Private Investigator Giveaway: 5 Tips on the Best Way to Find Someone

Are you still putting off the search for your misplaced or long-lost friend or sibling? Do you need to track down a person who ripped you off and owes you money or property?

Finding someone can be very difficult or fairly simple, depending on the information you have and how you go about it. There are some key factors that will assist you or a good Private Investigator when locating people, for any reason. Most people learn the hard way and spend money with on line searches before hiring a P.I.

Need to find someone? Do it right the first time.

You probably have more useful information than you realize. Let a good private investigator do his job for you. It's like Joe Friday used to say "Just the facts mam".

     1. Do you know their full name? First, middle and last?

  • Are you positive you have the correct spelling? It's not critical to have their full name but it usually helps. When we run into common names, more information is better.
  •  Common last names like smith, Jones, Martinez, Nguyen, Kim, Sanchez, etc. can make the search more difficult. A common first name and last name together make the search more difficult still, as you may find several hundred, if not thousands of people with the same name.
  •  If the person has an unusual or uncommon name, your chances of success improve dramatically. Most on-line search services regularly fall short and provide the poorest results for customers. A top private investigator can serve you best, saving time, aggravation and money.

    2. How long has it been since he or she lived at their last address?

  • You don't have to have a previous address, but it can really make a difference especially when the person you want to find has a common name. If you don't know the actual address but you know exactly where the place is, it's a good idea to go there or ask someone in that area to go. Can you look at your old records, to get the actual street name, address number, city, state, zip code? Even if the information is pretty old, this could make the difference.
  • Sometimes old phone numbers can be useful.

   3. Do you know their exact birth date, Day, Month and year?

  • Are you positive you have it right? It's great if you do and this can help tremendously, even when searching for someone with a common name.
  • The chance of someone else having the same common name and the same exact birth date as your search subject is slim. Having both pieces of information are great.
  • If you only know the year or think you have a good possible birth date that can still be helpful.

   4. Do you have their Social Security Number? (SSN)

  • Usually the most valuable piece of information to have if you plan to hire a licensed professional private investigator to locate someone. Even the average P.I. should have access to check SSN's and get current addresses.
  • Most clients don't have the person's Social Security Number and we still find the person being searched for. When you have a portion of or all of the above information, your chances of finding someone are excellent.

   5. Do you know their family, co-workers or any friends that may have kept in touch or who may know where they were recently?

  • This can be a great short cut to finding someone.

If you can collect some or all of the above information, you will have a very good chance of finding someone, as long as they are not intentionally hiding. In many cases you can still locate people who don't want to be found, you just have to be creative.

For more tips or information on search fees contact Linked Investigations for a free investigative consultation.

Good Luck!You will do better when you hire a professional private investigator who knows what to do. We recommend you check out the private investigator before you hire them. You will need their license number and their name to conduct a search with the State of California. We have provided a direct link to the state of California's website for your search. Just click on the image below and follow the instructions on the state's website.

Good Luck.

Mike Garroutte has been a private investigator since 1982. He is licensed and is the owner of Linked Investigations in Costa Mesa, California. His license number is PI 15568.

Check the license status of any California Private Investigator. Contact the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services’ website at

Published on: 
October 7, 2011
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