In the past, if someone you knew packed up and moved to another country without leaving you any sort of contact information, you would most likely never see them again. Unless you were willing to hire an investigator or scour the globe looking for them, they would be gone for good. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet and other modern technology, it is much easier to get in touch with a friend, relative, or acquaintance that has shipped off to another country. The following are ten ways to find a person living in another country.
Standard search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing can be a good place to start if you have limited information about a person. Start by just looking up the person’s name and country (assuming that you know which country he or she currently calls home). You might also try looking up the person’s name along with their city or state of origin. Try putting quotation marks around the person’s name so that the search engine does not display similar, but incorrect names. Also, search engines often have different versions for different countries, especially ones with a different language, so you might try the version for the country in which the person resides.
If the person often visited a certain website or forum, post advertisements there letting them know that you are trying to contact them. You can also post advertisements on websites like Craigslist.
Directories for People
There are many directories available on the Internet meant specifically for searching for people. Typing in a person’s name in these directories will provide you with a list of all the people by that name stored in the directory. It will give you a phone number, address, and more information. Some of these websites are so in-depth that they will list the person’s income, occupation, relatives, etc. and even have Google Earth images of the person’s property. While this probably sounds like the way to go, from these websites are not always reliable.
Contact the Individual’s Relatives
If you can locate the person’s relatives, try contacting them for information. Start with relatives you have actually met or who you believe know of you. If some stranger contacts them asking for information about their relative, they might be reluctant to divulge his or her whereabouts.
Social networks can be a very useful tool for finding people. Websites such as Myspace and Facebook allow users to create their own profiles and interact with other users. If you search for the person over one of these websites, the results will usually have a profile picture, so you will likely be able to tell just from the photo whether or not you have found the correct person. Keep in mind though that some users may have strict privacy settings that could prevent them from turning up in your search results.
Professional networks such as LinkedIn are like social networks, except they are intended for helping businesses and professionals broaden their client base or contact other professionals. If you know the person’s name and profession, this could be a useful tool.
You can search through the person’s public records, such as financial information to find him or her. However, snooping through a person’s financial records and such is generally frowned upon, so only use this as a last resort.
Phone Number Lookup
If you have the person’s phone number, you can look it up on Google just like you would the person’s name. If you have the person’s phone number, but searching for it on search engines does not bring up the results you desire, you might want to consider submitting it to a phone search service. Just send them the phone number and they will determine the name and address that goes along with the number. Alternately, if you supply the service with a person’s name and address, they will find the individual’s phone number for you. Obviously there will be a fee, but as long as you find the person, that is all that really matters.
Hire an Investigator
If you absolutely cannot find any information on the person’s whereabouts, you might have to go the old-school route and hire a private investigator. This should only be done if the person is a close friend or relative; otherwise the person might just think that you are a stalker.
Contact Anyone You Suspect to be the Right Person
If during the course of your search you find someone that you think might be the right person, but are not completely sure, go ahead and contact them to find out. You can simply tell them that you think they are the person you are seeking. If it is the correct person, you might get a hold of him or her. If it is not the right person, nothing bad will happen.