Find Missing Friends: Search Tools & Resources

Now more than ever, it’s possible to track down a long-lost relative or friend with minimal effort and expense, thanks to the Internet. Some people may be able to avoid being tracked online, although finding them may need more sophisticated techniques.

If everything else fails, you can always engage a private investigator with the experience, connections, and resources to locate those friends and family members who have proven elusive.

Here are some suggestions from an old hand before you take the plunge into professional territory. This information should help you devise a plan to track down your lost pal.




How can I find my lost friends on the Internet?

With an Internet connection, finding old pals from decades ago is a breeze, and it usually doesn’t cost a dime, either. Start on the right foot with these pointers and resources.

Obtain Relevant Information

The first step in finding someone is to write down everything you know or can learn about them. Get their complete name, age, date of birth, previous residence(s), contact information(s), and family members’ names. Finding hints during a search might be aided by attention to detail.

Devices for Conducting Searches

Once you have gathered some information, you can begin your search on To perform a precise search for a phrase, such as “Alice Doe,” enclose the name in quotation marks.

You can get hundreds of results if your pal’s name is familiar. Narrow your search results by including additional information, such as a middle initial, specific location, employer, or line of work. To further refine your search, you can visit search. It will allow you to enter more specific criteria.,, and are three more free people-search sites worth checking out. You may also conduct a more in-depth search on sites such as and by shelling out a few extra dollars.

In addition to these tools, you can also look on networking and affinity sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and, where a friend might have an account.

One more choice is to look into high school alumni online communities. While not all schools have their websites, the ones that do can be easily identified by using a search engine and entering the school’s name and the state and city in which it is located. Alternatively, you might try, a massive hosting service that features hundreds of high school schools from all around the United States.

Your university’s alumni association is an excellent resource for reuniting with old classmates. They likely will offer you a different person’s direct number, but they can relay your message.’s “Buddy Finder” program, which has a database of over 20 million entries, is a great way to find a former service member.

If the individual you’re searching for is politically engaged, you can find their contact information (name, address, ZIP code, and sometimes even occupation) on the Federal Election Commission’s website (

Deceased Companions

The individual you’re looking for may have passed away if there is no recent news about them. Several websites, such as and, provide unlimited access to the Social Security Death Index, a listing of roughly 90 million deaths in the United States, to help you determine if this is the case. In addition, obituaries from numerous American newspapers are compiled and made available on

How do you find someone you haven’t seen in years?

Paid Databases

When you have adequate information, you can use one of several commercial investigative databases in the U.S. to track down virtually anyone. Researchers analyzed a selection of the most widely used datasets available today (Intelius, Spokeo, BeenVerified).

Many such sites make exaggerated claims regarding how much data they can collect and how reliable their results will be. They claim that they need more backing them up beyond marketing jargon. To accomplish a job, you have to use expert investigative databases that cost me thousands of dollars per month to access, and even those contain significant gaps. Email addresses and phone numbers, for instance, are notoriously unreliable, and it can be challenging to pin down an individual’s past addresses without further information.

However, these databases may also be extremely useful. Refrain from squandering your cash on useless databases if you decide to get them. You should contact each of the phones, emails, and addresses they gave you. Write down all of the comments and explanations that people provide.


You can use your networks to help you find a long-lost friend or family member. It’s possible to get pointers from people you already know, such as members of your family, alumni networks, and friends. It could be awkward to bring up, but if you succeed, you could learn something you didn’t know before.

Do a History Search

A thorough background check is your best bet if you’re trying to track down any long-lost friends or family members. Don’t be alarmed by the expression’s sound. If you want to find them, you can hire a private investigator. Get some assistance by using TruthFinder.

TruthFinder background checks typically include data available from public sources. Given the information at hand, it’s as comprehensive as possible. Clarification: the collection of this information is entirely within the law. Some of the details uncovered by conducting a thorough background check include the following:

  • Indicated locations
  • Contact data
  • Online Identities
  • Felony convictions
  • Potential kinship

TruthFinder can help you find a long-lost loved one by searching the Internet for relevant public documents. It’s simple to use, completely legitimate, and discreet, so your contact won’t ever know you checked them out.

Networking Sites

There are undoubtedly strong odds that the person you’re looking for is active on one of the many social media sites; as of 2019, there were approximately 3.5 billion social media network users worldwide and about 2.3 billion members on Facebook.

Like most social media platforms, Facebook allows users to search for names. Searches by username, phone number, and email address are available on most sites, but to varied degrees. Remember, though, that Facebookers can hide their profiles from public searches. It is also prudent to remember that many people hide their true identities under a pseudonym or other alias while presenting themselves online.

How do I find people from my past?

Communicate With Peers

Sign up with, and you’ll have access to many features, including the ability to see and share class photos, communicate with other users through private and public messaging, and organize and attend reunions.

Is it a family member you’re trying to locate? The first two weeks of are free, giving you plenty of time to explore the site, search for long-lost ancestors, and build your family tree.

Go to the Library

Each year, by law, each state is expected to compile and make publicly available at least one list of the names, addresses, ages, and occupations of all of the citizens of the town. This information is also stored in many of the newest internet databases, which is excellent. If you want to search public records in any U.S. state, visit the public documents directory at

Look for someone with a specific degree, job title, or military background. It may be necessary for your friend to join the site or make a one-time payment to see your message because many alumni sites are subscription-based. Even so, if you know wherever your buddy attended school, you can utilize that information to your advantage on a few of these sites.

Professionals in the business sphere can benefit significantly from ZoomInfo’s search functionality. When you graduate, you don’t have to lose touch with your classmates. Although its focus is on India, members come from worldwide.

Check out the U.S. military’s online Buddy Finder to see if your pal served.

Engage the Services of a Private Eye

You might wonder, “How can you discover an old acquaintance instead of doing a lot of this work yourself?” It is the solution: Get a professional who focuses on finding people like you to look for you. You should retain the services of a private investigator. The cost can range from roughly $200 to $1,000 or more, based on your location, the expertise of the people you engage, and the difficulty of the search.

However, if you either 1) have previously conducted your search and haven’t been successful in locating your old acquaintance, or 2) don’t have the time or interest to do your extensive search using the methods given above, it may be worthwhile to shell out the extra cash.

Take away

Remember that private investigators with proper licensing can obtain information that isn’t available to the general public. Furthermore, their search methods are likely to be more advanced than anything you might come up with. Ensure the private investigator’s license is current before you hire them (if a license is required in your state). Wait to pay until you’ve signed a contract outlining the investigation’s scope and price.

You can call a private investigator in your area at 1-800-577-1080. Each of these private investigators is a former member of the Federal government. Ex-members of the DEA, FBI, Secret Service, and IRS comprise the team of private investigators.


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