Category Archives: Roommates

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

Find Old Friends and Classmates by Their Defunct Emails and Usernames

Imagine you’re in a huge, cavernous hall packed with crowds of silent people. You’re told you have just one hour to find your old friends and family or you’ll never see them again! Worse, you suddenly realize you’re blindfolded and deaf! You can only identify them by your meager sense of touch.

So how would you go about finding them? And how long would it take you? Chances are, you could look forever. For when blindfolded, all those noses, hair, eyes, clothing and even faces, would give you many false leads.

Bereft of your senses, you would be unable to identify the person you’re looking for. There’s just too many misleading similarities and not enough helpful clues.

This is your world when searching for someone with a common name. And all to often you won’t have the benefit of a photo. Sure, you’ll find Joan Smith. But chances are it’s not the Joan Smith you’re looking for. Worse, Joan could have married, divorced or remarried, which means you may be looking for the wrong name!

But what if in the above scenario, your loved one wore a special bracelet, or perhaps, a unique signature hairdo that no one else had? At that point, they would stand out in the crowd. And even with your limited senses, you’re odds of finding them would skyrocket.

This is where emails and usernames come in. Email addresses and usernames often act like a special bracelet or a signature hairdo. And better yet, because people are creatures of habit, they tend to use the same signature words or monikers they once used 20 years ago. That’s right! You can find your friends with even old and now defunct email addresses! Indeed, an old email address may contain their current username on social media. It could also pull up a new email address with the same signature phrase!

Email Searches, Extracting Their Username From an Email and How To Guess Usernames for Rare Names
OK, the person you dated 20 years ago may never have had a username. But times change and they almost certainly have one now. So to find old friends by their email or username, simply:

  1. Go through your old email list of contacts, and look for friends with rare names OR unusual email addresses. For example, I found an old friend with the ancient address of alot*sugarjet@bellsouth.net.
  2. Search in Google or Bing with their full email address in quotation marks. For example, Googling “g_firestone@yahoo.com” could lead to other postings which include new contact information and other leads.
  3. Try a Reverse Email Search using their whole email address, which can pull up their new name, plus new contact information, including new usernames, and other social media accounts. If you get a middle name or initial, be sure to Google their full name in “quotes”. These sites are hit or miss so use several of them for good leads. In my case, when I used a long dead email address it found my old friend with her current age, a new last name and plenty of phone numbers and addresses. (the last two I could plug into Google or do reverse searches on, for even more leads.)
  4. Google an old username (with no spaces) e.g..the first part of an old email before the @sign. For example: sleuthforthetruth. Also try with quotes e.g. “sleuthforthetruth”
  5. Plug this username into the most popular social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, TikTok, Reddit, etc. This sometimes works with old email addresses as well.
  6. For people with rare names like myself, try to guess their username with combinations like: grahamfirestone graham.firestone graham-firestone graham_firestone gfirestone g_firestone g-firestone.
  7. Use the Free Username Lookups that will tell you which usernames are NOT AVAILABLE on Social Media. These often will provide you a link to those NOT AVAILABLE, which can lead you to the person who has this name. But even if they don’t provide a link or the link leads nowhere, see if you can go to the social media site and search for them directly. Indeed, you may discover someone with the same first name and different last name, or get clues to where they live or who their friends are. These sites are hit or miss. I recommend using several of such for more leads and to see how they work: The best ones are those with the fewest false positives.
  8. Don’t forget the other numerous ways to find people. For more, see the free peoplesearch links at Consumer-SOS.com and the other blogs at Sleuth For the Truth! This includes how to find People With Common Names and How To Background Them.

For Additional Blogs, see Christian-SOS.

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

Find Old Roommates, former tenants, Sorority Sisters and Frat Brothers When You Don’t Know Their Last Name

Ever want to get in touch with an old housemate but have no clue how to reach them? Or what about your frat brother with the weird ethnic name no one could pronounce? Yeah, you remember; the guy who everyone called “The Schmoo!”

There are plenty of excellent reasons to reach out to a former roommate. Perhaps they owe you loads of money. Or maybe you just want to send them wads of their old magazines.

As a recruiter, sales person, or wannabe Ponzi schemer, it’s always good to explore new and sometimes very old connections. Same goes if you’re looking for alumni donations or are in charge of your class reunion!

But whatever your reasons are, I’m here to show you how easy it is to reach out to those who previously shared your home address. And it works even when they have a new surname, you forgot their last name, or you have no clue how to spell it!

Backgrounding All The Places You’ve Lived At

Let’s break this down nice and easy. First, you’ll need to find a free Orwellian website that just happens to list all your prior addresses with links to all or most of the people you once lived with.

From there, simply click on the prior address where you both were housemates, so you can see a list of present and former residents. A good site will have their names in hyperlinks, and provide exciting personal information about them such as their ages, middle initials and new surnames. From there it’s just a game of point and click!

How I Used PeopleSearchNow To Locate My Indian Roommate of 25 Years Ago

I’ll start with one of my favorite free websites. The very best is Cyberbackgroundchecks.com. Second best is PeopleSearchNow.

Note: If you know the person’s name and it’s a rare one, simply look it up directly in the Name search box. Or if you know an old address of theirs, you can enter it here and then when it lists all tenants, you can look for the link to their name. Or you can use the top links in the website to do a reverse search on emails or phone numbers. For a backup site, checkout Search For Free (by name) or Search For Free (by address)

Otherwise, look up your own name so you can find the address you both lived at. Below I’ll show you how I found “Sameer” when I had no clue how to spell or even say his last name! But as you can see, I found not only his last name, but probably also his current cell phone number.

First, type in your own name and hit enter. If your name is a common one, you may want to narrow your search with a city and state. Note that you’ll see a partial list of addresses, sometimes with the top address being old and not your current address.

The goal is to find and click on the address that you and your former roommate lived at. To see more addresses, click View Details.

Still can’t find the address you both shared? Well, then scroll down until you see more addresses. And click “Show More” for even more addresses. Don’t bother clicking on court records or other links-they’ll just wanna charge ya! Now click on the address you both lived at.

Once you’ve clicked on an address, there may be several pages of people who have lived there. So be sure to search all pages until you find them.

Here I found Sameer from my old address at 2422-D Morosgo Ct, Atlanta GA. (There was no way I could spell that surname!)

When I clicked on View Details, I was able to see his cell phone numbers, and places he’s lived at. Note that his current address may be wrong, but who cares? You can always confirm his address through reverse lookups, property records or various other means.

For More Sleuth For The Truth Blogs, see

Why A Background Check?

For anyone who would background the house or car they buy,  but not their date…

Are Public Records A Bad Thing?
Are you a privacy nut?  Or someone convinced that free public records mean the end of the world?  Or maybe you’re less extreme than that, but just a little alarmed because there’s far too much public information freely available online.

Well, to quote Bill Clinton: I feel your pain.  There’s a lot on the Internet that can be used to stalk people, defame people, or simply harass people. Too much hate, too much bullying, too much social media.  And yes, too many YouTube videos with annoying pop up ads.

So what are you going to do about it?  Without a time machine, we’re stuck in the here and now.  And like fire, which is good in the oven but terrible on the curtains,  so is the free information you’ll find on the Internet.

Think back to all the amazing inventions.  And the opposition they all received. The VCR allowed you to illegally copy.  But with it you could watch all your favorite programs without the commercials.

And what about the Internet?  It made huge numbers of teens more isolated, more asocial and even more into pornography.  Yet it also allowed bedridden grandmothers to Skype their distant grandchildren.  I could talk about the car, the iPod and the smartphone.  But you get the gist.  The technology is neutral.  What counts most is what we do with it.

So let’s stop the complaining. It’s now time to make the lemons into lemonade.

Trust But Verify
Too many times I get the question: Why do a background check?  Sometimes I’m even accused of being  a snooper or stalker.  The people who ask these things tend to think there’s something shady when you look someone up online.  Their concern is that the mere act of backgrounding someone creates inherent feelings  of mistrust.  And that it’s better to be ignorant than poisoned by unfounded suspicion.  In some cases they may be right!

I agree that it’s what’s in our heart that matters.  It harms us when we always suspect others of being liars or underhanded.  But this doesn’t mean we throw away our intelligence or our caution.  We live in an age where people are no longer in communities.  A time when people are no longer accountable.

Unlike a century ago, people now have the power to run away from their own heat.  They can escape their own bad reputations.  So you’re an abuser, a liar or a cheat?  Simply cut off old ties, move to another town and reinvent yourself.  Who will know?   Unless of course, there’s a trail of all the harm you’ve caused.  A trail that can be found easily and for free by those with a need to know.

Your Need To Know
As employers, parents and singles, we all have a need to know.  We have a responsibility to protect ourselves, our friends and our families.  We need to know who we’re going to hire or date or allow near our children.

As Ronald Reagan once said when dealing with the Russians, we should  “trust, but verify.”  This means we start out in good faith and with the best of intentions.   But we’ve got to do our homework as well.  We cannot close our eyes to the realities that surround us.

As the mom of little red riding hood, would you let your little girl wander alone in the forest?  And what about the man you invited home for dinner?  Are you so sure he’s not the big bad wolf?  How can you tell?  As in the story, the wolf wears many disguises.  And the faster you know it’s a wolf, the faster you can protect those you love.

When Is A Good Time To Do A Background Check?
So now you’re seeing wolves and want to do a background check.  But when is a background check appropriate?   It’s all about balancing your desire to trust verses the risk of being too trusting.  The threshold of trust is different for everyone.  It’s your life.  So only you can answer that question.

But allow me to make a few suggestions.  Do a background check whenever the stakes are high.  At the the very least, I recommend it when dating, hiring, renting out your house, or when investing in someone’s business.

I also recommend a background check when you notice something is wrong.  It could be that someone’s story doesn’t add up.  Or that an employee has a pattern of acting strange or erratic and you’re unable to figure out why.

What Do I Look For In A Background Check?
What to look for in a background check all depends on why you’re doing it in the first place.  For example, if your dating someone, their age and marital status may be more important than their DUI of 20 years ago.

If you’re checking out a renter, take a look at any incidences of violence or prior evictions, destruction of property, etc.  Also find out if they ever sued their landlord.

For investors,  you’ll want to check out their honesty and their competence in financial matters.  Do they have recent bankruptcies or defunct companies they ran into the ground?

Were they ever charged or convicted of fraud or embezzlement?  How do they manage their assets?  Checking out what they own tells you if they’re good managers.  It may also reveal if they have undisclosed conflicts of interests.  For example, are they asking you to invest in something they have hidden ties to?  Is it a Ponzi scheme or a company secretly owned by their kid brother?

Lies, Omissions & Funny Business (My Law School Days at ASU)
Often we have no clue what a person has done or even what to ask them.  In other words, we don’t know what we don’t know.  But if something suddenly appears fishy, it’s time to do a background check!

A great example of this occurred in my law school days when I met a a self proclaimed millionaire named Mike Davis.  Mike was smart, affable and seemed like a really nice guy.  But I should have suspected something fishy when I caught him waiting on the financial aid line.  Law school was a lot cheaper back then.  Millionaires didn’t need or qualify for student loans.  That was my first clue something was definitely amiss.

Years later at a party, I confessed to him, “Mike I’ve known you for three years and you’re still f*n inscrutable!  I know as much about you now as the very first day I met you!”  Mike grinned at me and said “just ask away little buddy!”  I was  silent.  What could I ask him?

A few years later Mike made national headlines.  And I so badly wanted to go back to that party and ask him: Hey Mike, by any chance, is your real name Walter Waldhauser And before I knew you, did you ever flunk out of a Texas law school and serve 9 years in prison for killing people to collect on their inheritance money?   And by the way, if you hadn’t plead guilty and ratted out your accomplices, do you think you too would have died by lethal injection as they did?  Just asking little buddy.  Just asking…

But again, you don’t know what you don’t know.  That’s why you should do the background check as soon as you know something’s fishy.   If there’s water dripping from the ceiling, don’t sit around until the roof caves in.

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