The internet is overflowing with information about people, which can be very useful when you want to learn more about someone. Using public records, you can find people who seem to have no online presence at all.
Digging around with the help of people finders, search engines, and social media will be effective if you want to find a tenant who's disappeared or to get in touch with an old friend. Here are a few options to find people even when you have practically nothing to go on.
You must have their name at the very least. When you search, enclose it in quote marks, and include anything else you know. A simple search can retrieve details about what they do, where they live, and perhaps even where they work.
Google Alerts and Google News are two efficient options. If you sign up for Google Alerts, you'll get any information that appears about them in your inbox. Enter the search target's name in google.com/alerts and use Show Options to customize the region, language, and any other settings.
Google News will reveal any mention of them in the news, be it in a negative or positive context.
Don't limit your efforts to Google. Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo are also worth trying. Each search engine has a different search algorithm, which means it will provide different information.
Moreover, Chrome isn't the be-all and end-all of browsers. Who Is This Person, a Mozilla Firefox extension, can search several engines simultaneously. Just highlight the person's name on a website to launch this search.
Use a People Search Engine
As long as you search correctly, modern recordkeeping will let you find anyone. A free people search can be very useful. Try a place where they used to live, a variation on their name, a school they went to, or a former workplace.
United States Copyright Office
If the person you're trying to find is a creative type, try checking copyright records. There might be a reference to their work in the US Copyright Office. You can search these records for business and personal names online. If the person isn't from the US, many countries have analogical offices, which can be just as helpful.
Are you looking for an inventor or scientist? Try the records of the US Patent and Trademark Office. These records can be searched by name, design, or keyword.
The vast majority of Americans have two or more social media accounts. Check Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Many professionals have chosen LinkedIn for their networking needs. If your search target has a profile here, it won't be hard to find.
If you know what city they live in or their job title, it might be enough to find them on LinkedIn. Most profiles have the person's degree and year of graduation. The latter will provide a rough estimate of their age so you can see if they are who you're looking for. You don't need a LinkedIn profile to get this or any other information on the network.
If you know the person from work or school, more information may be available by conducting a search of the respective website. You can check if the company website mentions them as a current or former employee.
Usa.gov has a vast database of information for all federal and state agencies. Most background check sites charge fees for information they extract from free databases like this one, so you don't need to pay. You can search by yourself if you have enough free time.
Birth, marriage, and divorce certificates and other public records can be helpful, but you run the risk of being misled. The information might not be accurate due to postponed updates. Check for entries in or connected to their name within company registers and land use documents.
The National Archives contain information about veterans. Service records include documents, photos, and other data. If the data is from before WWI, there's little chance of finding it.
Wink and TinEye
Wink lets you check all social networks for someone's profile at the same time. If all you have is their name, the chance of a positive outcome is bleak. Add a username, a city or state, or any interests or hobbies of theirs.
You can do an image search on TinEye. It will comb the web and take you to any websites where the person might have uploaded that picture. TinEye and other image search platforms link images based on recognition technology. If only part of the photo matches the original, the platform will still recognize it.