Whether your goal is to reconnect with an old high school friend or look up a potential job candidate, online people searches have a variety of uses. Finding someone’s phone number, home or email address, arrest records, and family members are all something you can do via a people finder website. With a narrow focus on information about people, these sites stray from the likes of Google and Bing, which can yield more general results.
1. Peek You
While most people finder websites focus on your name, location, age, etc., Peek You also includes the option to search by social media username. For example, search for “mustlovedogs1” on the site, and the results identify people who currently use or have previously used that username. This includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, MySpace, etc. Alternatively, you can also search more generally by name with good results.
- Email address
- Social media website profiles
- Arrest history
- Location (Addresses)
- Wikipedia page
General results are free, but to dive deeper into something like an arrest record, a free will be charged.
2. Social Catfish
If Peek You grabs your attention with social profile searches, Social Catfish takes it to another level. This service not only allows a similar search by social profile username but adds dating sites like Tinder, Hinge and chat apps to its results. On top of that, it adds reverse image search, so if all you have is a photo of a person, you can run it through Social Catfish and see if it can locate other images of the person across the Web. One interesting note about the site is that you must be on the tab as the searches finalize, otherwise your search will be paused until you return.
- Known locations (addresses)
- Language spoken
- Account IDs/Usernames
- Phone number
- Reverse image search
Social Catfish requires you to sign up for their unlimited plan in order to access any search result: this costs $5.73 for the first five days, then $27.48 a month. Only consider this site if you plan on running numerous searches each month.
The original “people search,” Whitepages, has been around for many, many years. What Yellowpages is to business, Whitepages is to people. Of all of the sites available, Whitepages offers some of the most comprehensive results around. Its four basic searches begin with a name, reverse phone number, reverse address or business search. For landlords in particular wanting to do background on a possible tenant, Whitepages is a fantastic option.
- Financial records
- Background checks
- Traffic records
- Criminal records
- Lien/Property records
- Professional licenses
Premium searches with phone numbers and past addresses cost $4.99 a month, while a full background report is $9.99 per result.
Pipl claims to be the largest people search engine in the world, and for that reason, it’s a fantastic people finder. As part of the “deep web,” Pipl goes well beyond Facebook and LinkedIn pages, enabling information such as court records as part of the search results. The site claims to have more than three billion online identities available, with over 100 billion elements to help identify any individual. Add to that a reach of more than 150 countries, and it’s easy to see why Pipl is a trusted site for employers in particular.
Results are laid out in an easily digestible format so that you can quickly find:
- Addresses (home and work)
- Social media profiles
- Current and past jobs
- Mobile and landline phone numbers
- Personal and work email
Search results start at $0.10 for name, gender, address and age. Adding social media profiles jumps the price to $0.20. Grabbing education and employment history plus email addresses brings the price to $0.40 per search.
Self-described as a “100% Free People Search” site, TruePeopleSearch is exactly that. Three top results begin with name (last name not required) and location, reverse phone and reverse address. From there you have an opportunity to look at additional records and details. Email addresses are not behind a paywall nor are wireless and landline phone numbers. Previous address history is also available, along with a map to help you immediately identify where a specific address is located. There are identifiable ads that can lead you to a full background report.
- Address history
- Email addresses
- Phone numbers
ZabaSearch mentions as soon as you land on its page that it’s a free people search tool that requires just a first and last name. If it’s a common name like John Smith, you can find better results by narrowing the results down to a last-known city or state. The free results include name, age, address and partial phone number information. On the other hand, you can also search via phone number and look for the name, age and address.
- Address history
- Phone number
- Criminal record
- Driving record
- Child predator background check
Anyone looking for unlimited reports will need to subscribe for $24.86 per month; the plan automatically renews until canceled.
When it comes to people search sites, Intelius is one of the best-known names in the space. What separates the site from others is not its results but its commitment to customer privacy. All searches are anonymous and 256-bit encrypted, so your subject will never know you are looking. In addition, the results are some of the most reliable and accurate that you will find across this space. Searching through billions of public records can often lead to false positives, but Intelius somehow cracks through that better than its competitors.
- Past and present address
- Age and date of birth
Membership to the Intelius platform costs $19.95, while premium plans start at $29.95. Full background checks are $39.95.
Another well-known name in the space, Spokeo is another people finder but has the reputation of being featured in numerous publications, like Forbes, Fox News, ABC, etc. The site is filled with more than 89 million business records, six billion consumer records, 600 million court records, more than 120 social networks, etc. Initial searches can be performed by name, email, phone or address, and each of those immediate results are free. Results are quick and give you enough information before asking you to pay for the full profile unlock.
- Contact information
- Location history
- Family and associates
- Social media accounts
- Personal details (phone numbers, email and physical addresses)
- Criminal records
- Financial background
A one-month plan, which includes access to all info, is $19.95 for one month, while three months is available for $14.95 monthly.
Even as other sites on this list offer reverse image searches, TinEye is one of the best-known options for this search parameter. It’s hard to say how its technology differs from that of Google, but its results are commonly just as good, if not better from time to time. You can search using any kind of image you want including someone’s profile picture, a photo from a party, or something years ago.
If you are using a historical photo, it’s important to know that TinEye won’t age a person, so results would be similar to the photo you upload. Searches are completely free, which makes it an appealing alternative, and, for many people, that it isn’t Google adds a hope that it’s more private than the search engine giant’s own reverse image search technology.
When you think of people finder websites, Facebook may not be at the top of your list – but it should be. With over 2.89 billion monthly active users, Facebook can be an incredible search tool. This platform is far more than originally intended, as it was a way to connect with people from college, high school, past workplaces, etc. Facebook offers a variety of search functions to help narrow down by city and state, group association, education, and if they are a friend of a friend. Want to search for a company? You can do that with Facebook as well, assuming the person has the company listed on their profile.
Facebook can be a bit limiting, as privacy limitations can prevent many searches from finding proper results, but that’s not to say you will strike out every time. Still, Facebook has access to information on hundreds of millions (billions) of users. Once you find a result, what information you find is up to them based on security and privacy settings. It’s a complete toss-up as to whether someone has their profile page set to public, private, friends, friends of friends, etc.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn won’t be your first thought as a people search site, but it’s actually pretty great, especially for professional searches. That you can see where someone works, their current and former position, current or former supervisors, as well as who they work with, can be pretty fantastic.
Similar to Facebook, privacy settings can prevent some information from being available. If you have your own registered account, looking at someone’s profile will be made known to the person you are searching for. If you know where the person has worked, LinkedIn can be a really great resource for finding someone, but beyond that, you won’t find much else about them personally.
Arguably one of the original social media sites on the Internet, Classmates.com is the absolute best place to search for people by high school/university. Facebook is often thought of as the best way to reconnect with former classmates, but Classmates is second to none in this space. With a free registration, you can list your name in the Classmates community, allowing others to find and contact you. The free membership also includes the opportunity to search for classmates and view yearbooks for free.
Bump up to the Classmates+ membership, and you can see who has visited your profile, read and reply to messages in your inbox, see who remembers you and more. Membership costs $9 for three months, $24 for one year and two years for $36. While you won’t find criminal history or get a background check through Classmates.com, it’s an incredibly fun way to reconnect with classmates you likely haven’t seen for years.
How to Remove Yourself From People Finder Sites
This really is the million-dollar question and is as important as adding yourself to the “do not call” directory. Ultimately, you can remove yourself, but it’s going to take some work.
You can start by removing yourself from Intelius and BeenVerified, two properties that own a number of these people finder websites. For Intelius, click this link, then enter your name and email address.
- Locate your records, then click “Select and Continue.” When the next page pops up, enter your email to confirm your identity and verify through the CAPTCHA code. Click “Continue” when ready.
- You should receive an email and a message from Intelius. You will have 24 hours to click the link before it expires. Make sure to check your Spam folder just in case you don’t see the email right away.
- Pending this email, you are now opted out with a full 72-hour timeframe allowed for everything to complete.
To start with BeenVerified, click here.
- Start by searching for your first and last name, then state. Filter by city and age if you don’t initially see your own result.
- As soon as you locate the listing, click and select it. When the opt-out request page opens, enter your email and check the blue “Optional” checkbox. Fill out all required fields and the captcha. Finally, click “Send Verification Email.”
- Wait for the opt-out verification email to appear in your inbox and open the email to click on the link inside.
Essentially, you will need to do the rest of the sites, like Spokeo, Whitepages, Truthfinder and the like individually. It’s all relatively simple yettime-consuming but can be done. The caveat is that most of the “free” information is public, so as easily as you can remove it, it can quickly go back up. Additionally, data brokers don’t have to abide by your requests to remove the info.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do most of these sites work outside the U.S.?
For the most part, these sites are U.S. centric. A few will work in Canada, but international users will likely need to look elsewhere. The caveat here is that some records will include international results but only for searches initiated inside the U.S.
2. What about information like search history?
Realistically, your search history should be private. None of the main 15 or so people finder sites that are regularly used, including those listed here, capture your search history. In the case of Facebook and LinkedIn, your search history inside each platform is captured, but nothing beyond that. Facebook knows some of what you searched for on Google based on cookie and website pixel data, but they don’t know your complete search history.
3. How private are these sites?
They are not super private. Know that “most” of the info you can see through free searches is publicly available. That includes your name, phone number and address history. This information can already be obtained on government (city, county, etc.) websites that show mortgage data, court records, criminal history, etc. What these sites are doing is taking the legwork out of your need to search countless sites to compile info on one person. Ultimately, privacy is something you can work to obtain, but it’s not guaranteed.
4. Are some of these sites really as free as they claim?
Saying that there are no completely free search options is a little misleading. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and TinEye are all “free” in that you don’t pay anything. The same goes for searching for names through the likes of a Google search. Basic information on people finder sites is mostly free because it’s using publicly available info. These sites make money from deeper searches like background history (criminal, financial, employment, etc.), so they can hook you with the free results. Unfortunately, there is not one single free site that is going to deliver every bit of information you can find about someone, and that is actually a really good thing.
Outside of these sites, your information is actually big business on the Dark Web. Find out what your personal info is worth on the Dark Web.