Variations On A Theme

After watching where the traffic to this site is coming from, I've decided to increase the number of people search systems that I endorse on here.*

The Records Registry (my original endorsement) claims to be able to assist people in Australia as well as Canada, the US, and UK. I have to take its word on that, but it earns credibility points with me for trying to provide a universal service, and it claims a very worthy professional clientele.

'Government-Records' - well, what can I say? It is aimed specifically at the US market, but its an incredibly popular choice and people aren't stupid. I am pleased to add a new link for this facility.

There's always something new to discover, and power comes from informed choice.

(Actually, the sidebar could start to fill up in the days to come - if you want to know how to find someone, then its amazing what you can find at the library!)

*P.S. - If 'watching where you come from' sounds a bit creepy to you - not at all! I mean whether you came here through Google or another site, and what country your ISP is in. If you have a site or blog and want these figures for yourself I can freely recommend .

How (not) To Find Someone By Conning Someone Else

Social Engineering.

Ever heard of that? What on earth could that have to do with how to find someone?

Sounds like a class from a Social Sciences Degree.


'Social Engineering' is the fancy intellectual title scammers give to scams when they are after a different victim, and don't even think about trying it because its most likely to be completely illegal, no matter where you are. Its better to use the same system as Police Officers and respectable agencies.

The title originated with computer hackers. Access to the system was their prize and the 'little' people who could inadvertently give them that access were just convenient tools to be used. For example, if you worked for a big company and had a password for the computer, a hacker might approach you over the phone and con you into giving out your password.

You got conned.
You'll probably lose your job.
You will always and forever be the jerk that let the hackers in, but.... the eyes of the hacker this isn't personal; you are just a part of the solution he/she requires and a tool to be used. An extension of that disassociation is the title they came up with for the process.

Cheer up, you weren't conned, scammed or victimised (oh yes you were) - officially you were 'socially engineered' - you were fed through a process designed to push your buttons and have you behave in a certain way.

These days the term has been adopted by all sorts, and whilst original subcategories like 'phishing' still relate only to computer-based crime, the element of Social Engineering known as Pretexting is used for any conceivable reason.

Wikipedia says:

Pretexting is the act of creating and using an invented scenario (the pretext) to persuade a target to release information or perform an action and is usually done over the telephone. It's more than a simple lie as it most often involves some prior research or set up and the use of pieces of known information (e.g., for impersonation: date of birth, Social Security Number, last bill amount) to establish legitimacy in the mind of the target.

This technique is often used to trick a business into disclosing customer information, and is used by private investigators to obtain telephone records, utility records, banking records and other information directly from junior company service representatives. The information can then be used to establish even greater legitimacy under tougher questioning with a manager (e.g., to make account changes, get specific balances, etc).

As most U.S. companies still authenticate a client by asking only for a Social Security Number, date of birth, or mother's maiden name — all of which are easily obtained from public records, the method is extremely effective and will likely continue to work well until a more stringent identification method is adopted.

Pretexting can also be used to impersonate co-workers, police, bank, tax authorities or insurance investigators — or any other individual who could have perceived authority or right-to-know in the mind of the target. The pretexter must simply prepare answers to questions that might be asked by the target. In some cases all that is needed is a voice of the right gender, an earnest tone and an ability to think on one's feet.

Voice over IP programs are starting to become a standard in pretexting, as the absence of a traceable number makes the pretexter less vulnerable to being caught.

Taken from THIS ARTICLE.

Don't forget to check out the link in the middle of that quote, which leads to a list of 'cognitive biases' a.k.a. attitudes that can make you volunteer to be fooled.

How To Find Someone Who Owns a Website

So you're looking at a website that is offering a service and it appears to be too good to be true. There is no clue of how to find someone with a real name and address, who is involved with the business.

There are several other things worrying you already, such as:
  • No company name, address or landline phone number
  • No privacy policy or terms and conditions
So, how to see who owns the website?

You need to do a Who-Is search. Now, I'm not going to promote one site over another by linking, but usually every site that sells domain names also provides a free who-is look-up.

Just go to your search engine, and type in "Who-Is"

When you have chosen a service, you will find there are two fields needing information.
  • In the first you type in the domain name, which is the bit after www.
  • In the second you select the rest of the domain address (.com, .gov etc), usually from a drop-down list.
If the domain is owned by a responsible company, then you will find their details.

If its owned by an individual, you may find their name and address, or you may find that they have registered as ' a private individual' and declined to give any real contact information. To do that they have to declare that the website is personal use only - which instantly tells you something about their attitude towards legalities!

If the Who-Is process fails for you, then usually the next step is to instigate a search for their IP address, and details of how to find someone using that method are available here.

How To Find Someone, Step By Step

Worrying about how to find someone can be a draining and stressful experience. When the person is a loved one or family member, the emotions involved can make concentration difficult, to say the least.

At such a time, anything written plainly and clearly is a godsend. So is any trustworthy system of checking that takes some of the pressure off your shoulders without draining you of every penny.

Lets start with a basic assumption.

Let's assume that you, as a computer literate person who has deliberately landed on this site, have already done a couple of searches at search engines like Google or Yahoo, and followed up on other results (like the ones that pay money to be right at the top of the page).

In case you just happened to land here straight away, I mean most people already:

  • Did a search of the missing person's name
  • Checked news articles in case of accident or incident
  • Signed in to the 'free' people searches, filled as much information there as possible, and scrolled through all the results of online memberships, or listings in telephone books.
Just doing all that can take a long time; there can be pages of results to scroll through and often they don't seem to relate to your search very much at all.


If you are looking for your friend Joe Smith, then typing his name into a search engine will set up a list of answers that have Joe and Smith somewhere (anywhere) in the page. This can leave you to sift through unwanted results in the hope of finding what you want.

The way to resolve that is to put your words inside speech marks. Search for "Joe Smith" and you will be offered only those pages where the names appear exactly in that order.

Perhaps you are searching for someone who doesn't even know you are looking - an old school friend or work colleague, so by now you've covered places like Reunion or Friends Reunited , to no avail.

So by now you feel surrounded by dead ends,

but that's simply not true if you know where to look.

What if you could lay your hands on information like background records, correctional files, criminal files, driving records, court records, bankruptcy records, child support files, real estate records, civil court filings, business information, marriage records, naturalization records, IP addresses, reverse maps and phone lookups, to name a few?

What if you could access systems and methods for how to find someone, that were just as valid in America, Canada, or Australia, plus the UK and most of Western Europe?

Systems used by Private Investigators and even accessed by Officers of the Law?

Click Here!