Due to the rapid growth in social networking, online dating and digital infidelity, more and more people are playing amateur investigator by doing their own background checks on each other with the use of online government records and people search engines.
Online public records and people search sites have made it easier for everyday people to do background research on one another. Although the general public lacks the type of investigative databases that are available to private investigators, police and government agencies, there is no doubt that the amount of personal information that you can find out about people online is growing and getting better.
Amateur investigators can now use social networks, online government public records, search engines and people search sites to find out a lot of background information on people. Everyone from employers, neighbors, family, friends, fiances, spouses, lovers and potential dates can now search for information on people like never before.
While professionals like skip tracers and private investigators have access to proprietary people search and public records databases like TLO and Accurint, which are inaccessible to the general public, there are now more commercial data companies that are offering access to better and more reliable information about people to the everyday consumer.
For more detailed background reports and up-to-date contact information, there are premium people search sites like Intelius and PeopleSmart. These sites collect a large amount of personal information and public records on people and make it available to the general public for a fee.
Premium people search sites usually charge different prices for different types of information, but they are a good place to find phone numbers, addresses, family members, property records, civil records and criminal records. The amount and accuracy of the information on these sites can vary greatly from one search to another search and from site to site.
In addition, there are numerous social media sites, especially Facebook and LinkedIn, where you can search for and find all sorts of personal and professional information about people with just a name search.
Search engines, especially Google, are a great place to find out a lot of information on people. Google can be used to search for people by name, nickname, user ID, phone number, address, business name etc. Just remember: the more personal details that you add to your Google searches, the more likely it is that you will find information on the person that you are researching.
In addition, one of the best free and reliable options for finding background information on people is through state, county and local public records. More and more government public records can be found online for little or no cost, but you may still need to visit the local or county courthouse or government office to get some of these records.
Some of the more useful public records that will be of interest to people are sex offender records, property records, civil case records, criminal case records, marriage records and divorce records. Some of these public records can be found online, but many will require you to actually visit the court house or government office.
Remember, the type and availability of public records will vary from state to state and county to county.
When doing a people search or public records research, remember not to rely on one source only. Use as many resources as you can to get all the information you need.