We’re using social networks for a wider range of purposes than ever before, from finding missing pets and much-loved lost toys to tracing family members that we haven’t seen in years. Facebook was recently used to quickly trace a kidnapped baby in Quebec, when four young people recognised the kidnapper as a former neighbour. For many nowadays, Facebook and Twitter are the first ports of call when looking for missing people and they often used by private detectives in Manchester and many other big cities all around the world.
Who can be classified as a missing person?
The phrase ‘missing person’ covers a wide variety of individuals. You might be adopted and looking for a birth parent, or could be looking for a member of your family that you never had the chance to know due to family conflict. You might be looking for someone that doesn’t want to be found, or someone that doesn’t even know that you exist. A ‘missing person’ doesn’t have to be someone that has actually gone missing – it could be someone that simply lives elsewhere and that you would like to contact.
What happens if social networks aren’t enough?
Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites are fantastic tools for reuniting friends and family, but they’re not always enough. Stumbling blocks might include:
• The missing person not using social networking services.
• The missing person’s name not being known.
• The missing person using an alias or false name online.
• The missing person having a common name, which means that there are thousands of profiles to sift through.
• They missing person having privacy settings that hide important information, so that you can’t be sure that you’ve found the right person.
What are the alternatives?
If you’ve fallen at the first hurdle, it’s important not to give up. A private investigator can help you to trace a missing person, resulting in you being given their contact information or them being given yours. Missing people can be traced even if they don’t want to be found, though the result may simply be that they’re passed your address or phone number in case they’d like to make contact.
A good service for tracing missing people remains confidential, discrete and sensitive. For more information about our missing person investigations, call on 0800 500 3023.