Category Archives: Name Searches

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

Using AI For Instant Free Background Checks

Today I explore the powerful and exciting world of artificial intelligence. The free AI de jour is called Celect.io. And I just love it!

What the microwave did for Betty Crocker, Celect.io is now doing for online research. And this includes free Internet background checks! If you remember in the days of yore, it took hours to cook a meal and many more hours to do a background check. But thanks to the microwave, a meal can be cooked in mere minutes. And thanks to Celect.io, your free background check can be done in mere seconds! It will even write a summary for you!

Celect.io is extremely easy to use and it requires no download or sign up. Just type in your question and hit return. For example, you can ask: “Who is Graham Firestone attorney? The AI then plunges through the Internet and within seconds, extracts a professional summary based on Linkedin, Twitter, Rocketreach, company webpages, online media and much more. Up top it links to the source documents, and it can link to other sources in the footnotes. It even extracts photos! So try it out on yourself and your friends! 

3 Similar Searches With 3 Different Results
See below what it found when I searched by my name only, my name plus my company, and finally, my name plus my consumer law website.

The first search on me was mostly OK. But with only my name to go by, it mixed me up with another Graham Firestone who’s still in high school. But even then, it pulled 3 photos of me, two of which were missed in the other searches! The second search did better by listing my current job and past professions. The third search, which was just my name with another website, did something totally unexpected. It pulled up my religious beliefs along with the last three states I’ve lived in! And all of this was done, summary included, in less than a few heartbeats!

What Else You Can Ask It?
As you can see from above. Celect.io is a bit quirky and can give different results based on minor variations. It works best for names coupled with a profession, company, city or state, or website without the www. or .com. But it’s prone to some error if you try with only a name, even if it’s a rare name. It’s also less effective at finding the owner of a phone number, (missed a lot) and it didn’t work at all for me when I searched by just an email address.

Switching It Up
I got amazingly different but true results when I entered my name with both old and new jobs, different cities, different hobbies or just rearranged minor wording. Be careful with any misspellings! It will correct them in its answer, but then tell you it didn’t find much!

Here Are Examples of How Even Minor Variations Can Change Results

  • Who is graham firestone attorney
  • Who is attorney graham firestone
  • graham firestone attorney
  • Who is graham firestone Roswell
  • Graham Firestone Georgia
  • graham firestone department of labor (with an old job it found my new one! )
  • graham firestone sleuth for the truth (my company and website)
  • graham firestone Consumer-sos (my other website)

On a Final Note, Don’t Forget To Verify!
AI is excellent for extracting and summarizing. But it’s lousy at fact checking. Much of what you’ll get is self-published information from the person being backgrounded, or it’s info scraped from the Net by commercial services that can also be inaccurate. So you still need some due diligence to confirm the summary is true. For help with that, please see the free blogs on Employment History, Salaries & Professional Licenses. Happy hunting!

Other Blogs
Sleuth For The Truth
Christian-SOS

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

Women and Obits: Finding Your Old School Friend After She’s Married, Divorced Or Remarried

In the universe of scurrilous people who frequently change their names for reasons most nefarious, the greatest arch-villains are the ex-cons and women. This is not a blog about ex-cons.

This is a blog on women. But not just any women. This blog is about women with relatives. Yes, women who have parents, brothers, sisters, children, or grandparents.

Women, who inevitably in the course of time, must lose their loved ones to the ever hungry, implacable, insatiable jaws of death. So if you’re looking for little orphan Annie or the immortal Amazons of Paradise Island, this blog is not for you.

But for the rest of us, now is the time to talk about obituaries. Believe it or not, obituaries often hold the key to finding your old friend who may have married, remarried, changed names, and moved again and again.

Obits are a treasure trove of dates, names and places. A chock full of who’s related to who, who they’re now married to and where they NOW live. So even if you can’t find your BFF from grade school, you may be able to get her number through her siblings, parents, new spouse or children.

How To Find Obits
How you find an obit is not so important. It’s all about what you do with the information. Often what you get is an obit for a brother, sister or parent, which in turn could list the new surname, spouse and location of all surviving female relatives, including your old girlfriend.

Most people typically stumble upon obits in a Google search and then after reading a few names, move on to the next hit. Few people actively search for them. Or even know how to leverage what they find.

The fact is, that an upfront search for an obit can save you lots of time. For example, if they have a rare maiden name, you could of course Google their last name like this: Fogelman AND obit OR obituary OR died OR deceased OR death. (OR and AND must be in caps). This could pull up the names of the woman’s deceased parents, aunts, uncles and brothers, which in turn could give you surviving relatives including your subject, her new surname with where she lives now, or the names and locations of her surviving siblings.

Still too many hits? Then narrow your searches with a city and state. (But this is unwise unless it’s a common surname or you’re sure of where their relatives live or have died).

Also try Googling the full name of a parent or close relative likely to be deceased. For example, Graham Firestone AND “Survived By” (The AND must be in caps.) If you know the year they died, add that too!

Sample Search Where An Obituary Led Me To A New Surname
Recently, someone on Facebook needed help to find an old childhood friend named Teresa Bagnell. While Bagnell was a very rare name, it was decades since they last saw each other and by now Teresa could be married, divorced and have changed names several times. She could also have moved anywhere in the world. So how could I know where to find her?

All I had to work with was that Teresa had 4 brothers and sisters named Brian, John, Kathy, Bill, and James. I was also told that she was in her 70s and her nickname could be Terry or Terri.

Naturally I started with a search for Teresa Bagnell. But I struck out. She had probably changed names long ago. Few like to admit it, but Googling for people is more an art than a science. Sometimes you just get an intuition of who to start with.

My next step was to Google the rarest names of her siblings, preferably with the name of a brother or father who’s last name would never change with marriage. When I Googled together the names Brian Kathy Bagnell, I hit pay dirt. Lo and behold, there was a 2010 obituary of Thomas Bagnell Jr., which listed the surviving brothers and sisters including a Terry Miller of Miami, OK.

I was very lucky because while Terry Miller is an extremely common name, there couldn’t be too many in the uncommonly small town of Miami, Oklahoma.

Also, brother “Brian” was really “Bryan”, an even rarer name. So from there I simply went to Cyberackgroundchecks.com and looked up the names of both siblings, limiting my search to their city and state. This allowed me to get their wireless (cell phone) numbers, which I could confirm were still valid through reverse cell phone lookups, such as Spydialer and OK Caller.

Otherways To Find A Woman’s New Surname
Does looking through death records makes you squeamish? If so, you can always search for their new last name by Googling for Marital Status & New Surnames! Best of luck, and I hope you enjoyed this go happy blog!

For More Sleuth For The Truth Blogs, See

Rare Names: Fast and Easy Free Background Checks

When you background a person with a rare name, you’re unlikely to get many false leads. So you don’t need their true age to identify them as you would when searching for more common names. This means you can use free websites that collect the data all in one spot, even when the ages are wrong.

This blog will show you how to Google rare names. You’ll also see how to get lots of free info without breaking a sweat. Indeed, most of the information can be found on just a handful of sites.

How to Google Faster & Smarter

Too many people waste their time because they can see only 10 Google returns per page. So here’s a 1 minute YouTube video on how to get 100 Google returns per page! (make sure to skip the ads.)

Now you can see virtually all your results without having to press NEXT NEXT NEXT NEXT NEXT NEXT NEXT NEXT. Being able to eyeball 100 returns at once makes searches fast, easy and much more friendly.

Googling All Name Variations at Once

It’s no surprise that you will get different results by Googling with and without a middle name or middle initial. So to get their middle name, check out the numerous free age lookups at consumer-sos.com. Don’t just settle for their middle initial. Get their full middle name if it’s available.

Here’s how to Google their first name, last name, middle name, and middle initial all in one search. I will use my name as an example. There are just two Graham Firestones in the world. And one is a minor with almost no public records.

For the Google search below note how each name is offset in quotes and the OR is in uppercase.

“graham firestone” OR “graham b firestone” OR “graham brook Firestone”

If there’s more than one Graham Firestone, you can always narrow your search results with an AND. For example:

“graham firestone” OR “graham b firestone” OR “graham brook Firestone” AND attorney

One Stop Shops For Rare Names

The best sites gather all the info in one spot. Take the free website publicdatausa.com. If you look up Graham Firestone you can see where I went to high school, my religion, my race, my profession and the various companies I’m connected to. (some of which are now defunct.) As is often the case, where there are companies, there are company assets.

This website also lists the last law firm I worked at, my private email address, where I’m a registered voter and where I made campaign contributions. (I didn’t.)

If the person has real property they will be listed as a “homeowner.” Also make sure to look at the information at bottom which comes from a 2016 consumer marketing database.

Note that this site is unusually bad with ages. (which is why I only use it for rare name lookups) It got my DOB wrong and lists my age as 50 instead of 52. But who cares as long as you know it’s the right Graham Firestone.

Another good site is the People Profiler on Black Book Online. However, you will be flooded with false leads if your name is too common.

For rare names, simply enter in the name with or without a state, and out pops the public databases which refer to your subject. For example: if your subject owns a boat, real property or a company, it may link to the front page for the GA boating records division, the CA real property records div. or the TX secretary of state for corporate records.

So you could learn of their property in California without having to search state by state in the property record databases. Note that once you open up the link, you will still have to use the site’s home page to search for them.

This is just a taste of what’s out there on rare names. Other free sites can check if a rare username appears in social media platforms, or if a rare name has domain names, intellectual property, cell phone numbers or offshore companies associated with it. For more, see Consumer-SOS/Rare Names.

Related Blogs
People With Common Names-How To Background Them

Did They Give You A False Name? How To Verify using Their Old & New Contact Info

Back in law school I knew three people who went by different names. There was Pat, who’s first name was really John. There was Steve, who’s friends and business associates called him “Greg.” And then there was Mike Davis, who spent 9 years in a Texas prison for a quadruple homicide. Later when it hit the newspapers that Mike had quietly enrolled in our humble law school, we soon learned he was the notorious Walter Waldhouser.

Pat and Greg turned out to be law abiding citizens…mostly. Walter Waldhouser, not so much. He’s now back in prison on five counts of third-degree money laundering.

In the first two cases, Pat and Steve preferred using their middle names. They did this for innocent reasons (I suppose). But whether innocent or not, a name switch tends to mess up a good background check.

So here’s how to pull the beard off Santa and expose the fraud. Here’s how to spot the person who gives out a false name, or who uses their middle name to hide from their own wrongdoing.

Right from the start: Take any contact information (old or new) and plug it into Google and the various free reverse lookup sites. Then see if the name they gave you matches the name that turns up in your results. If it’s different, it’s time to do another background check!

Grab The Low Hanging Fruit
(Emails and Cell Phone #s)

These days, virtually everyone sends texts. And this means almost everyone gives out their cell phone number. Free websites such as OKcaller.com, Cyberbackgroundchecks.com and Spydialer often pull up a name based on a cell phone number. For more See Consumer SOS: Reverse Cell Phone Searches.

You can also get their full name simply by knowing their Gmail address. And it’s all for free! For more, see my handy dandy collection of free email reverse searches.

And don’t forget that you can search based on physical address, the company they claim to own and lots more. So for more blogs and more free links on reverse searches, See Sleuth For The Truth-Reverse Searches!

Blog Written while at St. Augustine Beach

Related Blogs
Googling For Courts, Crimes, Marital Status & Contact Info!

FIND THEIR CELL PHONE NUMBER

Whether you’re a sleazeball stalker like the guy above, or like my mom who simply wants to find an old friend, here’s a great way to get someone else’s cell phone number. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s free. And most important: it works at least 50% of the time. But if you can’t find a cell phone # the easy way, be sure to check out my Sleuth For The Truth blog “Find Their Phone Number.”

The Website Du Jour
The wonderful website of the day is called Cyber Background Checks. Just enter in a name, and perhaps a state, and out pops up names and ages, and phone numbers. But unlike many similar sites, this one lists cell phone numbers.

For backup sites, you can still get some cell #s from these free links below. TruePeopleSearch.com and PeopleSearchNow.com will identify the cell # as “Wireless.” FastPeople.com can also give out cell phone numbers, but it won’t tell you if it’s wireless or a landline.

Confirming You Have The Right Cell Phone Number

Obviously, the easiest thing to do is pick up the phone and call. But sometimes there’s a very good reason not to. Especially when you don’t want them to know you’re scoping them out.

For example: If you’re a cop about to make an arrest, a lawyer about to sue, or you’re simply making a contact list for later; these are all good reasons not to appear on their caller ID. Of course, you could also be a wimpy scaredy cat too chicken to pull the trigger. But who am I to judge?

USE SPYDIALER AND OKCALLER TO VERIFY THE NAME BEHIND A CELL #

Aside from Google, here are some clever ways to see if the cell phone # still belongs to the person you’re looking for.

This is where OKcaller and  Spydialer come in. Both allow you to see who owns a landline or a cell phone number. I’d check each of these to see if the same name comes up. (If your subject’s name appears twice, it’s probably their current cell phone number.) For more on how to use these free services, take a look at the screenshots below.

Secretly Listen To Their Voicemail

For cell phones and some landlines, Spydialer has an exciting feature that allows you to hear the person’s voicemail without them knowing you called. And now, this feature works even for landlines.

Hearing Jenny’s Voicemail

Suppose you got Jenny’s number from the bathroom wall. Naturally you want to “make her mine.” But how do you know it’s really her? An easy way to find out is to listen to her voicemail. Here’s how.

  1. Go to Spydialer.com (which defaults to the PHONE selection)
  2. Choose the “SpyDialer” field (ignoring all ads)
  3. Enter in Jenny’s phone number (404-867-5309)
  4. Click on SEARCH

5. Choose “Hear Voicemail” and click Search again
(or instead, confirm the owner’s name by choosing the cell phone “Name Lookup”)

At this point you’ll have to wait about 20 seconds as Spydialer immediately makes the call and begins recording their voicemail message. While this is in progress, you should see a Cog icon that spins around happily.

Note that even if they try to answer the phone, it will usually bypass them! Further, if they call the number back, it won’t be yours. (Try SpyDialing yourself or a friend so you can see what call back number appears.)

Once done, keep ignoring all the ads, go to “Results” and press play. Make sure your volume is on.

Using OK Caller To Confirm Who Owns The Cell #

OK caller is very simple to use. But you won’t get anywhere unless you can avoid clicking on the ads. So here’s how to verify the # 404-867-5309.

  1. Go to OKcaller.com and enter your number above the orange OK CALLER SEARCH button
  2. Press the orange search button

Almost instantly it will retrieve results, often with a full name and sometimes even with an address. No need to click on the ads or rate the caller.

Other Blogs

Find Their Current Address
Find Their Email Address
Find Their Phone Number

LINKS
Free People Search Links from Consumer-SOS.com
All my free databases and directories, without the fluff.

Christian-SOS
My other set of blogs about knowing and loving Jesus.

Reconnect with a childhood friend who changed Her name

Graham Firestone age 8.  (front, second from left between Karen Siegleeoff and Hillary Kun)
Graham Firestone age 8. (front row between Karen Siegleoff and Hillary Kun)

So you’re 50 years old and want to find the childhood friend you made doilies with. Or maybe you’re planning your big class reunion and in search of the elusive prom queen. Either way you have a problem don’t you? For you are searching for girls. And girls are funny, because in the fullness of time, girls become women.

Women are sneaky. Admit it. Almost every woman you know has changed their name at least once, twice or even three times. You’d never catch a man doing that. Whether women do this to hide from justice, or simply to make it harder for us to background them, who can say?

But if you want to find or background an old female classmate of yours, you’ve got to be ready for the name game. The good news is that most women are not hard to find. And that means there’s hope for all of you wannabe event planners. But to get their current last name means you’ll have to do an extra step in your search for them.

To illustrate I will show you how I found a particular person when all I had was her name and address from 45 years ago. Her name is Danise Warden (name misspelled to thwart the Googlebots that will see this blog)

Blog Roadmap

  • Finding Their Last Name
  • Limit Google To Recent Life Events and More Hits Per Page
  • Confirming Their Address or Contact Info
  • Making Contact

Finding Their Last Name

First, let’s talk about the low hanging fruit. In other words, the easy pickins for those who hate to do background checks.

Google The Last Place You Met Them

An easy first step is to Google the full name of your subject with the school or place where you met them. After all, others may be looking for her too. And you may learn from the school’s alumni page that she did charity work, got married or ran away to Brazil.

Google For Name Changes

Or simply try Googling for her new surname. New Surnames and other information come out often in wedding announcements and obituaries. So try searching with her full name and words like wedded, marriage, wedding, married, deceased, death, etc.

Google What Else You Know About Them

As with any search for a last name, you’ll need to hit the search engines. Search engines are great because they allow you to put in a name with other terms like Graham Firestone and Lawyer or Jackie Slabaugh and Russian. And with common names, you’ll need to weed out the people you are NOT looking for.

Most people know far more than they think they do. Their most common mistake is that they never Google for what made Susan Johnson most unique.  For example: Susan Johnson blind unicycle rider. Or Loretta Smith 123 Uniblab Drive. For more, see List What You Know About The Person. See also Backgrounding People With Common Names

Tracking Recent Life Events (Google)

Often you’ll get old information or want to weed out what you’ve already seen. To cut down on the clutter, you can limit your hits to a certain time period. Simply Google with your desired search words and hit enter as in step 1. Then follow steps 2 through 4 below! 

See 100 Results A Page (Search Google Faster Without Clicking Next Next Next)

See all your hits for your old friend, all at once! To see 100 results per page, Click Here to get to the Google Advanced Search page.  Then move the results from 10 to 100 and click “Save” as shown below. You’ll never regret it!

Age/Relative Lookups To Track The Men

Another way to find your old female friend, is through the men associated with her. Most important is if you can remember the names of her brothers or father.

Unlike our subject, most law abiding men don’t change their last name. And so you can Google or track her through the names of her male relatives.

To save time, start with the guy who’s name is most unique and less likely to bring up false leads. For example: If Joan Firestone had two brothers, John and Uniblab you could Google for Uniblab Firestone (rare name) or Joan and Uniblab firestone. (Uniblab is far less common a name than John and avoids getting the people who are are unrelated to Joan.)

Even better, in the hopes of finding Joan listed as one of his relatives, you could search for Uniblab Firestone in the  age, relative lookups.  The age relative lookups may list brothers and sisters along with their latest surnames. There may even be a clickable link to your subject so you know it’s really the right person. Often this link will lead to her current name, age, address or the cities she’s lived in.

But what if the subject had no men in her life or you simply don’t know who they are? No problem. Just look for her mother or sisters. As with any of the guy names above. you can Google them or or enter the most unique name in the age, relative lookups.

How I Found Danise Warden-A Live Background Check in Action!

Now back to Danise Warden. With such a common name as this, I didn’t even bother Googling it. At this point, doing so would give me thousands of useless hits. And I would have no idea which one was her but for her age and where she lived as a child. That’s still doable, but it takes a long time when all you have a is a common name and no relatives to weed out the false leads.

Here I got lucky because when I Googled her childhood address (by street number and name only), I got Marlene Warden. (MOMMY) From there I looked Marlene up on the age lookups and found this:

Sadly, there was no clickable link to Danise, but she had some relatives with rare names such as Norrin and Cloe. So my plan was to Google Norrin and if that didn’t work, Google all the men, or do age relative lookups on all the men. After all, the womenfolk could change their names and disappear on me. But the men would be easier to track. Worse comes to worse, I could also take a stab at searching for Cloe. And then hope to find a link or a reference to her sister Danise.

Note that any of these approaches could get me her last name or a link to Danise as a relative. I could also Google the men along with her first name. For example, Norrin Danise Warden or Jeffrey Danise Warden

In this case I Googled Norrin Warden and immediately
found the obituary below:

Be sure to read all obituaries very closely. (I almost missed her last name until someone else caught it for me.)

Here I was able to find her new surname and her marital status all in one happy document! But alas, this was all from 2002. Plenty of time for her to divorce or remarry. So we were getting closer, but I still had no confirmation as to what her name or status was as of today,

Confirming Name, Address or Contact Info

From there it was easy. I could now do age, contact info lookups on Danise Warran and find the one of the right age that also listed her husband Brent as a relative. These lookups often pull up lots of contact information, including both old and new addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, and maybe even a profession or employment. (At this point you’ll want to copy all you find as you’ll need it later.)

Google Husband and Wife’s First Names with Last To Track Marital Status and Location

One way I tracked Danise was to Google her first name and Brent’s  together with her new last name (Danise Brent Warran or Brent Danise Warran). Often your Google search will pull up age relative lookup sites which have their address and middle names or middle initial. And this means you can Google your subject without fear of getting false leads,  e.g. Danise Marlene Warran or “Danise M Warran”

But I wasn’t done yet. Armed with her last name, now was the time to gather info. So like a wolf circling the stagecoach, I was always on the alert for my point of entry. And that meant finding proof positive that both her name and contact info were the same as in 2002.

Confirmed Contact Info Through Reverse Searches

By now I had lots of contact information. So I started plugging her phone numbers and addresses into the free reverse lookups. If the address or phone number returned her name it was most likely valid. Those that returned someone else’s name were likely not valid. I also could have Googled these phone numbers and addresses for any recent hits on her.

Confirmed Address & Marital Status with Government Property Records

At this point, I felt fairly confident that if I wanted to, I could contact her. However, commercial sources are often unreliable. They tend to list the old phone numbers and addresses as current while the current ones are sometimes buried midway in the list.

So to be absolutely certain, I wanted verification from the gubmint. Leave it to Uncle Sam and the state and county government to know exactly where you are and what you are doing.

An easy first step was to look her up by property records. But if I didn’t find her, my next step would be to search for her husband Brent. After all, they may rent, or she may not be listed on the deed.

Now California is stingy with searching by name. Perhaps because so many privacy loving movie stars don’t want people like me to track them down. But in my glorious search, I came across other government property filings which allowed name lookups, and it was here that I found her property info below:

I love the gubmint because their records are so up to date. This particular record showed that as of 2015 Danise still had the same last name and was living in the same county as my latest address for her. Bless her heart.

Also noteworthy was that there was no evidence she ever sold the property. In other words, as late as 2015, she’s had the same name and lived at the same place and probably lives there now.

Making Contact

I was done circling. I knew she lived in Moakley. I knew her middle name. I knew her spouse. There was now enough information to distinguish her from any other Danise Warrans. So when it was time to pull the trigger.I simply Googled danise warran california facebook

I knew I hit pay dirt when I saw a Facebook page with her new name and Moakely CA. With her phone number listed too!

So you may ask, why didn’t I just Google her first before looking at her property? And why Google her when you could jump directly to Facebook? The answer is that you could have done that.

Doing a background check is as much an art as it is a science. You never know what searches will turn up what and in what order.

But with common names, if you Google or Facebook too early without confirming addresses, middle name or or contact info, you may find 50 people with the same name and not know which one is your old classmate.

I prefer Googling before Facebook simply because it’s better when you want to search for a name plus something else. For unique names, there’s nothing wrong with jumping straight to Facebook.

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