When we conduct people-finding investigations, we often only have a few details. In the past, we’ve managed to find people armed only with a name. Although tracing generally gets easier when you have more information, a name is usually enough. In this article, we’re going to let you in on some of our tracing expert’s secrets for successfully tracking someone down by their name.
Finding People Online
Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to track someone down. Whenever we’re conducting a trace, our first port of call is always a simple search engine enquiry. We don’t think we need to tell you how to google someone, so we’ll leave that one with you.
Almost as obvious is conducting a social media search. Because some names are more common than others, success rates for a social media search can vary wildly. With common names, it’s often helpful to have additional information about their city or state.
Unfortunately, however, trying to find someone with a very common name in a large place is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. For example, it would be nearly impossible to find a John Taylor or a Sue Jones in London. This is especially true if they don’t have a profile picture or you don’t know what they look like.
More ‘Old Fashioned’ Methods
You’re probably familiar with the phone book. However, the advent of online directory searches has limited the usefulness of physical copies. An extensive directory of landline phone numbers and addresses can be helpful for people-finders like us. In particular, it’s helpful that it was common practice to give your middle initial in the directory, which means that it is easier to distinguish between people with common names.
Sadly, the landline industry is dying, with more and more people opting not to have a landline phone at all. According to the BBC, a staggering 40% of people in the UK have stopped using their landlines altogether. Fewer landline users mean fewer people in the phone book, which is less helpful for us.
Another option is to search public records at a registry office. This is insanely time-consuming, as it must be done manually and in person. It requires a bit more information than just the name. It also demands that some registerable event, like a birth, death, or marriage, occur. This being said, scouring public records can produce the most fruitful results.
Keeping it Methodical
We’ve seen that, when it comes to finding a person, search tools can take many different forms. It’s often a good idea to combine the various searching methods to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Multi-mode investigations are, in our experience, much more likely to be successful.
We recommend that you gather as much information as possible and then narrow your results afterwards. You’ll probably find it much easier to cast a wide net. Try to explore every possible avenue, and then combine your search results, including where the person lives, email addresses you’ve gathered, information about their employment, etc. Once you have everything in front of you, it will be much easier to analyse all the details and decide what is helpful and what isn’t.