Keeping in touch with old friends has become easier in the age of the Internet. However, there may be individuals with whom you have lost contact and you cannot find. If a friend or neighbour has moved and you wish to find them again, you may be able to use their old address to find their new address. If they have moved recently, this is even easier. If the individual did not supply you with a forwarding address when he or she moved, be sure that they will not consider it an invasion of their privacy for you to find it out yourself.
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Write the individual's name and previous address on a blank envelope. Fill out the envelope as normal, including your return address and a stamp. Write the phrase "Address Correction Requested" prominently on the front of the envelope. This will tell the post office to affix a label containing the individual's new address on the envelope and send it back to you.
Access the public records database for any professional license the individual may have. Lawyers, CPAs, notaries, real estate agents and other professionals all have licensing agencies with which they must keep an accurate, current address. Consult the organisation with which the individual is licensed and look up the individual by name.
Use a reverse phone lookup tool (see Resources) and enter the individual's area code and phone number. These tools will search through phone directories and attempt to find an address associated with the telephone number. If that doesn't work, there are other online methods you can try, including social networking sites and using a search engine.
Contact relatives or old neighbours if you have their information and ask if the individual you are looking for left any forwarding address.
Hire a professional people finder agency. While these services can be pricey, they have access to techniques and tools that you do not. Additionally, their experience can be invaluable in finding someone you cannot locate on your own.
Tips and warnings
- The Internet has numerous methods to find someone, including social networking sites, online directories and even simple search engine queries.
- While it is not illegal to attempt to find someone, excessive attempts--especially if the individual relocated to escape you--will be considered criminal stalking. You should attempt to find someone only if you are sure that they will be happy to have you find them. Looking for someone who does not want to be found will be considered an invasion of privacy.
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