellectual Property