How To Find A Person By Name?

Common online resources such as search engines, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can be incredibly useful in locating missing individuals. Specialised people search engines like Intelius, Spokeo, and Social Catfish are also invaluable tools in our arsenal. These platforms compile data from public records, social media profiles, and other sources to help piece together a person’s digital footprint. By leveraging these resources, even the most elusive individuals can often be found with just a bit of detective work.

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.

Step-by-Step Guide to find a person by name

Method 01: Discovering Someone's Identity using online search platforms:

Here are some popular people search engines anyone can use to find a person by name free of cost.


Intelius is a premier website to search person by name. It digs deep into the internet, pulling information from places like search engines, social networks, public records, and government websites. This makes Intelius a go-to choice for those looking to find someone online.

Features include:

Individual Profile: Get a detailed profile on someone, including their current address, phone numbers, and any critical criminal history they might have. This feature is perfect for getting a complete picture of the person you are searching for.

Enhanced Search Capabilities: Makes your search even sharper by using filters like location and age. This helps you narrow down your search results so you can find who you are looking for faster.

Contact Information Insights: This is great for those trying to find a way to get in touch with someone. Whether you need a phone number or email address, Intelius can help uncover that information.

Visual Search Option: Use a photo to find out more about someone. This feature can link a picture to their social media profiles or personal websites, giving you more clues about them.


Spokeo is like a supercharged phone book for the modern world. Unlike old-school directories that only had names and numbers, Spokeo gathers info from many internet sources, including social media and public records. This means you can find almost anyone you are looking for.

Here's what makes Spokeo special:

Advanced Search Options: You’re not just stuck with searching by name. You can also use email addresses, phone numbers, or home addresses to find someone. This is convenient when you’re trying to get in touch with someone but don’t have much information about it.

Social Media Insights: Spokeo connects you to people’s social media accounts. This is great for checking out what someone’s been up to online or finding mutual friends.

Public Records Access: Spokeo does a deep search, looking into things like criminal records and government documents. This means you get a full background check on someone, not just the basic details.

Location Details: If you need to know where someone lives, Spokeo can give you the exact address. This is useful for sending letters or planning a surprise visit.

Social Catfish

Social Catfish emerges as a beacon in the digital age, meticulously engineered to navigate the intricate maze of the internet with precision. It is an essential tool for private investigators, offering unparalleled capabilities in unearthing personal details scattered across the digital expanse. Its core mission is to locate individuals by name and authenticate online identities, thereby becoming an indispensable asset for delving into the complex web of online personas. Its features include:

Image Verification Tool: In an era of rampant digital deceit, the Image Search Option presents itself as a critical resource. Private investigators can harness this tool to verify the authenticity of profile pictures, ensuring engagements with genuine individuals. This feature aids in debunking false identities and unmasking potential deceit, a common challenge in investigations.

Enhanced Search Capabilities: Social Catfish elevates online investigations with its Advanced Search Options. Beyond just names, investigators can employ email addresses, phone numbers, and user aliases as search parameters, delivering comprehensive and nuanced results. This versatility is invaluable for tracing digital footprints and unearthing connections hidden within layers of online interactions.

In-Depth Personal Information: Delving deeper than superficial searches, Social Catfish offers detailed profiles encompassing contact numbers to personal websites. For private investigators, this means access to a wealth of information crucial for verifying addresses, identifying mutual connections, and acquiring deeper insights into the subject of their investigation.

Social Media Insights: Understanding a person’s online presence is pivotal in modern investigations. Social Catfish’s Social Media Groups & Associations feature allows investigators to uncover affiliations and interests, connecting dots to reveal a more comprehensive digital footprint. This insight can be crucial in establishing motives, relationships, and behaviour patterns.

News Mentions: Gaining insight into a subject’s public persona can be as important as understanding their private dealings. Social Catfish’s ability to lead investigators to news articles mentioning the individual offers a panoramic view of their public engagements, achievements, or controversies.

By leveraging Social Catfish, private investigators are equipped with a powerful ally in the quest for truth. However, it is essential to tread carefully and respect privacy and legal boundaries to ensure ethical conduct. Like Spokeo, Social Catfish empowers users with information, yet it underscores the importance of using such tools responsibly and legally to pursue investigative objectives.

Method 02: Utilising Internet Search Tools to find person by name:

Finding the identity of an individual through the vast digital expanse can be a remarkably straightforward and swift endeavour when employing internet search engines; here are some simple steps anyone can use to find a person’s identity:

Step 1: Choose Your Search Engine: Start your search by selecting a search engine that resonates with your preferences, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. The choice of platform can set the stage for your search journey.

Step 2: Precise Name Search: To refine the focus of your search, encapsulate the person’s full name in quotation marks. Typing “John Doe” instructs the search engine to filter results specifically for that exact name, enhancing the precision of the search outcomes.

Step 3: Incorporate Additional Details: Should the name in question be common, enrich your search with further details like the individual’s locality, profession, or any pertinent information you possess. A search query like “John Doe” + “New York” + “Graphic Designer” narrows down the results, making your quest more targeted.

Step 4: Leverage Advanced Search Features: Many search engines are equipped with advanced search functionalities, enabling you to customise your search based on time frames, geographical location, or the type of content you seek. Engaging these tools can significantly refine your search parameters.

Step 5: Explore the Search Results: Navigate through the search results, directing your attention to websites that offer detailed insights about the person. Platforms such as LinkedIn, personal blogs, or news publications can be treasure troves of information.

Step 6: Utilise Image Searches: If you have a photograph of the person, consider conducting an image search. This approach can reveal associated online content or social media profiles, potentially providing new avenues to explore.

Additional Tips:

  • Be mindful of alternative spellings or common types in the person’s name, as these variations may influence the search rankings and results.
  • Regularly clearing your search history can ensure fresh and unbiased results, aiding in a more effective search process.

It is important to remember that not everyone maintains a prominent online presence. If initial searches don’t yield the desired results, remain open to employing other search strategies or platforms. This systematic approach to utilising internet search tools offers a potent means to discover individuals by name, blending efficiency with simplicity in the digital age.

Method 3: Unlocking the Power of Social Media in Advanced People Search

Social media platforms are a goldmine of information which is crucial for every private investigator or anyone doing people search; here is a step-by-step method to find people using social media:

Step 1: Platform Selection: Initiate your inquiry by identifying the most relevant social media platform for your investigation. Choose from the array of popular networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter, depending on the nature of your case.

Step 2: Strategic Search: Utilise the platform’s search functionality to enter the name of the individual. Given the prevalence of common names, augment your search with additional identifiers like their geographical location or potential acquaintances. On platforms like LinkedIn, use the advanced search features to narrow down results by professional affiliations or educational backgrounds.

Step 3: Verification through Connections: Upon pinpointing a potential profile, Check for mutual friends or affiliations. This step is vital for confirming the authenticity of the profile. Engage with networks, groups, or communities relevant to the individual, as these can often reveal deeper insights or even grant access to otherwise hidden information.

Step 4: Investigating Digital Footprints: On visually-centric platforms like Instagram or Facebook, meticulously examine photographs for tags or mentions. This can uncover additional associations and activities pertinent to your investigation.

Step 5: Initial Contact: – After affirming the identity of your subject, proceed with tact and professionalism. Reach out with a polite and concise message stating your intent and the reason behind your inquiry. This step necessitates a delicate balance between assertiveness and respect for privacy.

Method 4: Hiring a private investigator to find a person by name

When everything else has failed in your search for a missing person, and you have tried everything possible to locate them yourself, it might be wise to enlist professional assistance. Private investigators (PIs) like PIUK possess exceptional skills and tools designed specifically to find missing individuals, even when there is limited information online about them.

Selecting an Appropriate Investigator: Choosing a trustworthy private investigator online is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, many untrustworthy people disguise themselves as investigators on social media platforms; therefore, it is wise to conduct due diligence to ensure you choose someone trustworthy like PIUK.

Help Your Investigator Succeed: The more details you give your private investigator, the higher their chances of locating the person you seek. Don’t just provide their name; give more information like where they last resided, work locations, or any details that can assist their investigation. Sharing these can prove invaluable in their search efforts.

Hiring a private investigator when trying to track down someone means hiring an expert with all the skills and tools at their disposal to assist with finding your target. While hiring one may cost more than other approaches to searching, sometimes this can be your only practical option when other methods haven’t proven fruitful.

Method 5: Utilise a Telephone Directory for Contact Information:

Before the rise of the internet, people relied on phonebooks to find their target’s contact details. While it might surprise some, phone directories are still an invaluable resource today.

If you know where someone used to live, their mailing address, or their former residence, starting your search with local phone books and national directories should do the trick. Phone books generally list people by last name, so it may take some searching before finding who you need – many people might also be listed under middle names or initials, so make sure that all possibilities have been considered when searching!

Internet-savvy individuals have an easier option available. Some websites serve as online phone directories and can give a lot of useful information, like addresses, phone numbers, and even emails of the people listed.

Though they seem outdated, phone directories can be beneficial when you can’t locate what you need online.

Method 6: Exploring Official Documents

Public records can be an invaluable source of information that can help you gain in-depth knowledge about someone. Public records contain vital documents like marriage, birth, death certificates, criminal history, and details identifying who owns what property. You can access these records on government websites as well as local venues like courthouses.

Nowadays, many government offices have made their records accessible online, so you can search for someone’s details from anywhere simply by typing their name. But, if you know where the individual used to live, going directly to their local courthouse may provide more information than an online search alone can. Furthermore, government websites or official documents can be beneficial resources for those who need information on someone’s criminal past for legitimate purposes.

There are websites dedicated to compiling public records from multiple locations into an easy-to-use platform; however, in most cases, a fee must be paid to utilise such services.

Method 7: Creating a Unique and Original "Missed Connection" Listing

“Missed Connections” are the modern equivalent of personal ads, allowing people to reunite with someone they briefly met or lost contact with. You can find these sections on websites like Craigslist and some traditional newspapers.

These ads allow you to describe who and where you met someone in hopes that someone reading your ad might recognise the individual and assist in helping reunite you.

Social media groups such as Facebook are an ideal place to post a “Missed Connections” ad and make connections. When writing ads, you must respect and safeguard the privacy of your target. Do not disclose too much personal information about anyone; being somewhat vague protects everyone’s right to privacy.

More 'Old Fashioned' Methods

You are 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 name 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 events, like birth, death, or marriage. This being said, scouring public records can produce the most fruitful results.

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.

How to find someone's middle name?​

To find someone’s middle name, you can use online search engines, social media profiles, people-search websites, check public records, or look through online phone directories. Each of these methods can provide information such as full names when you input basic details about the person you’re searching for.

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 search 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.

Private Investigations UK can assist with finding people in the UK and across the world. To discuss our advanced searches for people and reverse phone lookup, please call 0800 002 0898. Alternatively, please fill out a contact form, and one of our agents will get back to you today.

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