If you’re looking to trace someone you know, you might feel like you’ve exhausted all possible avenues. Thankfully, we’re people-tracing experts, and we’ve conducted hundreds of successful traces for clients all over the world. We always recommend that you don’t get discouraged and adopt a methodical approach to finding people.
Whether you’re looking for a missing relative or a debtor, the strategies we give in this guide will save you time and money in your search. We’ll also give you some advice about getting the right professional help with your trace if you need it.
As always, please remember that if you have concerns for the welfare of a missing person, you should contact the police first.
1. Tracing Someone with an Online Search
In the 21st century, we really are spoiled regarding the amount of available data about other people. Search engines should always be your first port-of-call. You’d be surprised by how many people contact us without conducting a simple google search first.
If your basic online search hasn’t returned many helpful results, don’t despair. Other online tools, like Companies House and standard directories, like the phonebook, offer good opportunities to trace people. Some directories, like the electoral roll, are also available to the public for a fee. Please be careful with paid data, as the penalties for breaking GDPR law are severe.
Another way to search for a person online is by carrying out a reverse Google image search. Provided you have a photo of a person, you can find matching results for linked social media pages by uploading the photo on Google. The results will show you where else the image appears online.
2. Search Social Media Sites
Once you have some basic information from the surface web, you should also search Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites when trying to find a person. Social media is one of the most popular ways of hunting for long lost family members and friends. Depending on their privacy settings, you’d be surprised by how much of someone’s personal information is available online.
Be sure to check older social media platforms, like MySpace and Bebo, as well as more major ones. Many people have old profiles that they’ve never updated or deleted. You might find information here that doesn’t require the same access permissions as more modern sites.
To find someone on social media, you first need to carry out a search using their name. However, if the person uses a fake name or has a very common name, it won’t be easy to find their official account. You might want to consider searching for their family members.
3. Go to a Registry Office
Registry offices keep public records of significant events like births, deaths, and marriages in most countries. These documents contain information about the people involved, as well as information about their parents. This means that you could find someone by examining records about their close relatives.
The information included in official public records includes names, addresses, living statuses, and dates of birth. Even if you don’t manage to trace the person from these documents alone, the information you get from these documents will probably go some way to helping your search.
This method does have its downsides. The process of scouring these documents is lengthy and time-consuming, as you must do it manually. You’ll additionally need to know which registry office to go to.
You must go in person to access public records, and the registrar may ask for a fee. Naturally, the amount of information you can gather depends on whether someone close to the subject is born, dies, or gets married. Still, it’s difficult to question the accuracy and validity of public records, and we highly recommend that you consider making use of them.
Hiring a Professional
An efficient way to trace a person is to hire a tracing agency to do it for you. Although this people-searching method isn’t the most cost-effective, it will probably save you frustration in the long run. At Private Investigations UK, we are professional tracing agents, offering people tracing services to businesses and private clients worldwide.