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People Search: How to Find a Person

With so many people search tools to choose from, you can almost always locate your subject. Whether you want to contact a long lost friend, strike a business deal, or conduct a skip trace, there are resources for you.

Not only can you conduct isolated searches here and there as the need arises, but you can also integrate the search into your own website or application for frequent searches and data needs.

In this article, we list your people search options from the simplest to the most advanced. Whatever your people search needs, we have you covered. 

What Information Do You Need for a People Search?

Typically you will have the name of the person you are looking for. That is the bare minimum information you need to find someone. You can do a Google search for a person’s name or check social media sites for profiles with that name.

If that’s successful, you can gather more information from there. You might be able to find a phone number, home address, email address, place of employment, website, etc. from the Google search or social media profile.

However, the person you are looking for might intentionally be trying not to be found. Or maybe he or she has a common name that makes it difficult to be sure you’ve found a match. These situations make things a little more complicated.

If you want accurate results on the first try, you can use Searchbug’s people search tool to find people by name, address, phone, or email. You can search by address only, name and address, phone number only, or email only.. There is a premium search option as well that allows you to search using an old phone number or address. 

What Information Can You Get from a People Search?

The standard people search provides full name, street address, phone number, and email address if known. The premium search returns much more information.

You can get a full name, known aliases, current address, 3-year address history with reported dates, all known phone numbers with line type (wireless or landline), date of birth, and relatives with their dates of birth. The premium search is basically a skiptrace search without the subject’s SSN.

Premium people search is similar to a real estate skip trace. Real estate agents might want to locate the owner of a property to secure good investment opportunities. They can enter the address of the property they have their eye on, and the people search tool will return the name of the owner and a phone number or email where he or she can be reached.

The premium people search returns a person’s current and previous addresses and all known phone numbers. You might also receive aliases used, and date of birth of the subject and his or her relatives. 

Can You People Search for Free?

Like we mentioned before, you can conduct your own internet search for free. You will also come across free people search websites and services. However, if you use a free service, you risk getting outdated, inaccurate information. 

That’s because it costs money to access databases that house consumer phone numbers, mailing addresses, and email addresses. So if a website offers access to their records for free, they likely aren’t spending any money themselves for access to updated databases.

Therefore, the results they provide you with are either old, incorrect, or simply information you could find yourself from public records or internet search. Searchbug, on the other hand, gets its information from public records, phone books, vital records, real estate records, magazine subscriptions, voter registration, and proprietary sources.

Furthermore, it only costs a dollar or two to conduct a people search with That’s a small price to pay to save yourself time trying to conduct your own search or following up on an outdated lead you received from a free service.

Professional People Searches

Searchbug offers access to prescreened, licensed, bonded, and insured private investigators. Conducting a professional people search allows you to dig deep into the life of your subject. This is particularly useful for instances where your subject is intentionally trying not to be found.

The major difference between Searchbug’s people search tools and a professional people search is that a private investigator is able to verify information in person.

Private investigators obtain information from published phone directories, public records, criminal record repositories, and restricted skip trace databases. Therefore, you can be sure that your results are current, accurate, and verified by an actual person.

Professional people searches include 

  • bank account searches
  • employment searches
  • skip tracing
  • background checks
  • phone inquiries
  • SSN searches
  • reverse P.O. box searches
  • DMV searches
  • and EIN searches.

You can also request custom searches and bulk orders.

Professional people search is the route to take when you need access to restricted data or to find someone who doesn’t want to be found.

People Search APIs

For frequent searches and daily data needs, you can integrate our searches into your own website, application, or mobile app with XML and JSON APIs. Quick and reliable APIs are useful for 

  • staffing agencies
  • human resource departments
  • collections
  • law firms
  • real estate
  • financial services
  • eCommerce
  • marketing
  • and insurance companies.

They allow you to investigate, locate, and verify people in real time.

Use APIs to Investigate People

A background check API allows you to obtain background check information. It consists of a background search and a detailed background report. Information is sourced from public, civil, and criminal records. It’s a great tool for web and mobile developers of dating applications, staffing applications, HR applications, recruiting apps, and legal apps.

A criminal records API informs you whether someone has a criminal record and obtains the case details. Criminal records search typically includes jurisdiction, charge, offense, disposition type, sentence, probation and conviction.

A terrorist watchlist API determines whether someone is on a government terrorist watch list. Information is sourced from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury, FBI, and Interpol security data sources. 

You can use an API to verify SSN owner. This helps businesses determine if a SSN is valid and when and where it was issued. Results include full name, associated aliases, date of birth, last reported address history, and phone numbers. You are also alerted if multiple names are found for the SSN.

Finally, you can use a people trace API. This is the most accurate of all people search API tools. Use the people trace API to get the most accurate and up-to-date personal contact information. This tool allows you to search our multi-data stream using your subject’s SSN. It’s useful for appending personal contact information such as names, aliases, current addresses, previous addresses, and phone numbers associated with the SSN.

Use APIs to Find Contact Information for People and Businesses

If your database is missing phone numbers, you can append that data from street address, email address, name and address, name and city/state or name and state. You can also get home, business, or mobile phone numbers for people or businesses. This API returns name(s) and address(es) associated with the number.

Or, you can use an API to find name and address. This API allows you to identify, enhance, and update your database making customer records and sales leads more valuable. It’s also incredibly helpful for inbound call centers and marketing departments.

You can find the name and address for any person or business in the U.S. from phone number, email address, name and city/state, name and county/state, or just name and state. Business records typically include phone numbers as well.

If you’d like to append email addresses to your contact lists, you can enhance your marketing strategies by getting email addresses for consumers or businesses. Search by phone number, street address, name and address, name and city/state, name and state, or even just a name.

Finally, you can use an advanced people search API to retrieve a “mini skip trace” report. The advanced people search API uses sophisticated algorithms from various data partners to find the most up-to-date and complete contact records for people in the U.S. 

Results include full name and aliases, both current and previous addresses, all known phone numbers and line types (wireless or landline), date of birth, date of death if deceased, relative names and dates of birth. This is the best, most comprehensive contact information API.

You can search by name and address, address only, or phone number only. For added accuracy, you can specify date of birth or middle name.

People Search vs. Professional Background Check

You can use a background check API to search for information on people. So what exactly, then, is the difference between a people search and a professional background check?

If you want to locate an old friend or get in contact with someone you’d like to do business with, then a basic people search can provide you with a phone number, mailing address, and/or email address to help get in touch with those people. 

However, if you want more detailed information about a person’s history, then you’ll want to conduct a professional background check. Background checks are in-depth, official reports that provide you with a full picture of someone’s past.

Searchbug’s advanced background check reports are legitimate and up-to-date. Information is sourced from top tier data management firms and includes everything from personal contact data to criminal records to social profiles and relevant web links.

You’ll want to conduct a background check if you are an employer vetting job applicants, a landlord screening potential tenants, or if you are simply inviting someone new into your home or life.

How to Find a Person

When someone signs up for a new service or registers for a phone number, address, etc. that information gets stored in any number of databases. People search tools access and scour those databases to locate requested information.

It’s pretty difficult to live off of the grid these days. But if your subject is trying hard not to be found, you might need to hire an investigator to verify information in person. 

With so much information at your fingertips, you can rest easy knowing that you are calling the right phone number, that your applicants are who they say they are, and that you’ll be able to collect on that debt. Say goodbye to the phone books of the past and say hello to people search.