Need to Find Someone? Top 10 Tips for Finding Missing People Online or Offline
Trying to find someone? For best results when trying to find missing people it pays to leverage both online and offline resources. Although the Internet provides access to a huge amount of information don't overlook the basic offline strategies as well. Here are our top 10 tips on how to find missing people...
1. Place an ad in your local newspaper, and the local paper where the missing person usually resides or works, and in papers distributed where the missing person was last seen. If you know or remember which paper the missing person used to read, place an ad there too. You could also consider broadening your search by placing ads in surrounding districts. Also, don't forget that most papers have classified ads and may even publish your ad on their website (most have one these days) as well as in the paper itself. While you are browsing their website you should also search their online classifieds.
2. Check phone directories in areas where the missing person resides, works or was last seen. But, don't just check their actual name - include similar names in your search as well. You could also check business directories and any other type of local directories available.
3. Check if the person may be deceased. Start by searching cemetery records at Interment.net. In the US give the Social Security Death Index a try. Similar resources are likely to exist in most countries.
4. Locate and post to relevant bulletin boards - both online and offline. Include local community centres, churches, sporting groups, clubs etc. This also makes it easier for the missing people to find you.
5. Try searching websites designed to put people in contact with former classmates (some of these are subscription based) for schools in the areas where the missing person was born or grew up. This may even out you in contact with former friends or even children of the missing person.
6. Start your online searching by using the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and MSN. Don't dismiss the fact that the person you are seeking may not be a regular Internet user. You can still find online references to missing people and other useful resources. Search engines are an excellent place to conduct an online people search.
7. Try creating your own website with a description and full particulars of the missing person, as well as your particulars. The search engines will automatically find and index the site and it should start showing up in search result pages within a few weeks. This will help put you in touch with people connected with the missing person, or the missing person may even be searching for you. You don't have to be a "geek" to create a website. There are numerous places online where you can do this for free and without any technical knowledge. You could even create a dedicated blog at Blogger.com which will help you gather information and find missing people.
8. Consider using professional services such as solicitors and private investigators. Of course these services aren't free but they may save you a lot of time and anguish.
9. Don't forget that many people have changed their name. If you are searching for women remember to check their maiden name as well as the married name, especially when using classmate registers and bulletin boards.
10. And finally, never to give up! Use some lateral thinking to access resources and services which you may not have considered.
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