Tips to Uncover the Truth About a Person or Business


There are more resources than ever before to research or investigate an individual or business. Performing due diligence can often give you quite a bit of stress, money, or heartache.

The digital age provides people with a tremendous amount of information on just about any topic. It's fairly common to want to research an individual or business to find out how honest and trustworthy they are. Before you invest in paid services, it's a good idea to do your research and come up with a strategy. The following are some free or low-cost ways to research the character, background, and reputation

 

People Finder Sites

Many sites offer services such as background checks and compiling reports are taken from government and other databases. Ancestry sites can also provide useful information, although these are primarily designed to research deceased individuals.

You can quickly look up information on people, provided you have some basic facts about them such as name, state, and approximate age. These sites have access to many databases and can find information on addresses, work, criminal records, credit history, and much more.

For business, Google is your bestfriend, you'll find company sites and even online directories such as Dubaidirectory and many others. 

Cons

It can be difficult to find out about someone with a common name and for whom you don't have much other information. Pricing for these sites is often tricky. The initial search is free, but you have to pay for the results. Furthermore, they usually make you sign up for a monthly service with recurring charges. In many cases, you have to call customer service to cancel.

 

Social Media Sites

Social media is now one of the best ways to investigate people and businesses. While many paid people-finding sites will search social media on your behalf, you can do quite a bit on your own for free. Here are some tips to learn about people and businesses on social media:

Even if you're not friends with people on social media, you can follow them on many sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you're a follower but not a friend you won't be able to see private posts, but you can see everything they post to their public profile.

Facebook is useful to track businesses as well as individuals. Check out comments on a company's Facebook page and look for reviews. You can also gauge how the business communicates with customers.

Social media is often useful for comparing what people say about themselves compared to how they actually live. For example, if someone claims to be quiet and studious but frequently posts Instagram photos from clubs and parties, there's a disconnect. Employers can use this type of information for looking at potential employees.

What if you can't find much information about someone on social media? A lack of a social media presence nowadays is a possible red flag. People who avoid such sites may be hiding something. It could also indicate that someone is using an alias and may have accounts under another name.

However, there are also legitimate reasons that people stay away from social media. Older people aren't always comfortable with social media, for example. Additionally, many people of all ages are unplugging from social sites. You have to use your judgment and consider a lack of social media activity within the context of everything else you know about someone.

 

Online Reviews: the Pros and Cons

When it comes to businesses, online reviews are a natural starting point for research. Aside from popular sites such as Yelp and Facebook, there are more specialized sites to research, for example, lawyers, doctors, and contractors. However, reviews are not always foolproof.

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