Some people finder sites are 100 percent free to use. You can use them as a people lookup search engine to dig up information on people you know, strangers, and even yourself.
When you run a free people search, you can find all sorts of data on the person, from their full name and list of relatives to phone numbers, email addresses, online usernames, work history, friends, and more.
Each website mentioned below has been vetted for quality and consistency. They're all completely free for at least some form of basic information on the person because the data they find are in public records.
There are also paid people search engines, but the only real benefit is that you get all the information on the person in one place. If you don't want to pay to find someone, you can use the sites below, but you might have to use more than one to get a total picture of whom the person is.
General People Search Tips to Consider
Knowing how to use a web search engine like Google is one of the best ways to quickly find people for free. Employing a tool like that will broaden your research across multiple sites at once and raise the chances that you'll find something useful.
Here are some resources to help:
- Tips for Using Google to Find People Online: Learn how to use the world's most powerful search engine to find someone.
- Web Search Tricks Everyone Should Know: General tips for how to search the web, which you'll need when looking up names and locations.
- Best Search Engines List: Google isn't the only search engine that can find people online. Use another one if those results aren't helpful.
Use a People Finder for Basic Information
Most free people search sites offer a quick grab of the most easily accessible information they can find; this can potentially includeaddresses, phone numbers, first and last names, and email (depending on what the person you're looking for has shared publicly online).
- True People Search: One of the best and fastest people search tools you can use for free, this site lets you find people by name, number, and address, and includes those details plus email addresses, associated names, possible relatives and associates, and more.
- PeepLookup: A surprising amount of data can be found here, including social media profiles and family members. Search by name, phone, or email address.
- Zabasearch: Another way to search for people for free by name or phone number.
- Family Tree Now: A free site launched in 2014 that requires no registration, it offers free access to census records, birth records, death records, and living people information.
- Your Family: Online since 1996, this site lets you find missing family members and start genealogy research.
- FamilySearch.org: An extremely comprehensive site put out by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their family records database is one of the largest on the web.
- Facebook: As obvious as it seems, Facebook is a great way to find people online. It lets you find and connect with people you know or used to know, friends of friends, and complete strangers.
- PeekYou: Search someone's online presence, find people by username or phone number, and verify someone's age.
Find People Through Phone Directories
Most of the time, simply typing a phone number into your favorite search engine (area code included) can turn up accurate results, whether it be for a business or residential phone number.
However, sometimes a phone directory—a specialized site that offers vast indexes of published phone numbers with accompanying information—can really come in handy.
- Spy Dialer: Cell phones and landlines often work here to quickly reveal the owner's name.
- FastPeopleSearch: Run a fast people search on this site, by name, phone, or physical address. It finds those details and others like whether the person is married, where they used to live, past cell numbers, birthdate, email addresses, and more.
- DexKnows: Search for business phone listings.
- Although not technically a phone directory, you can also use Google to find phone numbers. If you already know the number, but you want information about it, such as who it belongs to, Google can also be used as a reverse number lookup tool.
Death and Obituary Information
Finding an obituary online can sometimes be tricky because physical newspapers print obits, and they don't always get uploaded to the web. However, with a bit of searching, the following websites can potentially help you track down exactly who or what you're looking for.
- Ancestry.com: Start your basic research here, but know that this site does require paid access for more detailed information. This is an excellent place to begin because it's one of the largest family history databases on the internet.
- ObitCentral: Obituary Central is an obituary database for finding obituaries and performing cemetery searches.
- New York Times Obituaries Page: Obituaries here go back to the 1800s.
Most businesses offer an amazing amount of information online, but it's only helpful if you know where to look. All kinds of data is available, from phone numbers and addresses to board member biographies.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is an online network of millions of experienced professionals from around the world, representing dozens of industries.
- Inter800.com: Find out who owns an 800 number with Internet 800 Directory.
- Superpages: Search for U.S. businesses in the online yellow pages.
- US Securities and Exchange: Find lots of good information about individual businesses here, including salaries and stock holding information.
Use Multiple Sources
Like you read above, it's highly recommended that you use more than one site in your people search quest, since it's improbable that you'll find everything you're looking for after just one or two searches.
If someone has left a trace online—whether that be via public records, social media, etc.—at least one of the resources mentioned in this article will help you track it down.
While the internet is an amazing resource, if the person you're looking for hasn't been active online in some way, then it follows that their information might not easily show up in your search. Unfortunately, there's little to no solution that will help you find who you're looking for if the person hasn't left any records of who they are in the public domain.
What to Remember When Looking for People Online
You might not think much about it when trying to find people online, but there are several things to remember during your search:
- There's no magic bullet: While there certainly does exist a wide variety of information on the web, there's no one site that's going to deliver all of it to you, nor is one simple search query going to do it. Finding someone online, especially someone who you've lost touch with or doesn't leave much of a trace on the web, requires patience, diligence, and persistence in order to be successful. Even then, though, your time may prove to be unhelpful.
- Public information is public: Any information found online is inherently public, simply because it has been found in public databases, directories, blogs, forums, message boards, etc. Small tidbits put together can add up to quite an impressive whole.
- If they can find it, so can you: Websites that promise to deliver detailed background checks for a "one-time fee" aren't all bad because they usually do a superb job at gathering all the public information together into one cohesive page for you to review. However, you don't have to pay to find people because everything those services find is also available to the public (you) if you're willing to do the work manually.
If you found your own information online, please know that you can request to have it removed so that others won't also be able to dig it up.
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