Category Archives: Classmates & Alumni

With Free Reverse Lookups You Don’t Need Their Name for a Background Check!

This blog is all about joy. Or at least, all about the joy of finding people and doing free background checks. But unlike most blogs, this one will show you how to do these things even when you don’t know their name, want to confirm their name, or when their name is an extremely common one like “John Smith.”

The fact is we’re far too obsessed with names. Too often, this means we overlook how to get beyond a name, and get straight to the core of their identity. So I recommend you try these reverse searches on both yourself and anyone you want to learn more about. When you’re done, you’ll see that privacy in the US is a myth, and you’ll probably start walking the streets with a bag over your head. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Now you may think I’m exaggerating. But people use false names all the time. They’re also constantly changing their names, intentionally misspelling their names or even hiding behind their middle names! And then there’s the fact that you may not even remember how to spell their name. Or if you can, you’re still stuck weeding out the Google hits of dozens of total strangers who share the same name.

Beating the Name Game
But wouldn’t it be great if you could find something unique about that person aside from their name? Something like a fingerprint, which could easily track them down with no confusion, so you know it’s truly them.

Well you’re in luck. Here are the free ways to cut through the name game. Below, I’ve included the powerful reverse lookups which can be used to find old friends, expose the frauds on dating sites, or to learn more about potential tenants, roommates, employers or business associates. Just remember to leverage what you find by plugging it into Google and the other reverse searches. A+B leads to C, and A,B,C leads to D,E,F…all the way through Z!

Photo Reverse Lookups
You’re about to be scared. But also empowered. With facial recognition, you don’t have much privacy. But neither does the guy who’s photo you snapped as he was kicking in your car door.

Next time, try uploading their photo to Face Check ID. Face Check ID is the best free photo lookup I’ve ever seen. Sadly it will start charging on March 1, 2024. To test it, I snapped a new pic and uploaded it to their website. And unlike Google reverse images, it was able to pull up similar photos of me. Even better, it pulls up websites and sometimes usernames, the latter which can be plugged into reverse searches to learn even more about them! Note that this site works best for caucasians, and with faces staring straight at the camera.

Removing Unwanted Objects in Your Photos

Ever want to do a reverse lookup of just one person in a group photo? Or perhaps, your image search isn’t working because there are unwanted things in the background? Well, you just hit the jackpot! Here are 3 easy to use tools that are completely free, none of which require downloading.

First is the Windows Snipping Tool which allows you to extract only the person or object of interest. You simply trace a box over the head of the person in the photo and it will automatically be saved to your clipboard. From there, you can save the revised photo to your desktop and later upload to any reverse photo search engine.

Or if you like, you can use Remove.bg to nix any background such as trees or furniture, and then use the snipping tool.

Finally, If you’ve done all the above but still need to clean up the background a bit, the free erase tool on Cleanup.pictures will wipe away anything missed by the others. You don’t have to know Photoshop! You don’t have to select from a pallet of colors. You just brush over anything unwanted and it disappears!

For more exciting links, see photo and reverse image searches.

Email Reverse Lookups
Ever want to learn more about an old friend but have only a defunct email address? Old email or new email, now is the time to see the sites they’ve registered with and if it leads to new sites, new names, new addresses, new usernames, or a new marital status.

My favorite site used to be Osint.Industries.(now must pay as of 12/17/23) With their free signup, you were able to plug in an email address to get their photos, usernames, marital status, hobbies, where they shop or their professional occupation. The sole drawback is you must perform 2 annoying captchas per search.

When I tested with a friend’s email address, I confirmed where he works, who he’s married to and some of the websites he has accounts with. I knew most of this already, mind you, but I like to test these sites with the people I know. This is a great resource to find out what your old girlfriend is doing. But it’s also perfect for exposing con artists e.g. the guy whose email pulls up multiple names or the photos of different people.

This site claims to do the same with phone numbers; but when I tried a few, all I got was if they had a Skype account. Note that if you want to try this yourself, the format for US phone #s is xxx-xxx-xxxx.

For more on finding by email addresses, see the free links on reverse email searches.

Cell Phone Reverse Lookups
Aside from Google, there are a number of free reverse search engines for phone numbers, including defunct ones. Many of these pull up the person’s full name or a middle initial. (Things that can be Googled later of course.) Some even pull up their age, relatives, emails, and addresses. Now how about that! My favorites are CallerName.com and CyberbackgroundChecks.com (Reverse Cell Phone Lookup).

With the former, submit the cell # and then scroll down to “Caller ID” to see the name of who it belongs to. With CyberbackgroundChecks, it may pull up not just the person’s name, but also other contact info such as described above. CyberbackgroundChecks can also search by address, email, and name as well.

For more on free phone number look ups, see the other links on Cell Phone and Landline reverse searches.

Username Reverse Lookups
People like to reuse the same email addresses and usernames over and over again. This means you can search for old friends by their funky old email address and simply convert it into a username. For example, you could search for snicklefritz, which was from their old email address snicklefritz@aol.com.

Username reverse lookups are great for finding their photos, their new name, and their profiles on various social media. My favorite site is IDCrawl, which is simple to use and quite powerful. When I entered the username sleuthforthetruth, it found me on Instagram, Youtube, and even pulled up my posts on Reddit.

For more on username reverse searches, see these free username reverse lookup sites.

Street Address Reverse Lookups
Old street addresses can pull up new names and list their current addresses. I’ve used these types of reverse searches to find roommates of 20 years ago, including those who had foreign hard to spell names!

My favorite address reverse search website is Cyberbackgroundchecks.com (USA Only). Just type in a new or old address to find who lived or lives there, along with their more recent cell #s, email addresses and physical addresses.

For more, see my other links on free reverse address searches.

Domain Name and Other Reverse Lookups
Do they have a website? Or perhaps they reserved a domain name but never did anything with it. Either way, there are some powerful tools which use a name, a company name, a domain name or an email address to see what they registered. Often this reveals more phone numbers, more email addresses, and even other information about them.

For more, see my other links on Website Reverse Lookups.

Conclusion
The bottom line is that there’s tons of free info to confirm someone’s name, get their middle name, or just find out more about them, all without even using Google. But leverage whatever you find. Trust but verify; and above all, make sure to always enjoy the ride!

More Blogs on Background Checks (Sleuth For The Truth)

Other Blogs

Locate a Renter’s Current Address: The Quest for My 7th Grade Friend Who Vanished from the Internet

As of today, housing prices in the US are still stratospherically high. Coupled with rising interest rates, massive student loan debt and runaway inflation, this means that more and more people must shuck their futile hopes of ever acquiring a dream home. Instead, they’re forced to eke out their morbid, meager existence as lowly tenants, with no means of ever acquiring the land based wealth their parents once had.

But truthfully, I’m not a realtor… I’m not even a homeowner. So there’s nothing I can do except look at the bright side! And the bright side is that this isn’t about the poor plight of the American homeowner. Rather, this is a blog about all those Americans who don’t own homes. And of course, how you can find them and verify their address anyway!

Life is complicated. Perhaps you’re like me, and just looking for your old pal from grade school. Or maybe, just maybe…you want to sue your ex-tenant for being a lousy deadbeat who skipped out on you… when all you did was rent to them without a credit check, and give them the chocolate milk latte of your human kindness! But whatever your reasons, I too am a man of many flaws. So who am I to judge?

Below is the saga of how I found my 7th grade friend Jay Lus (last name misspelled to ward off the Googlebots). But for a more general overview on how to find anybody’s address, I urge you to check out my earlier blog on Find Their Current Address.

First Stop: Cyberbackgroundchecks.com or other Free Age/Address/Phone Number Lookups
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know why I use Cyberbackground checks. Not only is it FREE; but it also lists your “private” addresses, cell phone #s, emails, and sometimes, even your businesses. Alas, no one is perfect. And even they can screw up on the correct address for where I should mail you back your car keys!

Now with my friend Jay, they listed that he lives on 72nd street in Manhattan. But I was skeptical of this. Also listed, were various other NY, NY addresses, along with an address in Atlanta and Baltimore County. See below.

I also learned the various companies Jay owned-many of which turned up from a Google search with his name in quotes. This included his LinkedIn resume which showed he probably owned

ty Hat Productions. From there, I could have checked the free corporate lookups to get an address. But I did not find any active companies in NY and GA (and didn’t bother with Maryland, or Delaware-the latter where many people ink their INCs.)

Also, I could have looked for contact info at http://jauntyhatproductions.com/contact. But the latter was a form field, and I had no interest in filling it out! I did try the Wayback Machine to see if an earlier version of the webpage listed more contact info. But it showed me the same old form!

And of course, I tried the obvious such as Facebook and the US free property lookups. (OK, I only looked in NYC…) But Jay doesn’t own property in NYC, and I wasn’t even sure which photo on Facebook was his. After all, people can change a lot in 40 years!

The good news is that I easily found his sister and she still listed him as a friend! So now, I knew that Jay looks a lot like his idol Bill Murray! And being the ambitious sort, I tried to friend him. (Still waiting for Jay to accept that friend request…)

However, I doubt he ever will. The reason is that his last Facebook post was from the year of our Lord 2013. I also did reverse lookups on Jay’s phone numbers, and emails. And he’s still listed as the phone owner. But I didn’t want to call him. And the record could be wrong anyway.

Establishing a Timeline through Google
But between Facebook and Google, it seemed that sometime around 2013, Jay Lus just dropped off the planet! Naturally, I searched for mugshots and obituaries. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything. This meant that my friend Jay was still at large! Of course, if Jay had died, I doubt his sister would have allowed him to remain on her friend’s list. But again…even if she did, who am I to judge?

So my next step was to Google him alone or with references to him and his company. But this time, with a date stamp to track all his sinister machinations! In this way, I hoped to find what state he was in and when.

Since I already knew his latest company, I Googled site:jauntyhatproductions.com. This restricts the search only to this particular website, e.g. the one he owned. And this gave me 7 results. But not all of these were dated. So on the Google page, far right top, I clicked Tools, Any Time, Custom and then entered a large date range from 1/1/1998 to today’s date.

This got me proof that at least through 2019 Jay was still alive! See green below:

There were other approaches that I could have used to get similar results. For example, I could have done the same custom search with a date stamp for “Jay Lus” or “Jay Lus” plus “his company’s name.” But in this case, I knew it was his company, and figured given its small size, that a search within the website would show his most recent footprint!

But still, I had no confirmation of his address! The links just didn’t tell me anything. Nor did I find an address by looking at his trademarks or copyrights (none found-not even for his photos). And the same went with finding the contact info for who registered his website.

Voter Records Hit Pay-dirt!
By this time I was mighty discouraged. But then I found a neat website called Voteref.com. This free site can track the current whereabouts of voters even when they haven’t voted for decades. (I just love good ole American ingenuity!)

It found my current address, and for Jay, it did a whole lot more! All I had to do was type in his name (but for common names I’d add a state).

And finally… Proof of his current address as of 2020.

Other Blogs on Background Checks

Other Blogs

  • Christian-SOS
    What does it really mean to love Jesus and love others…without the B.S.

Classmates & Reunions: Googling To Find Your Old Friends On Facebook!

I belong to a worldwide Facebook group where droves of people try to search for childhood friends they haven’t seen in half a century. And as is often the case, the person they’re looking for has long since married, divorced, changed names, or relocated.

Worse, after 50 years of post partum, they may not even remember the exact spelling of the person’s name. Was their childhood crush on Allen Greenspan? Or was it Alan Greenspan?

And while we’re on the subject of finding lost friends, what about your ex BFF Mary Jane? Yes, the 6th grade prep school pal of yours who in 1966 you made paper doilies with. (The same one who swore on her mother’s grave that she would never, ever leave you…until of course, she and her beatnik boyfriend ran away to that hippie commune in Botswana.) So how are you ever going to find her?

The answer of course is FACEBOOK. With almost three billion accounts, chances are she has a Facebook page. Or, at the very least, she went to a school or worked for a company that still has one.

And this means when looking for someone, that you can either contact them directly. Or post on their old company page, their school alumni page or the page of one of their ex classmates. Yes, where time once used to be your oldest enemy, now suddenly time is your closest friend!

You simply make your posts, and let Google and Facebook do all the work to promote your query throughout the Internet. Sooner or later, your friend or one of her classmates may see your request (even when Googling for something else) and then reach out to you. All you have to do is sit back and wait! Chances are you won’t be waiting long, especially if the Facebook account is active with lots of followers.

Googling To Get Facebook Accounts
Facebook is great because you can reach an old friend without ever knowing their current phone number or email address. But Facebook is also so vast that most searches result in overkill.

Unless you’re looking for a rare name like “Fennan Nucleoplast” or “Biswol Apocalypse”, chances are you’ll be inundated with people of the same name, who in poor taste, subject you to profile photos of their dogs, their cats, their dolphins and the pets of their dolphins. This is a cardinal sin worthy of punishment. A Facebook profile should show the human face of the profile owner. There’s no need to clutter the Internet with pics of your favorite mongoose.

But fret not. This is where Google comes in. Facebook has so many bells and whistles (ways to search for people) but most of them don’t work well. Indeed, half the bells don’t ring, and most of the whistles blow silently. So don’t be married to Facebook groups or Facebook filters. But if you must use these, check out my blog Quickly Find Old Classmates and Alumni Through Facebook, Classmates.com, Linkedin and Google.

Benefits of Using Google To Search within Facebook

  • Google will suggest other spellings of the name
  • You can search by a range e.g. 1983 ..1987
  • You can refine your Facebook hits with other words
  • You can set Google to 100 hits per page for quick viewing
  • You can view the Google Cache to see an old Facebook page that has recently changed (no longer shows what you’re looking for).
  • You can narrow results with quotes around phrases (if it’s likely the only way the term will appear). Note that putting quotes around “Stuyvesant H.S.” may not give you the same results as “Stuyvesant High School” (So experiment with both.)

    For the UK (and other places where the schools often have long names) consider not using “” around the school name at all. Instead try various searches of how your ex classmates may refer to the school. For example: The Shropshire School for Infants and Wayward Boys and Girls in Nottingham could appear as the “Shropshire school”, or “the Shropshire school for infants”, or “the Shropshire school in Nottingham.”

Examples of Google Searches within Facebook
The goal is to:
1. Find your friends directly, or
2. Find an alumni page of their school where people look for old classmates, or
3. Find postings by their former classmates. Even classmates from nearly the same school year will do. And don’t forget to check out their friends list. Your subject could be listed there, or you could find other classmates with the same surname. (Perhaps one of their siblings or cousins?)

Clickable Search TermWhat It Finds



“stuyvesant high school” site:facebook.com
Gets all references to this school on Facebook. Can do a separate search using “Stuyvesant HS” But for more targeted hits, add the terms in the columns below. To do your own Google search, just click on the ready made search links in the left column. When you see the Google search box, change to your own school, and then add the desired years you want to search for. But always be sure to keep the exact same format.
“stuyvesant high school” alumni OR reunion site:facebook.comSame as above but targets alumni or reunions.
stuyvesant high school” 1987..1991 site:facebook.comFinds exact references to the school along with any mention of the years 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991.
“stuyvesant high school” “Manhattan”1987..1991 site:facebook.com

Same as above but also mentions a city or locale just in case several schools have the same name.
“stuyvesant high school” “william chen” site:facebook.comTargets all Facebook references to the school and this particular name. This is usually a long shot but sometimes it works.
“stuyvesant high school” “william chen” “wrestling” site:facebook.comAdds another key word like a sport-don’t bother unless too many results from the search above.


Searching For Relatives Who Attended The Same School
For uncommon last names, you can also search the Facebook profiles of their brothers, sisters and cousins who have the same surname: These people may list your old classmate as a friend or can at least put you in touch with them.

Say for example, that you can’t find Graham Firestone at Stuyvesant HS. Then why not broaden your search for his relatives who went to the same school at about the same time? For example, a last name search of all Facebook entries that refer to this school and firestone. e.g. “stuyvesant high school” “firestone” site:facebook.com

This can also be used for common last names where you get lots of hits. Simply refine your search to the approximate time period when your classmate attended. To capture younger and older relatives, make the range slightly more than the 4 years in which most people graduate. See below. “stuyvesant high school” “firestone” 1968..1975 site:facebook.com

Other Blogs on Background Checks

Other Blogs

Quickly Find Old Classmates and Alumni Through Facebook, Classmates.com, Linkedin and Google

Let’s cut to the chase. There’s way too much junk on the Internet to waste your time with. Most of us just want to find the person we’re looking for, fast, cheap and dirty.

So this blog is all about the low hanging fruit. And it only includes free resources, many of which allow you to search for someone based on their college, high school or even grade school education. Some will even list your classmate by maiden name, and then provide you with their new surname. So let’s get started!

Facebook
With Facebook it’s best to keep it simple as their search functions change with the wind. Obviously you can always start with a typical name search and see what comes up. This works best for rare names but it’s not so effective for common names like Joan Smith.

If you want a tried and true way to find your old friends, try searching with an old email or phone number. Or look for your school’s alumni association which may include posts from other people you know. Simply log into your FB account and go to Facebook Groups. From there, type in the name of your school. This may lead you to an alumni directory or to a list of school reunions.

You can also search based on the person’s city, education or work. Simply type their name into the Facebook search box, and hit enter. Then click on People and select one of the following. (selecting all three will likely weed out the person you’re looking for).

Or you can Search for common names and see if they are friends of your school or work friends. For example, in the Facebook search box type in your friend John Smith, hit enter and then People just as before. But this time, go to Friends of Friends and move the toggle to the right.

Note: don’t put in their City or Education or Work unless you get too many hits. Filling in too much will do more harm than good. For example: I found dormmate Peter Merante from SUNY Binghamton as a friend of a friend. But when I used the education filter to list our alma mater, suddenly his name disappeared! So start out with less and you can always add filters in later.

Facebook: Find Someone Without Their Last Name
Here’s how to find someone when you don’t know their last name or can’t spell it? First, go back into Facebook -> type the first name in search -> click on filter “People” -> under people you’ll see more filters: friends of friends, location (city), education and work. Try different filters and don’t overlook the “friends of friends” filter: it just might get you the person you’re looking for!

As stated above, don’t use too many filters at once. For example, you can search by education or education and friends of friends. But don’t try education and work all at once. For if you do, you may miss the person who never included all this in their profile.

Still stuck? Well in that case, use the power of Google to search within Facebook and totally bypass the Facebook search engine, which may otherwise require their surname.

For example: say you’re looking for your old friend Teresa _______ from Cathedral School in Havana Cuba? If you tried this search in the Facebook search box, , you would never get anywhere without her last name. But Google is far more forgiving.

To bypass this requirement and still find her in Facebook, go to the Google search box, and type in her first name, the school in quotes, and the city where the school is located. You’ll also want to add the website for Google to search in. See the format below:

Teresa “Cathedral School” “havana” site:facebook.com

Still too many hits? Then add a year like this:

Teresa “Cathedral School” “havana” 1951 site:facebook.com

What? Your friend’s name is Julie not Teresa? And she never lived in Cuba but went to Stuyvesant High School in New York?

Fine, simply click on the green link above, and once in the Google search box, change the name, change the school and city, but leave all the rest alone. Of course this will work even better if you have a full name.

As for Facebook, don’t immediately discard the hits that show people who graduated a few years before or after your childhood friend did. CHECK THEIR FRIEND’S LIST for people you may know. If you find someone from your grade, check that person’s friend’s list as well. You might find more leads or even the person you’re looking for!

Use Classmates.com To Find Their New Surname (Good for high school and college)
If you’re looking for old classmates who may have married, remarried or divorced, you can’t afford to ignore the free sign-up at classmates.com.

Like Facebook, Classmates often lists women by both their maiden and married names. This is invaluable, for with their new name you can always Google it or use the age and relative lookup sites to find where they currently live. From there you can look up their name in the property records to confirm their address.

For easy to read tips on how to search for people in classmates.com, checkout their page on Classmates search for people and schools.

Note that Classmates will also list the year they graduated or at least the year when they attended the school, so finding the right Carol Smith should be easy.  By the way, if you’re not sure how to spell their last name, type it in Google first. Sometimes, Google will correct the spelling based on the records in its own database.

Three Easy Ways To Search on Classmates.com: The Low Hanging Fruit

1.Tamar Kummel  (rare name, no school needed)
2. Graham Firestone New York  (name and state, no school)
3. Elissa Liebman Trinity (old last name and school reveals her new surname!)

LinkedIn (Works best for colleges & graduate school)
Using Google to search within the LinkedIn website missed a lot. So it’s best to do their free sign up and enter your query in the LinkedIn search box.

You can search with quotes, and if there are too many hits, just add their school. For example: “John Tilden” Binghamton

Use LinkedIn Filters for School, Prior Jobs and City or Country

Or once in the LinkedIn search box, simply enter their name in quotes, click enter and select PEOPLE. Then choose ALL FILTERS, scroll down the page and click on the school you recognize. You can even add a school! When done, Click on SHOW RESULTS.

No hits? Then hit the RESET button, go back to ALL FILTERS and search instead based on prior jobs and location. For example you can select the country or city, or even add your own city where you’re looking for them. Then scroll down to “Past Company.”If you don’t see the company, LinkedIn allows you to start typing the company. LinkedIn will fill in the rest!

Other Places To Find People
Last but not least is Google. Don’t forget to Google the name of your school with the words alumni directory. More than likely, your school already has an alumni directory or lists your old friend as being married, having a baby or winning an award, etc.

Google Searches for Classmates Based on School
So if a name search won’t get you the results you need, here’s how to search for your school’s alumni directory, alumni association or class reunions.

Search Examples:
Graham Firestone Harvard
Harvard alumni directory 1987
Harvard reunion 1987
Harvard alumni association

Other Blogs To Help You Find Alumni and Old Classmates