Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

A blog for PIs and writers/readers of the PI genre

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Free Online Resources for Backgrounds, Phone Numbers, Professional Licensure and Real-Time Social Media

Posted by Writing PIs on April 24, 2011

Updated June 16, 2012

Here’s a few, free online look-ups for background information, reverse phone number look-ups, professional licensure and real-time social media.

Find online information about a person. Because currently the most comprehensive, public search engine is Google, use it to find online information about an individual. Type the person’s name and any other identifying information, such as “Sally Smith watercolor artist”, in the Google browser, press the “Search” button and view the results, which show blogs, websites and other online sources in which that name and information displays.

Conduct a reverse phone number search. If an unknown phone number shows up on your caller ID, it’s easy to run a free reverse phone number search using Google. Enter the phone number in the format 123-456-5555 in the Google browser, and press the “Search” button. Google displays all online sources that contain that phone number, such as in blogs, websites, online resumes and online ads.

Verify someone’s professional license. BRB Publications offers a free online database to verify professional licenses by state. Go to, select a state, select the agency and follow the instructions.

Conduct a real-time social media search. Socialmention is a real-time search engine that examines online social media such as blogs, events, images, news, video and social networking sites. Conduct a search with any identifier, such as a name, phone number, email address, username.

Have a great weekend, Writing PIs

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