Thursday, July 19, 2007

Voompeople and Zabasearch

A number of people I know have had good luck using a combination of public records search sites to gather contact information on their missing relatives.

Most sites offer both free searches as well as paid searches. My opinion is, don’t pay for an account anywhere unless you’ve checked around to see if anyone else has a paid membership. On every single search mailing list I’ve ever belonged to, there are numerous search angels who have paid memberships to various sites, and would be more than willing to run a premium level search for you.

Which site to use is pretty much a personal choice; each one has their pros and cons. One will pull information that others might not have a license to use, but all of them are gathering basic data from the same places.

My personal combo has always been using Voompeople and Zabasearch in combination with each other. Voompeople is a pay site, but it will give you some information for free. Using the information you’ve gotten from Voompeople and plugging that into Zabasearch can often times get you a phone number and mailing address. Other people I know have turned to Intellius, which has the added feature of a maiden name search as well. The results on a maiden name search aren't free, but at a minimum for free it will let you know the city and state the person lives in currently.

Voompeople’s Possible Relatives column can be a good tool too. I’ve found in a few searches using relatives and then backtracking on other social networking sites has come up with a match. Although I do have to admit I wasn’t prepared for the fourth name down on this Possible Relative list as an official public record.

One thing to be aware of on Zabasearch is the ZabaAlert feature. You can set up a ZabaAlert to get an email whenever someone is looking for you. So in the off chance your family member has set up a ZabaAlert to be notified if someone is looking for them, the email they receive gives the date and time of the search as well as the city and state based off the IP address of the searcher. If you use Zabasearch and you’re paranoid, you may want to do that one through a temporary proxy.

Update 1/26/2008 - Voompeople apparently has been purchased by another company that does not provide as much information. I'm now suggesting instead of Voompeople.

3 complaints from ingrates:

Unknown July 20, 2007 at 2:09 AM  

hey did u hear maine is opening records?

and the japanese embassy reunited a family??

MOL_Am_Ris July 20, 2007 at 5:57 PM  

Thank you for posting this. I will definitely be contributing some artwork for this.

Anything to bring awareness, IMO.

Ungrateful Little Bastard July 23, 2007 at 10:30 AM  

The Maine one I heard about, but not Japan! Wow!

Also Amris great - she'll really appreciate it.

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