How to Run a Background Check on Someone


While modernism has allowed people to glory in greater individualism, the flipside of the situation is an increasing anonymity. Unlike a close-knit community, where you know the truth about a person’s family, education and finances, the rootlessness and anonymity of modern society makes it difficult to know the truth about a person. Thus if you are seeing someone but want to know if he/she is for real, here is how to run a background check on the person.

Ask around

Before you hire the services of an expensive private investigator or a website specializing in background checks, use your own social skills to dig deep. Start by asking the person directly but casually about their family home, school they went to, workplaces and former partners, if any. Armed with names of towns, schools, offices and neighborhoods you can use your own social and professional network to cross-check the given information. Also watch out for cues like reluctance to bring about a meeting between you and his/her family, friends, co-workers and unexplained absences which could indicate that the person may have something to hide.

To check their marital status

One of the most common complaints against dating websites is that there is no foolproof way to be sure about a profile’s marital status. The attractive man or woman with who you are chatting online may in real life have a spouse and children well-ensconced in a suburban home. Begin to check someone's marital status by finding out where the person used to live during the time in question or where he/she claims to have got married in the past. States have differing rules about registering and divulging information on marriages, so you will need to know where to look. One of the best resources of marital information are public records and depending on the state, these may be the Office of Vital Records and Statistics or the Vital Records Certification Unit. In some cases though you may need to contact the office of the superior court or the probate judge in order to obtain information on someone’s marital status. You can also look through social-networking sites, such as Facebook, Myspace and other websites that might have a "marital status" section on personal profiles. Search for the person and see if you can view his/her profile to determine if there is an indication of her marital status. If the profile is set to private, then send him/her a message through the site and request to be a friend so you can look at her profile. You can also search websites designated for high school or college reunions where you can search the person’s profile for marital status updates or even send him/her a direct message asking whether he/she has been married. If your partner claims to be a divorcee, you can check with the civic records of the particular town or city. Some cities do publish public records of divorces, while others do not.

To check their professional status

The reference section of your town or city library is likely to have several kinds of directories where the names, addresses and contact numbers of various businesses, companies and important offices are listed. These may be the city directory, the telephone directory or the yellow pages. Find out the company or office where your partner claims to work and then contact them to find out more about his/her professional designation and/or financial position. Indeed the City Directory sometimes lists the marital status of individuals by giving the name of the spouse as resident, occupation, and sometimes lists the telephone number. Sometimes an office may not be forthcoming with professional or financial details about an employee and on these occasions you can say that you are with a lending agency or with a social club and just verifying the person's position for membership or lending. Then there are several kinds of business directories and registries, some of which may not only give detailed information like the name of the company, address, and telephone number, Chairman of the Board but also list the company's primary bank, accountants, law firm representing them, sales volume, and number of employees. A directory usually has an index that you will want to use first to locate the year or volume in which your partner may be listed.
Then again you can go to investigative industry surveys to run a background check on a person’s business and financial credentials. Most industries have an industry report that provides basic information about com­panies in that industry, such as iron, petroleum, law, healthcare and so on. Finally you can request your librarian for access to newspaper or magazine back-issues to see if your partner has actually achieved all that he/she claims. However while scouring directories, registries and encyclopedias to find out if your date is really as rich as he/she claims to be, it is important to remember that merely being listed in one of them doesn’t mean that your partner is successful. Conversely not all truly rich businessmen and professionals list their companies and contact number in such directories so as to avoid being solicited by sales people. The best way to go about it is to do your homework and then cross reference from various sources so as to arrive at a reasonably accurate estimate of your partner’s finances.

To check if someone is a criminal offender

If you suspect your date of being a criminal offender, look up online and/or real law enforcement databases for confirmation of your doubts. You need to remember that there are various kinds and levels of criminals offenders, depending on the severity of their crime. Also there may be people who have served jail time while others may have been arrested and let off with a warning or perhaps convicted but let out on parole. If you have doubts about where to look for confirmation and how to sift the facts from a lot of legalese, you could take the help of a lawyer or contact the office of the District Attorney in your city.

Browse the web

If you want to run a background check on someone, you can go through various website which claim to do the job. Some of these are, or However most reputed information sites charge fees and you will need to provide them with everything that you know about the person including their name, email address, home address, phone number and former places of residence.

Finally if you have the resources to spare and do not want to do the spade work yourself, it is best to hire a private investigator to conduct a background check on someone. However make sure that the investigative agency is legally registered, discrete and reliable or you may to do some serious explaining to your date if he/she finds out about your actions.