Whether you’re an employer trying to research a sketchy job candidate, someone suspicious of the show-off date they found online, or trying to research sex offenders in your area, there are a number of free internet tools to turn you into an amateur private eye. Check out our list of 50 totally free services that will let you dig up the dirt on anyone.
All-in-One Services and Public Records Search
Searching through public records is easy when you turn to these free sites that connect you to internet databases of court records, jail records, corporate records, and more.
- Free Public Records Finder: Search free public records by state, view corporate records, court records, criminal records and more on this site.
- Net-Investigation.com: Search by state to look up court records on almost anyone. This site also provides a background check crash course and tutorials for how to find the most relevant information.
- Public Record Finder: This site uses "the largest public records search database on the World Wide Web" and pours through public records from the U.S., Canada and even Mexico.
- Abika: At Abika, you can verify licenses, do a criminal records check, find contact information, dig up marriage and divorce records, do a license plate search, trace e-mails, and more.
- Dates and Love: Run a background check, reverse cell phone number lookup, employee screening or people search on this site for free.
Criminal Background Checks
To find out if anyone has a criminal history, perform a free criminal background check on them using one of these tools.
- Zimbio: Here you can run a free criminal background check by searching "millions of records at blazing fast speeds."
- CrimCheck.com: CrimCheck.com connects users to over 1,330 public records and websites to help you with your search.
- eFindOuttheTruth.com, Inc.: If it’s your birthday, you are eligible to perform a free background check using this site’s quality search services.
- RecordCheck.com: Conduct your search on this site, and if you don’t get any results, you won’t be charged for the search.
- Detective Unlimited: This site connects users to a free version of the Intelius service. Results bring up addresses, lawsuits, sex offender information, property ownership, relatives, neighbors, marriage records and more.
- Instant Background Report: Type in the name and state of the person you want to search, and you’ll find out approximate ages and cities where people who have that name live. You do have to pay for more specific information, though.
- Direct Pass: Non-subscribers to this service receive a description of each database used in their search plus access to the public record locator.
- Public Records Information: Search by state and county on this site and get links to investigation records, judicial organizations, sex offender registries and more.
Verify addresses and other contact information by going to one of these free search sites, from the White Pages to the more elusive Internet Sleuth.
- White Pages: The White Pages is a perfectly free way to find addresses and contact information for individuals.
- Free Address Lookup: Browse by state or just type in a name to find out where someone lives in the U.S.
- The Search Advisor: Search the U.S. database on this site to find missing people, do a quick address verification or find your birth family.
- Addresses.com: This website offers a White Pages search, Yellow Pages search, cell phone caller ID and e-mail lookup.
- AnyWho: To find a person or a business through this site, you need to type in their land line phone number.
- MelissaDATA: You can verify and look up addresses on this website, which prompts you to type in a street address, zip code or city.
- PhoneNumber.com: Conduct a people search or business search on this site, where you can find and verify addresses and phone numbers.
- Superpages.com: Look up addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses on Superpages.com.
- Internet Sleuth: Internet Sleuth searches databases at Addresses.com, Whitepages.com, SmartPages, 411.com, Anywho and Yahoo! to bring you contact information for your people search.
- 411.com: At 411.com, search the white pages or yellow pages, do a reverse phone number check, reverse address check, look up an area or zip code and more.
Marital History and Genealogy
Has your date secretly been married before? Find out by digging into marriage and family records by state or county.
- GeneaLinks: The free marriage records database lets you search ancestors’ records and link up to marriage records on other sites to maximize your search.
- A – Z Marriage Records: Look up marriage records in the US, UK, Canada and Ireland on this site.
- FamilySearch.org: This site lets you do a basic look up of named family members within a specific year range, country. You can choose a certain life event, too, like a birth, death or marriage.
- Census Diggins: Browse marriage and divorce records by state and county from the 1700s to the present.
- I Dream of Genealogy: This site is another service that provides free marriage records organized by state.
Employers need to be careful about who they hire, and there are several free services that allow you to verify contact information, past work experience, and even driving records.
- Free Employment Screening: This site offers a "comprehensive employee screener search engine" that lets you search by name or combine a name with city, zip code, employer and birth year.
- BackgroundSearch.com: Do a pre-employment background search by typing in a name and birthday. Using a SSN to narrow down your search is optional.
- DatabaseRecords.com: Sign in with your name and e-mail address to get access to a free employee screening report here.
- Switchboard: Verify that an applicant’s past work experience is legitimate by verifying their business here.
- Driver’s License Search: Find court records and driving records by looking up your applicant’s driver’s license here.
Real Estate and Rent
Run a tenant check on a seedy looking applicant to find out if they’ve been blacklisted on one of these sites.
- LandlordOnline.com: When you sign up for a free basic membership on this site, you’ll be eligible for two free credit reports and three free industry reports.
- Deadbeat Tenant: Start by selecting your state and then conduct an eviction check or criminal record check on applicants.
- Bad Tenant: This site offers free membership and a search to find out if an applicant has been blacklisted in the database.
Sex Offender Sites
Protect your family and your neighborhood by looking up sex offenders by name or zip code. Some sites even offer photos of each offender.
- National Sex Offender Registry: The family watchdog on this site directs users to a search by location or search by name.
- FBI Crimes Against Children: Click on a state to conduct a sex offender search from the FBI’s website.
- MapSexOffenders.com: There are over 300,000 sex offenders listed in this database. You can view maps of the offenders and search by name.
- Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry: On this site, you can type in a name, zip code, county or city to perform your search. Results include a photo, names and aliases used by the offender, registration information and address.
- Free Sex Offenders Search: Perform a sex offender lookup by state and get public access to criminal records and jail records.
- SexOffender.com Database Search: Look up sex offenders and anyone who has a history or record of violent behavior towards children.
- US-Sex-Offenders.com: This site can search information and addresses for sex offenders in 27 different U.S. states.
To conduct a general people search on someone, use one of these sites, which feature search options like reverse telephone number look up, e-mail addresses, online profiles and more.
- Zaba Search: This free people search and public information search engine features search options by name, phone number or social security number.
- Free Public Records Directory: Find death records, court records, marriage and divorce records and a lot more on this "absolutely free" site.
- Yahoo! People Search: Conduct a U.S. phone and address search, reverse phone number check or e-mail search here.
- Bigfoot: Find individuals or businesses through this site, which can reveal e-mail addresses, phone numbers, addresses and more.
- Peek You: Peek You is "the smartest way to find people online." You can find out if someone has any risque pictures or information on their online profiles, on any site.
- pipl: pipl is another online people search site that brings up social networking profiles, public records, mentions on blogs and the Web, and even customer profiles on sites like Amazon.com.