If you need to find someone’s address, you have a couple of options. Fortunately, the age of the internet makes it easier than ever to keep in touch with old friends, find family members, and check out a potential tenant or employee’s reference if the reference has moved.
An important reminder
Bear in mind a few important caveats before you start. If someone purposely didn’t give you an address, make sure they aren’t going to see your search as an invasion of their privacy.
If you just want to look up an old school friend, find a reference who has moved, or look for lost family, here are three ways to find a current address:
1. Start with WhitePages
The whitepages may have the information you’re looking for, especially if you’ve got a phone number. Simply initiate a whitepages reverse lookup using a phone number you already have and see what pops up.
A whitepages reverse lookup frequently gets you a physical address, and it can also often find full names, other phone numbers, and email addresses that might help.
2. Try a search engine
You can do more with a search engine than you might think. Sometimes a Google search can get you exactly what you need. To do it right, you’ll need patience and some good old-fashioned common sense. Here’s how it works.
- Try a phone number
A phone number plugged into Google might help, but be aware that you’ll probably get several false trails this way. People change their numbers all the time, and the phone companies recycle these numbers. You may have trouble telling whether the name and address are current, so if a number is all you have, use a reverse lookup instead to get current information.
- Use a name
If you have a name and phone number, your odds have just improved. Do some digging through the search engine and use your common sense. If you’re looking for someone with a common name and get a hit five states away from where you were expecting, that’s probably not the Robert Smith you are looking for.
- Look for patterns
Because people do move and can pop up anywhere, assume you’re closing in when you’ve gotten three or four different sites all referencing a person in a particular location. You might find news articles, public records, or social media references that can help you find this pattern.
- Narrow your search
Once you know the city, name, and phone number, it won’t be difficult to find an address on whitepages or a similar site. It’s getting the info you need to narrow your search in the first place that can be time-consuming.
3. Hunt through social media
Social media might have all the information you’re looking for. Again, the more info you have to start with, the better. People on Facebook often list their addresses; the trick is finding which “Susan Miller” is the one you’re hunting for, especially if you don’t have a current photo.
You can narrow your Facebook search considerably if you have a middle name, maiden name, phone number, or know the names of other people connected to the person you’re searching for. LinkedIn is another good resource for addresses, especially if you know what industry a person works in.
In the end, the fastest way to get what you want is usually going to be a reverse lookup. If you want to go it on your own, however, gather all the info you can and use your critical thinking skills to sort through the available information.