How to Find Out If Someone Is Who They Say They Are?

by Ruth Mayhew ; Updated November 28, 2017

Personal identification documents are harder to fake than conversation.

passport image by peter Hires Images from Fotolia.com

Asking a new acquaintance to prove he isn't a pathological liar isn't the ideal way to build trust in a burgeoning relationship. But if your intuition tells you something is amiss about the guy you might fall for, a combination of curiosity and investigative skills will easily lead you to the truth about a potential lover.

Tips

  • Discretion is paramount. Avoid grilling your intended about his identity, or you'll send red flags of your own. During your conversations with him, glean as much information as you can to confirm or refute what your investigation reveals.

Name Verification

Introduce yourself to a new acquaintance using your full name. Using your first and last names is the proper way to make an introduction. That generally compels others to respond with their full name. If he doesn't volunteer a last name, simply ask his full name. This is the first step in determining whether someone isn't forthcoming ‒ refusing to disclose one's full name is suspect. With a full name, you can usually verify whether he's telling the truth. Search professional and recreational social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Or, simply search Google using a straight search and a Boolean search. A Boolean search encloses the full name in quotation marks, and a straight search does not.

Does He Really Know His Profession?

Yes, people create fake LinkedIn profiles, but for the most part, there are millions of credible profiles on what LinkedIn claims is the place where professionals "build and engage" their network. A quick search on LinkedIn may reveal his profession, trade or even where he works. Searching for someone on LinkedIn is common, and many users can tell who has looked at their profiles. It should come as no surprise to your new acquaintance that you've looked up his profile on LinkedIn. Read his profile for clues related to his education and career path, and ask questions about his background, based on what you've learned from LinkedIn. If he's unable to answer any of your questions confidently, you might be on your way to catching a liar.

Check His Digital Footprint

Now that you've learned more about what he does for a living, check out his digital footprint to see if he's lying about his identity. Search for postings he makes on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When you Google his name, his social media accounts should pop up. These social media sites will provide a glimpse into his everyday life. You might be able to find out whether he's leading a double life, or married, single or involved just by perusing the pictures on his Facebook page and clicking through Instagram photos. Other aspects of his character might come to light as well, such as his political leanings and position on social issues.

Public Records Answer Questions

In addition to social media sites, search public records for official records concerning property ownership, legal matters, and marriage or divorce records. District and circuit courts often are searchable online. A routine Whitepages search can reveal his home address. Other pay sites will provide current and previous addresses of record, but with so many no-cost ways to find out where he lives, save your money.

Once you have an address, find the assessor's office or property tax department for the county where he lives. In many cases, you can search by name or address ‒ you don't need a parcel number or specific information about the property. Property records will show whether he is the sole owner of the property or if he and a spouse are joint owners. Check local court records for marriage and divorce records to verify if he was truthful about his marital status.

References

Photo Credits

  • passport image by peter Hires Images from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Ruth Mayhew began writing in 1985. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry" and "Human Resources Managers Appraisal Schemes." Mayhew earned senior professional human resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute and holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.