Background Check 101

Here’s how to search fast and smart without pulling your hair out!

  1. Don’t Look For It All In One Spot. The free links have valuable information. But it’s not a ready made background report. Expect to visit a bunch of sites to get what you want. Use the pay sites for all the free information they give upfront, and then move onto the next one!
  2. Criminal Records: Less Is More. Try a first and last name and maybe their state. Do not put in race or age or middle initial unless you’re swamped with too many hits. The reason? You will over exclude records if they didn’t include the middle name or made a data entry error on race or gender, etc. Same goes with searching any other database.
  3. Use The Age Relative Lookups Before Googling.
    Before you Google, you need to know enough to distinguish your subject from others with the same name.  Age lookups will provide age, their relatives, addresses, phone numbers, middle names and initials, and sometimes even their company, license or profession.
  4. Use The Special Databases to find criminal records, bankruptcies, age, contact information, death records, neighbors, property, their profession and salaries, etc.
  5. List What You Know About The Person. You know far more than you think you do.  Include past and present contact information, hobbies, schools, profession, relatives and anything that could identify your subject in a Google search or reverse lookup.
  6. Set Google To 100 Hits Per Page. Search faster and smarter not harder! (See Google Like A Pro)
  7. Test Each Database With A Common Name. Some sites are designed badly and have only one field to enter in the name. But do you enter it as Smith, John or John Smith or Smith John (no comma)?  Experiment. If it won’t pull up a common name, you’re probably doing something wrong. Check spelling, word order syntax, and if you’ve entered in too much information. Test also with your own name so you know what information is probably right and probably wrong.
  8. Search By Their Contact Information: Use Reverse Lookups & Google to find more information about them from their address, email address, phone number or dating profiles.
  9. Copy & Paste All Potential Leads Into Word or Notepad. Include all past and present contact information, new facts, relatives, hobbies, etc.  You’ll need it later for Googling.
  10. Quick Search (Within Pages) With Ctrl F & Command F  (latter is for Macs).  If your page is 50 screens long this cuts down on a lot of reading! (See Google Like A Pro)
  11. See Old Versions of A Website with Google Cache and The Wayback Machine. Good if the link is dead or the website has recently changed and no longer lists the person you’re looking for. (See Google Like A Pro)
  12. Narrow Your Google Searches with quotes around phrases. For recent phone numbers or the latest news, set Google to pull up results from only the last year. (See Google Like A Pro)
  13. Use Near Duplicate Records to Gather More Information. So you got his name and age from the age lookup sites.  But scroll down the page for other results like his name and age and middle initial, or his name and age and cities he’s lived in. Check more than one site and gather the new information you find.
  14. Verify Info From Several Sources. Nothing is perfect. Sometimes these databases have the wrong age, the wrong relative or the wrong middle name. Background yourself so you can get a good feel for the type of information that could be wrong.
  15. Google Names, Phone Numbers and Addresses in the various ways they’re most likely to appear.

Related Links:
Age-The First Stop In Any Background Check
Google Like A Pro (Quick Tips & Tricks)
People With Common Names-How To Background Them
Are They Married? Find Out Without Even Their Last Name!

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