Falling for the Right Ones

Ketchup and MustardCreative Commons License bigbirdz via Compfight

Admit it, you really would like to know the true relationship status of that guy you met at the club last week. Is he really single or is he married? Is he engaged? Are you being too cautious? We say no! Imagine the scenario where you don’t check up on the status and you date for a few months. You start to really fall for this amazing guy. The phone rings. You pick it up and there’s another woman on the other end of the line. He’s living with her…or even worse…they are married. What do you do now with your broken heart?

Stop. Rewind. Go back to that very first moment when your instincts kicked in. Save yourself from the potential hurt and figure it out from the start.

Don’t worry, if you have never checked someone out online before it’s ok. Don’t feel like you’re invading their privacy. Think of it as a great way to protect your heart. Sometimes you can find this information on Facebook or other forms of social media. Other times and with increased privacy settings it can be challenging to find this information out without the use of an advanced search.

Sometimes you might actually just want to know if they’re being truthful about previous relationships. If they’re lying about having been previously married what else might they lie to you about? In a perfect world, we could trust people we date and take them at face value.

You can start with social. Check for photos and look on the web for photos to see where they’ve been and what they’ve been up to. How old are they? Oddly enough, people often lie about their age. Are you really dating a 40 something man or is the guy you just met a little closer to 60?

If you do decide to do a quick checkup, we’re here to help. Use Privateeye.com to search for previous divorces or marriages. You can search old addresses if you have one to see if they owned a home with someone else. 

How to Avoid a Catish

Who’s on the other end of your online love affair? Does anyone remember the big news story about the Notre Dame football player  Manti Te’o?  Well, he was one of the top NFL draft picks for 2013 when news broke that his online love affair had been a fraud. His so called girlfriend who’d supposedly passed away in fact never existed. Well, she kind of did but in form of a man who’d been posing as Manti Te’o’s love affair from afar.

It’s hard to imagine that there are such mean spirited people out there doing stuff like this, but it happens every day. In fact it happens so much so that there has been a term coined for this kind of scam; it’s called catfishing. It’s something that happens every second somewhere in the country. Some people do it for the fun of trying to pull one over on an innocent person. Others do it because they’re sexual predators or because their eventual end goal is take money from the person on the other end of the line.

This gets serious when phone numbers are exchanged and the relationship takes on an new and more intimate level.  Here’s the great news. If you’ve exchanged numbers you can use www.privateeye.com to complete a reverse number phone search. Always be sure to get their number; don’t just give them your number. If they refuse, you know something is up. Once you get their number use the reverse phone search to find out if Sue is really Sue…or is she calling with a phone registered to Fred in Alabama?

Even if they weren’t planning to scam you, it’s better to know early on if there’s something fishy going on. You don’t want to get so pulled into the relationship that you wind up with a broken heart or worse yet an empty bank account.

Why not just use Facebook instead of a people search tool?

Keep Searching Margot Trudell via Compfight

Many of our users tell us that they often start their people search with Facebook and we get that. It makes sense to start there for a general search. Sometimes you can find people through connections and messaging friends of friends. With over 150 million users on this site and over about 33% of those in the US it makes sense to start with Facebook. Lots of times people who want to be found really put themselves out there on Facebook so this eases the search. It goes without saying that if you want to be found…Facebook is the place to be seen and heard.

It also goes without saying that those who don’t wish to be found are likely to either not be on Facebook or they’re on there under an alias. If that’s the case and you’re looking for something as complicated and important as a paternal or maternal parent, you might want to take it a step further by using a people search tool like www.privateeye.com.

There is no guarantee with any kind of search but having advanced tools at your disposal certainly put the odds in your favor. In the case of looking for relatives it helps if you at least have a town where they were born or perhaps where you were born. If you have a maiden name or an old street number of one of their relatives that will help as well. Sometimes an old phone number or address can be used in a reverse phone number search to find out previous addresses or jobs. Some search engines can access public records where you will find record of marriage, divorce and other births. Whatever the case may be and no matter who it is you’re seeking, we’re here to help in any way we can.

How to Foil a Scammer

Avoid ScammersThese days there are so many scams that it’s hard to keep track of them but one thing is constant; most scams target the elderly and most involve direct phone calls or emails. This scam just happened last month to a friend of mine and seems to be the up and coming scam of the month.  Scammers are calling up the elderly and saying something like “your son Liam is in prison and he asked us to use his one phone call to get money from you to get him out of jail.”

In my friends case they actually called his uncle. Fortunately, his uncle had the foresight to first call Mike’s cell phone. He was very upset and it was, for whatever reason, the first thing he decided to do. Mike was on another call and happened to be on his way to his uncles house to take him out to run errands so he didn’t call him back thinking they’d talk when he got there in 15 minutes.

He walked in the door and his Uncle was in a panic. He said, “oh you got out of jail already?” Of course Mike knew the deal and sat his uncle down to go over all the details. They tried to call the number back, but of course, got nowhere. What’s scary about this is that his uncle was literally digging out his credit card to bail out his nephew. Lucky for him, Mike walked in the door just at that moment.

If you have a loved one who’s elderly you might want to take the time to set them up a search account so they can complete reverse phone number searches as well as check up on emails and names/aliases. If your loved one doesn’t understand how to use this technology have them write down the info and tell that person on the other end of the line or email that they’ll get back to them ASAP. Get the info and run the search yourself.  PrivateEye.com can be a great tool in your arsenal if you care for elderly and aging family members.

Dating in the Digital Age

PrivateEyeEveryone has been  here at some point wondering , “Should I call Mr. Perfect or not?”  It usually goes something like this…

Saturday night at the club hip hopping and getting your groove on. You have a glowing blue martini in your hand and your favorite song is playing. Your best friends notice a gorgeous tall man checking you out from the bar. You flirt, you dance, you give him a smile. The song ends and you find yourself back at the bar ordering another drink. Thank goodness you’ve got a designated driver!

Next thing you know gorgeous tall guy is right at your elbow and he’s buying your drink. The conversation flows so well as you both seem to really connect and get each other. Everyone else in the room seems to fade away and he winds up asking for your phone number which you happily give him.

Jody and Lotus walk over and say “hey girl time to go”. And so you do. On the ride home you look at the number in your phone with his first name. Jeff….Jeff who? Who is this guy really? You didn’t even get a last name and there’s that little feeling in your gut like maybe you shouldn’t have given him your number. What do you do?

One quick option is to use www.PrivateEye.com to use a reverse phone search. This is an easy  and safe way to find out if Jeff is his real name. Is Jeff married? How long has he had that number and who is associated with it? Is Jeff really from Manhattan? And what about his age? Is he really 32 or is he 47 with a ton of baggage? If he’s lying about his age what else might he be lying about? In certain situations a reverse phone number search can show a general age.

Whatever the case may be we hope Jeff checks out and you get to meet for that cozy dinner at the Italian restaurant on Central. But if it doesn’t check out you will have likely saved yourself from heartbreak and even potential danger.

We hope this helps and would love to hear from our users with any questions about our people search and reverse number services.

Missing People Is a Choice

Most of have someone we miss. In those quiet moments people pop up from our past. We haven’t seen them for so long and we wonder where they are. Sometimes we’re surprised that we miss them as much as we do.

So we try to look. We try the usual avenues like Facebook. It’s hard to believe but not everyone is on Facebook and other forms of social media. So how do you find that missing friend from your past? People move. They change their phone numbers and they get married and change jobs. So how can you get creative about finding your long lost friend?

If you’ve tried all the usual social media and are coming up stumped there are options with search sites like www.privateeye.com. There’s a couple different things you can do to optimize your search like a pro.

First thing you should know is that people search sites you are looking for specific information. Most of the info you need will come from public records and government agencies. So you’re home free, right?

Well, not necessarily.  When people fill out documents for public records they complete them at different times in their lives. Things change over time. They may or may not be married. They might use their middle name on one form but not another. They may abbreviate their last name or hyphenate it in the case of marriage. Sometimes they might even use an initial for their first or middle name. All of these things complicate the search but they don’t make it impossible. You just want to be sure you try a variety of different search options. Maybe start with a first and last name and then try a nickname or other variations.

The next thing to keep in mind is that while public records are stored in databases, those records were first filled out by a human and then entered by another. Humans are far from perfect. Mistakes are made.  Mueller becomes Miller. Smith becomes Smyth. So when you’re doing the search and nothing is coming up for your friend Susan Johnson, make sure to try a variety of spellings and variations.

Now let’s stick with Susan Johnson. With estimates ranging from 1.5 million to 2 million people with the last name Johnson it’s easy to see how finding a Susan Johnson is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. Tricks that help are to use her maiden name and check for relative names you know of. You can combine this with previous addresses and old phone numbers searches.

If these things don’t work and you’re still stumped try searching with added detail. Do you remember a former city they lived in? What about their birthday? Do you remember the year they were born? What about adding in their age? All of these things help hone your search.

If all of these things fail you may want to really focus on a relative or close friend of the individual you hope to find. Maybe you can get previous contact info or at least a more recent address. You can also join www.privateeye.com for increased search possibilities.
Good luck! We hope you find who you’re looking for.

Why I Had a False Sense of Security

As a single Mom of two small kids I was fortunate to be able to raise them in my small, safe hometown. If my kids were riding their BMX or skate boarding, a neighborhood Mom or Dad would come out to wave or say hello.  Every morning we all walked our kids to the bus stop on the corner of 4th and Moore Street. And no it wasn’t exactly Pleasantville. Our town had its share of problems and we were all far from perfect, but the point is I knew all the kids and parents names and they knew ours. Weekly soccer games and T-Ball in the Fall and Summer were chock full of parents, friends and other community members.

There was a level of safety in the fact that we all knew one another. We looked out for each other. When a kid wandered off or stayed out too late calls were made through a network of individuals to make sure returned home. This is the way I grew up and the way my kids experienced their younger years.

When my daughter graduated, my son and I moved to South Florida. I found myself looking for properties in areas that reminded me of home. After a few months I found a great street in Naples, Florida.  Most of the folks on the street had lived there for 20 years or more. I quickly got to know my neighbors. Most of them were retired but a few had kids.

I instantly felt safe, after all Naples is one of the wealthiest small cities in the country. Besides that, my son was a strapping football player and for some reason I just let down my guard. And for a few years it wasn’t a big deal.

Then in the summer of 2011 my family was going through some trying times and I wound up taking care of my small niece aged 2 and my teen aged niece who was 15 at the time. I introduced them to my neighbors on either side. We splashed in the wading pool and spent lazy afternoons at the beach.

Midway through July this guy moved in across the street. He seemed nice enough. He always had a big smile on his face. He often offered to help out if my lawn mower was on the fritz or if I needed a battery charge. His kids stayed with him every other week and he was clean-cut and decent. He didn’t have loud parties or seem anything but what he appeared to be- your average Joe.

One day my neighbor’s wife came over and said she needed to talk to me. I remember being irritated because I was behind on a deadline for a client. Still, she seemed really agitated so I went over to her cottage. She took me right to the computer where she pulled up a background report on the nice guy across the street.

Yup…you guessed it. He was a child predator who had just got out of jail for sexual misconduct with a minor. And not just one count. I couldn’t believe it. He seemed so NICE and so FAMILIAR.

What was I thinking? Why had I let my guard down with those two beautiful girls in my care? Well, it’s because he was really good at presenting as something else. As word spread around the street we immediately shut this guy out and down. Doors were closed. We made it clear that we knew. By September he’d moved out.

Now we got lucky. I’m so glad my neighbor had the foresight to use a background search to pull this guy up. To this day I don’t know what service she used. But I do know that a background check cuts right through looks and manners. It doesn’t lie. I’d rather know who’s living across the street. It’s not invasion of privacy it’s peace of mind. Technology makes it so easy, private and accessible to find out what you need to know to keep your kids as safe as you know how. My story had a happy ending, but to a large degree I was lucky. Who you think you know, and who they actually are might another story.