Using the Internet to Conduct a Free and Complete Background Check on Anyone


 :: Free Background Check
First name: *
Last name: *
Middle name:
State: *
* Required Fields


This tutorial describes how you can use the internet to find out the truth about anyone's past behavior, such as their financial records, criminal activities and any other available information.

Be sure to read the following tutorial carefully...

1. Start with your own sources first.

If you personally know or have any connection to the person you are investigating, organize the information you have available about that person before you begin searching elsewhere.

This is an important step because it provides you with more details to use for searching and cross-referencing. For instance, if you know about a high school they once attended, any previous workplaces, or their current phone number, you will then have more information with which to search and cross-reference in case no results show up for their name only.

Following are a couple suggestions for organizing your information and "starting from your own backyard":

* Search The Files On Your Computer. Download the Google Desktop Pack in order to conduct deep searches into your documents, files, folders and email programs. It's fast, free and works much better than the typical Windows or Mac file search tool – a lot better!

* Search Your Own Records. Any stuff that’s just laying around such as day planners, calendars, filing cabinets, the phone book, you phone call history (if you talked to the person on the phone), your child’s report card (if you’re searching for info about a teacher), business cards, etc.

The key here is to gather as much information as you can. Let's now move on to step #2...

2. Before searching the Internet go through any obvious sources first.

Investigation times can be drastically reduced by going straight to the source and simply asking for the information you want. For example, it may seem a little counterintuitive, but if you wanted to perform a reverse phone lookup to find out the source of an unlisted number, just call the number and ask for the caller’s name. This can save you the hassle of searching through public records for a phone number.

Of course, the success of this step depends upon the kind of information you’re trying to discover, as well as the reason.

Obtaining neutral information, such as any previous schools attended, will be much easier to discover than their criminal history. Listed below are easy and obvious places to obtain information, if applicable to your situation:

* People who know or have had contact with the person you are investigating. Oftentimes, you can just cold approach these people and ask them polite questions if this fits the intensity and scope of your investigation.

* Their workplace. Depending on what you want to discover, their workplace may be able to provide you with some valuable information. For instance, you might pose* as a potential customer or as someone following up on a "reference" inquiry, wherein you would be someone calling the employer to verify a person’s income, job, and general behavior, just like any landlord would.

* Observation. Once again, depending on the intensity and seriousness of your investigation (as well as what you are searching for exactly), you can simply track them like a private investigator* by using a stakeout type of strategy (following them in your car, or watching them from behind a newspaper at a park bench).
* Important Notice: Some investigative techniques and strategies described above have been marked with an asterisk (*).

Please be sure to read the important legal information about these techniques included at the bottom of this page. These techniques are rather controversial, and in some situations they can be illegal. We recommend consulting with an attorney about your rights, your local/state laws, and how they might relate to the investigation of an individual in your location before conducting an investigation on your own of any kind.

All information presented on this website is for educational purposes only. Please read our terms of use for more information about your responsibilities while using, as well as information about liabilities and our disclaimer.

3. Begin your online investigation.

The internet is composed of a few websites that get massive amounts of traffic and billions of other websites that get comparatively much less. So to start with, we'll focus our initial searches on websites where your person of interest's activity, or "trail," will most likely be documented.

* Major Search engines. Begin your search by entering their name and any other relevant information about them at the Google, Yahoo and MSN search engines.

Hint: After searching for your queries normally, try searching for them with quotation marks surrounding the search terms. For example, if you're looking for information connected to someone named John Smith from Houston, Texas, here are some keyword variations you can search for that will return more relevant results from a search engine:

John Smith

"John Smith"

John Smith Texas

John Smith Houston

"John Smith" Texas

"John Smith" Houston

Smith Houston

Smith Texas

"John Smith" + arrested

"John Smith" + robbery

"John Smith" + fraud

"John Smith" + charges

"John Smith" + {any relevant keyword or suspected offense}

And so on.

* Large social networks. has over 200 million members, which is almost equal to the population of the United States! And it's not just teenagers signing up now -- a rising number of adults are also using social networking websites with increasing frequency. Some other social networks you can search include,,,,,,,, and many others.

* Local websites. Many cities have message boards that are focused on that particular city, as well as classified ads sites such as You can search these sites as well.

* Search the main websites that are related to your subject’s known hobbies and profession. Most internet users mainly use the Internet for the following reasons, in descending order -- email, news, research, entertainment and anything that the user finds interesting, such as their hobbies and career. Therefore, try to look for popular forums and niche social networking or member sites that cater to their interests, career and hobbies. You may just find a member profile or an ad created by the person you’re investigating.

* Do they have a blog or a member profile? More and more people are publishing information on the Internet. Whether it’s a political rant, comedic entry or a fully fleshed out niche site, chances are you'll discover it on one of the following networks:,,,,, and other similar web-log (blog) search engines.

* Regional/local news archives. Search any local or regional site that is related to the locations that you're subject resides in – both currently and in the past. Oftentimes, news archives will contain press releases, police alerts and any news about court cases, crimes and anything that might be connected to your subject in some form.

4. Search public government and legal records.

Public records, which include court records, marriage records, divorce records, court dockets, death records, vital stats, sex offender registry databases, arrest records, criminal court filings, inmate records, civil court records, bankruptcies, lawsuits, birth records, business records (and more) are actually all publicly available, but they can be quite difficult to find.

Some records can be found rather easily. For example, a semi-public database of property foreclosures can be viewed at, while other records -- such as a database of court filings or dockets from an obscure county in a small state -- may be virtually impossible to dig up. Well, impossible unless you know exactly where to look, that is!

That's where Search and Spy comes in.

We connect you directly to more than 72 individual data sources -- most of which are very difficult to find and not commonly used by anyone other than law enforcement agencies, private investigators and attorneys.

In short, Search and Spy turns your computer into your very own private investigator powerhouse!

Get the Full Version

We Also Recommend:

See if any records are available from the Gov-Records premium database:

* Please note that pretending to be someone you’re not in order to gather information, otherwise known as pretexting, is highly illegal in some cases and specific locations. It is a controversial technique at best, so we strongly recommend that you seek out legal advice from a licensed attorney who deals with this specific area before you engage in this kind of activity. The method described in this article is for educational purposes only and is a technique used by professional detectives. Please consult with an attorney before using these techniques for your own investigation.

** Also please note that following someone is a controversial investigative method that is best left to professionals who understand their legal rights, as well as the extent of what they can lawfully do during an investigation. Not only can following someone risk your own safety and the safety of others, it may also be illegal if performed incorrectly or in certain areas. We highly recommend that you speak to a licensed attorney who specializes in this field. The techniques described in this article are for educational purposes only and is a method used by professional detectives. Please consult with an attorney before using these techniques for your own investigation.

In both cases listed above, the owners, employees and associates cannot be held liable for any damages caused, inflicted, received or experienced by you or anyone else as an end result of this information which is published for educational purposes only.

You are responsible for your own actions and any consequences that may result from those actions. You are also responsible for educating yourself about any and all applicable laws in your local area with respect to what you can and cannot do while carrying out an investigation. For more information and to read our complete Terms of Use and End User Agreement, please click here.