Published on January 4th, 2023
If you’re looking for an old friend, coworker, partner, or someone else who was important to you in the past, finding them online has never been easier. From an old classmate to your high school confidante, you can find people easily, and it usually won’t even cost you anything.
You can rekindle an old friendship that used to bring your life joy and meaning.
It is easy to find old friends using search engines, social media, alumni sites, background check sites, and other online resources.
In the past, people turned to private detectives to track old friends down for them. Today, this is an expensive service that’s rarely necessary. Anyone can be a private eye with the right tools.
This article will provide a few valuable tips on how to track old friends down, even if you don’t have many details.
Gather Preliminary Information
You need some background details before you get started. These can include their first and last name, approximate age (even better if you know the exact date of birth), previous addresses, old phone numbers, places where they used to work, where they went to school, mutual friends, family members, interests, hobbies, or occupational details.
People Search Sites And Directories
You can use a people finder or an online directory to find old friends. These websites gather publicly available data from around the internet. This will save you lots of time.
When you start searching, a lot of these sites will pop up. Be aware that they are not made alike. They have different marketing and sales tactics, like asking you to pay for a full background check report on your search target, sign up, or become a member.
It might not be necessary to do any of these. Some people search sites perform searches very slowly if you haven’t signed up to get you to become a paying member.
Some people’s search sites are free, but they will yield very bare-bones information if any. Valuable information is worth paying for. The platform might yield a long list of potential matches if your friend has a common name. This is why you always need additional information.
Ideally, the people search site or directory will retrieve a set of data on your friend, including their year of birth, family members, aliases, place of birth, etc.
While not all people finders yield the same information, you’ll get some or all of the following from a reputable site:
- Possible aliases
- Phone numbers
- Names of possible relatives
- Email addresses
- Social networking accounts
- Home addresses
- Court records
- Criminal records
- Voter registration records
- Marriage Records
- Real estate listings
It’s also recommended to try several people finders for best results. Look for affordable ones, as you’ll find one-time search fees can accumulate. There is no shortage of online directories to choose from, but keep in mind some apply misleading billing tactics.
Traditional Search Engines
You’ve probably tried a Google search, but have you considered lesser-known traditional search engines like Bing, Yahoo, or DuckDuckGo? They are all great places to start. To improve your chances of finding your old friend, try at least one search engine apart from Google.
You’ll get fast results if the person you’re looking for has an unusual name. Check your list of matches very carefully to avoid false ones, and follow up on any result that seems promising. When you search, put their name in quotation marks along with any extra details, like an alias or their middle name.
Don’t give up until you get more clues. Some avenues will inevitably turn out to be dead ends, and, what’s more, you might not get completely accurate information. Don’t get frustrated. This is normal.
You could also search for people who seem like relatives or acquaintances of your old friend. Pay attention to their connections and locations. This might be an indirect way to get to your old friend.
Last but not least, don’t overlook the most popular social medium in the world. When you search for users with their names, you’ll see a list of people.
It might be short or long, depending on how common the name is and how many people actually use their real names in their profiles. You might not get a single match, but there will be similar names.
Look at the users’ location, pictures, and any additional information. If their profile is private, Facebook won’t be of any use, unfortunately.
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