Category Archives: Name Searches

How to search by first or last name or a combination of the two.

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 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:

Backgrounding A Contractor

Ever hire a home contractor who didn’t do the work?  Or worse, someone who ruined your floor and then vanished when you complained about it?  Well, welcome to the club.

For most of us, the home is the biggest investment we’ve got.  So it makes sense to do a background check before you hire a home builder or home improvement contractor.

I’m not talking about doing a background check for minor matters.  If you’re single with no kids, there’s no need to background the plumber who unclogs your toilet. .

But it’s a whole different unicorn when you’re building a basement or adding a new deck to your backyard.  These are huge projects that require time, money and a commitment to get the job done.  It won’t do for the contractor to disappear on you because he’s broke or on drugs.  So you need to be sure they have the character, competence and resources to do it right.

The Three Things To Look For In Every Contractor
They must be:

  1. Legally allowed to work;
  2. Competent and honest in their work;
  3. Likely to finish the work (Fiscally sound and show commitment)

Below are the five absolute show stoppers.  If you see any of these, cut bait and run!  Don’t even think about hiring them!  And yes, I’ve provided you with all the free links to do your own background check.

  1. He’s Operating Illegally (No License )
    So he’s got a company and the Secretary of State says he really owns it.  Great.  He’s shown you he can pay $150 to reserve a business name.  But can he repair your roof?  I too own a business.  But shoot me dead if you catch me remodeling your kitchen.  Home remodeling takes special skill and training, which is why most states require a special license for it.
    .

    Now it’s possible you’re a free thinking anarchist.  And maybe you just don’t give a fig’s behind if your contractor has a “gubmint” license or not.  After all, “the stinkin state” just wants more money, right?
    .
    But this isn’t about philosophy.  This is about your home.  When they haul away your contractor in handcuffs, just who’s gonna finish your half basement?  And if he did a bad job, how will you get him to redo his shoddy work?  An honest contractor will try to fix it.  But if he’s busted, he can’t.  And good luck getting a refund from a guy who just lost his business!
    .
    How Do I Know My State Requires A License?

    Easy.  First, ask the contractor if he’s licensed to do the work and if not, why not?  He’ll either tell you he doesn’t need a license, make excuses or say he’s got one.  Whatever he says, confirm it with your Secretary of State or your state licensing board.  Just click on the map to see what each state’s requirements are for builders and home improvement contractors.  Or call the numbers listed to find out if he needs a license or already has one. 
    .

    Another approach is to Google your state’s eligibility requirements.  For example, just enter in home builders licensed in Georgia (replace with your state.)  This should tell you if he needs a license or not.
    .
    Where Do I Search For Licenses?
    Want to search for their license yourself?  Then plug in their name in your state’s Occupation Licensing Boards
    .

    Every state’s website is different and has different ways to search for licenses.  But if you can, I recommend you do a general name search without checking off the profession you’re looking for. .In fact, to be safe, I’d try pulling up all licenses holders by last name only.  Otherwise you might enter in a first name when he’s listed under a middle name or vice versa.  If you must list a profession or license type, look for search categories such as building contractor, general contractor, electrical contractor, home improvement contractor or plumber/journeyman/contractor..
    .
    It’s not enough that he has any license.  He must have the right license.  For example, a friend of mine wanted to build a new house on his Georgia farm.  But the contractor he had me background wasn’t qualified to do the job.  The guy was licensed to build barns but not homes! 
    .

    So you can imagine if he was shut down before the job was complete.  My friend could have been roofless and without a contractor!  And then the rain would come…
    .
  2. Complaints About Dishonesty or Bad Work
    If he’s legal, he could still be incompetent.  Or worse, a lousy cheat.  Now is the time to learn about his character.  Be sure to 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 same business in other states where people have complained about him. Too many hits?  Then add your state too.
    .
    Search Examples (A partial list with phrases in “”)
    “Conrad Peters” builder complaints
    “Conrad Peters” builder fraud
    “Conrad Peters” “home improvement” complaints
    Conrad Peters builder litigation (name w/o quotes)
    and
    “Equine Farms” complaints (his company)
    “Conrad Peters” builder litigation Georgia
    “Conrad Peters” builder lawsuit Georgia
    “Conrad R Peters” (middle initial)
    .
    Be sure to also Google the contact information on their business card.  Include their phone number, email address and physical address.  See How To Google By Their Address,  Phone Number and Email.  For how to Google using quotes, no quotes and their middle name, see Google Like A Pro (Quick Tips & Tricks) and People With Common Names-How To Background Them..
    .
    Also check out his business with the national Better Business Bureau Complaint Database. You can search by website, company 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 his new company in GA has no complaints, but his old one in AL does.  This only works if he used the same name for both companies (not uncommon).
    .
  3. The Guy Was Born Yesterday (New Business, But No Work History)
    It’s not enough that he has no complaints.  If he’s experienced and good at what he does, his name should be all over the Internet.  So beware of someone who appears to have no past.  If he’s over 40 and suddenly popped into existence two years ago, something is wrong.  It could mean he’s just new and inexperienced.  But if that’s the case, why do you want him working on your home?
    .
    But it could also be something more sinister.  For example, he could have formed a new company to hide a sordid history of shoddy work and dishonest dealings.  You’d never know because the complaints were against a different business.
    .
    How Can I See Prior Companies Or A Job History?
    Does a Google search of his name or business show a LinkedIn account with no prior companies or job history?  Or a search at the Secretary of State shows that his business is less than two years old?  Here’s how to learn what he was doing before then. 
    .

    While at the Secretary of State’s website, search for him by both his business name and his first and last name.  It may be that he’s been the officer or agent of other companies that either went bankrupt or received a lot of complaints against them. You can also search their name to see if they ever owned companies in other states.
    .
    If you find his other companies, Google these for lawsuits and complaints as well.  Also Google any addresses or phone numbers connected with these companies.  See also the businesses or work he’s had previously, by looking for his prior employment at the Age, Employment DOB websites.
    .
  4. Recent Bankruptcies (Personal or Business)
    Is your contractor having money trouble?  Can he handle your project without going broke halfway in between?  Check out how he’s handled his finances in the recent past.  For example,  I found that one contractor had two bankruptcies in 2013.  One was personal, and the other was his former company.  To escape the heat, he formed a new company in the same year and started all over again!
    .
    If you still want to use him, be to sure to ask: What happens if you start building my house and don’t have the finances to finish the project? “How will I be protected?” “Do you have safeguards now that you didn’t have in 2013?” “Are you bonded and insured?”  To find out if he or his businesses have had recent bankruptcies, see the Sleuth For The Truth blog on Finding Free Bankruptcy Records..
    .
  5. Crimes That Show Moral Depravity
    Don’t worry about the DUI from 20 years ago.  Pay attention to recent acts of violence, sex offenses involving minors and anything to indicate he’s depraved or dishonest.

Related Links

 

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!

Age-The First Stop In Any Background Check

Links & Videos (Jump To These If You Hate Reading Blogs)
Find Their Age & Relatives (Links)
Verify Their True Age For Free (Video)

Age: The Lie You Can Expose Online
Want to know the top three lies told on dating sites?  You probably guessed it: Weight, Height and Age.  The lies about height and weight are easy to spot.  If the guy is short or the woman is fat, you’ll know it by the first date.

But how do you spot someone who’s lying about their age?  And why should you care?  Personally,  I feel that telling the truth is a big part of a healthy relationship.  And if they’re lying about their age, they’re lying about other things too.  Lots of other things.

Age: The First Step In Most Background Checks
But age is not just another number.  It’s also the first stop when doing a background check.  The reason?  Most online records won’t have their photo.  So you need something unique about them to know it’s not another person with the same name.

Other identifiers include their phone number, email address, dating profile name or a physical address.  But the most common online record is their age.  This is what you’ll find most when searching for  criminal records or when on the age relative lookup sites.

Age: The Stepping Stone To Learning More About Your Subject
Age is a valuable stepping stone to learn his home address, prior addresses, prior states he’s lived in and of course, his middle name or middle initial.  Often the age lookup sites will have current and prior phone numbers as well.

Once you get this information, you can find similar records that tell you even more about him.  For example: at one site you may learn that David Rosenfield of Smyrna, GA is age 60.  And then farther down the page or at another site, you’ll see a similar record that list David Robert Rosenfield of Smyrna, GA, age 60.  Later you’ll find yet another record which lists David Robert Rosenfield of Smyrna, GA, along with his physical address at 1600 Mocking Bird Lane.

A Launch Pad For Googling And Looking Up Criminal Records
With their full name and contact information, your next step could be a Google search.  For example: you could Google every one of his phone numbers, every one of his addresses or restrict the search to his home state.   You could also Google his name in quotes, his full name in quotes or his first name, middle initial and last name in quotes.  Or with what you know about his full name and age, you could search the free Arrest Records, Mugshots, Criminal, and Civil Records.

How To Search The Age  & Relative Lookup Sites
Don’t confuse the Age/Relative  lookup sites with the online White Pages which may also list ages.  The latter won’t list the people with private phone numbers.  But the Age Lookup sites list anyone 18 and over.  Even the phoneless dead people.

To begin, all you need is a person’s first and last name.  You don’t even have to know the state they live in (though for common names it helps).

If for some reason you can’t find them, it probably means you have the wrong, spelling, or the wrong name.  Sometimes people are listed under their nick names.

For example: Richard may be listed as “Dick”, Samuel as “Sam” or Elizabeth as “Libby.”  It’s a good idea to test each site by looking up your own name.  Get a feel for what is you and isn’t you.  And also gauge the accuracy of the website.  Check at least two or three different ones.  Even if you find your subject immediately, each site may have different information.

No site is perfect.  Sometimes they’ll list the wrong age, include a stranger among relatives or mess up on addresses and phone numbers.  This is another reason to confirm your findings with several of them.

When you find something new, be sure to copy this into Word or Notepad for future reference.  You’ll want all you can get for when it’s time to Google them.  For more, See People With Common Names-How To Background Them.

Searching For Rare Names (usa-people-search.com)
Our first stop is at www.usa-people-search.com.  Let’s start with the rare name Jonah Jameson.   With rare names, you don’t have to choose a state.  And as you can see, it lists his full name, sometimes a middle name, his age, and the various places he’s lived.  You can even see people who may be related to him.

If you click “that’s the one”, it takes you to their pricing page.  But what do you care?  You already know his name, his age and where he’s lived.  It’s now time to move elsewhere for even more free public records.  See Find Or Background People By Their…

Searching For Common Names (peoplefinders.com)
Let’s check out peoplefinders.com, another age lookup site.
Here we’ll look up the common name John Smith and choose a state.

If you find you get exactly 50 or a 100 hits, it usually means your search results were cut off, because there were too many people with the same name.  To refine your search, you can add a city or middle initial.  At first try just one of these.  If there are still too many hits, you can refine your search by adding more details.

Don’t start adding too many details.  Not all records for your subject will have a middle name or city.   And if you add too much information, you could miss out on records you want to see.

So now you can look for the right John Smith based on where he’s  lived, who his  relatives are or by his age.   Don’t bother with the button to “View Details” or see all relatives.  Often this leads to their “I want your money page.”

Where To Find More Age Relative Lookup Sites
The age lookup sites are really just the teaser pages on the sites for background checks.  You can find more of them by Googling the term “background check” or “people search”.  They’re all over the Internet.

Note:  Avoid any site that searches for more than 15 seconds.  This is just a gimmick to get you excited.  Like Google, they can find your record in an instant (if they want to).  So look for free sites that are FAST!

Social Media Aggregators
These sites comb Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter (and the like) for what’s said about people in social media.  Aggregators work great for rare names or whenever your subject is easily identifiable.  They are less effective when searching for common names.  For common names, your best bet is to try the age lookups first.

Examples of these sites include:
www.peekyou.com
www.pipl.com
www.radaris.com
www.spokeo.com

Related Links
Google Like A Pro (Quick Tips & Tricks)
People With Common Names-How To Background Them
Is The Crime Still Online?
Are They Married? Find Out Without Even Their Last Name!

People With Common Names-How To Background Them

So you Googled John Smith and got a billion hits.  No surprise here. It’s a very common name.  The problem with common names is that many people have them.  So expect that most of the people you background will have a name shared by others.  But don’t worry.  We can still find them!


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 because 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 them?  The answer is to find the non physical features which like their face, make them unique.

So what non physical features make your John Smith stand out in a crowd?  What’s so unique about him that it’s obvious you have the right guy?

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 in town!

Before I tell you what to do with this information, let me show you the free places where you can find it.

8.0 Links #1

The three age and relative lookup sites above will match the name with various other identifiers so you know you have the right person.

In addition to finding out your subject’s middle name, their relatives and where they’ve lived, some of these sites also provide
current and prior addresses and phone numbers.  In some instances, their education and employment history will also be listed.

For more information on their education or employment history,
check out free sites such as Linkedin and Classmates.com
Sometimes this information can also be found in a company bio or commercial directory, which will list spouses and job histories, along with other key identifiers that make your subject unique.

So How Do I Search With This Information?
First, Google their full name and also their name with middle Initial (both with and without quotes around the name).

Then Google all contact information, past and present. This includes all their known addresses, phone numbers, emails, and companies they’ve owned, if any.

Finally, do combined Google searches with their name and school, their name and employers, their name and their profession, their name and hobbies, and there name and any other unique identifier. This can also include adding the cities they’ve lived in or the names of their relatives, their blogs, and their Websites if they have any.

Be sure to copy and paste any new information you find into Word or Notepad.  For example you may find a unique name he used on a dating site.  Or learn that he also had an additional email address.  Or suddenly realized that the John Smith you kept over looking is really the same guy!  So it pays to paste what you find as you might discover it’s needed later.

When you learn something new, Google the new information alone, or along with his name and other Identifers.

Next, it’s now time to search special search engines specific to each state so you can find Court Records, Bankruptcies, Mugshots, Tax Records,  his Occupational Licenses and more.

People move around a lot.  So look in every state where you know he’s lived.

Related Links
Age-The First Stop In Any Background Check
Google Like A Pro!(Quick Tips & Tricks)
Free Public Records (Consumer-SOS)

Google Like A Pro (Quick Tips and Tricks)

Whether you’re shopping online or doing your own background checks, you can get swamped with too many names, too many pages and too many false leads.  To avoid this, here are 8 search tricks that will forever change how you Google!

This Blog Will Show You 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 (Control F, Command F
for Macs)
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).

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1. Search Faster With 100 Returns Per Page
First let’s permanently set Google to give you 100 returns per page instead of ten.  If you’re not sure this is a worthwhile thing to do, try Googling for John Smith and mugshots.  As you can see, at just ten hits per page, you will be searching for a lifetime!  How much better to search 10 times faster and with 10 times the returns on a page!

For more searches per page, you can customize your search settings.  First, under “Search Settings” and “Google Instant predictions”, click on “Never show Instant results.”  This deactivates any suggestions on how to search for things. (Something only marginally helpful when you already know what you’re looking for).

Next, slide the results per page from 10 to 100.  This makes Google microscopically slower, but with today’s super fast Internet speeds, who cares! (Note: this won’t work unless you first turn off the instant results feature above).

Now, click “Save” at the bottom and start searching!  The same results are now at a 100 per page instead of 10.  Think how much time you’ll save with this trick alone.  Say goodbye to the page by page nonsense!  200 returns takes up 2 pages instead of 20.   And if it’s not there, you simply move on to your next search.

 

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2. Search For An Exact Phrase Using Quotes
Most people never think of using quotation marks around names or phrases.  But if you Google John Smith and mugshots (without quotes) you get over half a million hits.  To narrow your search, let’s put the name in quotes so it looks like this: “John Smith” mugshots.  Now your search results are cut down to less than 46 thousand hits.

The great thing about quotes is that you can target exact phrases, including names.  With the example above, you can see the quotes allow you to pull up hits where the words John and Smith are right next to each other.

But why stop there?  Let’s see what happens when we add the middle initial R.  Amazingly, the search for “John R Smith” mugshots returns a mere 56 hits.

Now let’s refine the search to “John Richard Smith” mugshots.  Here you get only 25 hits!  So with a full name in quotes, even a common name becomes uncommon.  And with the power of quotes, you can find your mark easily.

Finally, lets add a city to narrow the results even further.  With “John Richard Smith” mugshots Atlanta, we’ve reduced half a million hits to five!

Use Triple Quotes For Even More Exact Phrases
This is a secret Google won’t talk about. But if you want to make absolutely sure you get Graham Firestone and not Graham Moclayus Firestone, search like this “””Graham Firestone”””

Pros & Cons of Using Quotes

Pros
Quotes are great when you know the exact phrase you’re looking for.
Example: “post office most wanted”
Example: “John Richard Smith”

Dangers Of Using Quotes
Quotes can exclude valid results because the words were not next to each other.  This matters for example, when you have no idea how the name will be listed, i.e. when searching for wedding announcements or obituaries.  For example: Quotes around “John Smith” would exclude an obituary about John R Smith or a wedding announcement for John and Clara Smith.  Likewise, quotes around “Clara and John Smith” could exclude valid returns with “John and Clara Smith”

Conclusion
If you know the exact phrase or phrases you’re looking for, put it in quotes!  You can also narrow your leads by adding a city or other information not in quotes.  Be careful of using quotes when you don’t know the exact word order you want, or you want the key terms to come back with a middle name, the name of a spouse or other information that would otherwise be excluded.

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3. See Old Versions Of A Website (Google Cache)
Ever go to website to learn it’s changed or no longer there?  This is especially frustrating when you know the site refers to the person you’re looking for.  The good news is that Google’s cache function can show you an earlier snapshot of the same site.

Suppose you’re looking for Graham Firestone and Google pulls up a site where he’s nowhere to be found.  So what do you do?
First, use your back button to revisit the list of Google hits where you first found the site.  Notice a green link directly under your website.

Click the down arrow at the end of the green link and click Cached.   Now you are on a snapshot of the site before it changed.  For more see Search tricks including finding really old websites on the Wayback Machine.

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4. Search For Key Words On A Web Page (Control F, Command F for Macs)
So you’re at the top of a webpage over 100 screens long.  Now here’s how to quickly find the name you’re looking for.  PC users can search for a key word within the site by holding down the Ctrl button on their keyboard and also pressing the letter F.  Mac users can do the same thing with Command F.  When the small search box appears, simply enter John or Smith or whatever single key term you’re looking for.

Each time you hit enter it will take you to where that term appears on the page.  Some browsers will even highlight your search terms so all you have to do is scroll down for the yellow or green highlights.

Note: the find function is a far cry from Google.  So do not enter more than one term at a time.  Also, the single will find the plural as long as there’s no spelling change. (Attorney will find attorneys, but not vice versa.  A search for fly will not find flies).

A good practice is to search for the least common part of the name.  For example: Say your searching for John Zanzibar and you find yourself at the top of a super huge webpage.  While on the page, first do a search for Zanzibar.  There’s probably only one.  But a search for John will probably take you to a lot of the Johns you weren’t looking for.

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5.. Exclude Google Returns That Contain Unwanted Words
Now let’s talk about excluding the words we don’t need in a search.
Notice a search for John Firestone gives you over 12 million hits.

But Google has a way to exclude unwanted words by using the minus sign.  Here’s how it’s done.  In the Google search box, first enter the terms you want as usual.  Then, after your desired search terms, you’ll want to enter the terms you don’t want in your returns.  Simply press the space bar and add the minus sign along with all the words you don’t want.

For example: John Firestone -tires has 8 times fewer hits because now it’s not puling up Firestone tires.

John Firestone -tires -dr has even fewer hits. (691,000 instead of 12 million).  But before you exclude, take a look at your returns for words you know are irrelevant.  Open a few to see the pattern. Otherwise you may over exclude and miss something important.

Using Quotes Combined With The Minus Sign
Now watch what happens when you add quotes such as below.
“john firestone” -tires -dr

As you probably knew, you get a lot fewer returns.  This is because the word doctor is not relevant unless for some reason you believe your subject was a doctor or connected to doctors.

Previously I tried this search and to my surprise I got more hits instead of less.  So always pay attention to what happens when you add search terms or use the minus sign.  You should get fewer returns not more!

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6.  Search For Recent Results In The Past Week, Month Or Year
Ever want recent news, a recent weather report or the most recent scoop on a person’s whereabouts?  With Google, you can pull up returns from the past year to even the past hour.  Just 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.

Now you can search the most recent how to links, the most recent phone numbers, the most recent developments in the law, the newest products on the market… (you get the gist.)

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7. Search Within A Particular Website
Sometimes a website won’t let you search it, or it requires you sign up for it.  At other times  it’s so badly organized, you simply can’t find anything.  This is particularly true with government websites.  Even if they have a search engine, they’re often useless!

The good news is that you can still search many of these sites with Google’s search within site feature.

First, I enter the searches in quotes or no quotes, then a space, the word “site colon and the name of the website, no space after the colon. To see how it works, just click on the link below.  Note this only searches within the ancestry.com website.

“David Firestone” site:ancestry.com

The applications here are endless.  Now you can search almost any  site with the power of Google and all it’s search capabilities!  Use this to shop for products, gather evidence of product infringement, search for company announcements or look for people!

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8. Search For Images (Google Reverse Image Search)
Google can also find when someone’s image appears in different places online.  This can be helpful in tracking where they’ve been or what they’ve done.  For more on this see Free Links That Detect Online Copying (Consumer-SOS.com).  See also Reverse Image Search.

Related Links
Age-The First Stop In Any Background Check
People With Common Names-How To Background Them
Is The Crime Still Online?
Are They Married? Find Out Without Even Their Last Name!