It’s been just over 20 years since I graduated from high school – and wow did that time go by quickly. Although I made it to our 10-year reunion in 1998, the 20-year reunion last year just wasn’t do-able for my family. Over the years it’s been interesting to see who’s added their information to various online social networking sites, but I’ve realized that these sites have one huge limitation – they only list people who’ve specifically added themselves. There’s no way to locate high school friends who either don’t have Internet access or who don’t want every single one of our former classmates to be able to find them.
There is a solution though, that helps find basic information for anyone you’ve either lost touch with or need to locate for any other reason, and it’s called Intelius.
What it is:
Intelius is an information commerce site that provides data to individuals and businesses. They offer products and services ranging from basic people search and list management to comprehensive background checks and identity theft protection. Their People Search is easy to use – simply enter in a person’s name and you can find out anything from their birth date to current and former addresses and phone numbers, household members, home value, income and more.
There are various levels at which people search data can be accessed. For free, you can obtain a list that shows everyone found with that name, their ages, previous cities, and known relatives – along with whether or not further information is known. You then use this information to find the specific individual you’re trying to locate. Once you’re sure that you have the correct person, there are three options to get to more detailed data if you wish:
- People Search Report: includes all records for the individual name you’re searching for, along with all known data that the people search offers. Each report costs $1.95.
- 24-Hour Pass: includes unlimited people search reports by name or address for a 24-hour time period, with all known data that the people search offers for each search. A 24-hour pass costs $19.95.
- Background Report: includes the basic information available through people search, along with further details such as aliases, a background check, lawsuits, bankruptcies, etc. Each background report costs $49.95.
Intelius’ People Search uses various public databases, such as utility court, county, change-of-address, property and business records to locate the individual(s) you’re looking for.
Here’s my take on it:
There are two specific people from high school that I’ve lost touch with over the years, whom I would love to get back in touch with. One of them (‘J’) is someone who was my ‘best friend’ while growing up, until she moved away in high school. The other (‘S’) was one of my closest friends in high school, but she moved away soon afterward and has moved several times since. I lost track of her about 10 years ago and would love to find her again as well. I’d actually tried searching for both of them on Intelius in the past, and had found both of them – since I know their birth dates and parent/sibling’s names already. But I’d never taken the final step to actually order a report to get addresses and phone numbers.
These were the first two people that I searched for when using my 24-hour pass. And like before, I easily found them within the hundreds of others who bear the same names. But this time, I was thrilled to be able to get in deeper and pull up their address histories. I was glad to see the previous addresses that I already had show up – further confirmation that I did indeed have the ‘correct’ people. And I’m now armed with additional addresses and phone numbers to try and find where they are currently living.
One thing that I noticed is that although the people search report lists addresses and ‘previous cities’, it doesn’t show any kind of timeline that would let you know when the person actually lived in those locations. There’s also no way to determine which, if any, of the addresses listed are the current one. But it wouldn’t be difficult to simply attempt to contact them at each address and/or phone number to see if they’re living there now. And since you get information for the person’s relatives, I realized that I could potentially find ‘J’ through her parents if I could determine what their current address is. And the same for ‘S’ – I now have her sister and brother’s address information as well as her father’s. When and how I use the information is something I’ll have to figure out later. I’m simply happy to have the potential means to finally get back in touch with two people I’ve missed greatly over the years.
The bottom line:
I can see a lot of different uses for these types of searches. Not only to find long-lost friends, but also to verify basic information for anyone you’re interviewing for daycare, housecleaning or other services. Even just the basic report can show whether or not someone is giving you accurate information as to their address history. These days you really can’t be too careful – the news is full of stories about people who ended up not being who they said they were, unfortunately. The 24-hour pass option from Intelius gives you the freedom to find an unlimited number of people without having to worry about the cost skyrocketing with each new search.
In addition to Intelius’s data search service, the free iSearch.com search engine allows you to quickly and easily uncover information about anyone. This is a great, targeted search that looks not only at public records, but also through social networking platforms. Get your search started at http://www.isearch.com.
Where can you find it?:
You can access the specific search features mentioned here at www.intelius.com/blogher. Once you’ve run your basic (free) people search, the site will give you the option to purchase a more detailed report (using the options listed above, including the 24-hour pass) if you wish.
Note: This post is sponsored by BlogHer and Intelius. Although this is a paid post, all opinions expressed are my own, and I have tried my best to give a fair, balanced and honest review of this service. You can see what other BlogHer reviewers thought of this website by checking out BlogHer.com.