There are a number of third party services for finding contact information online. Most of the time they charge. Doing it the free way typically means physically visiting a county government office and searching on a public terminal, or making a public records request, which isn’t always feasible. Therefore, we’ll suggest a few services but do not take these as endorsements. Services change all the time.

As a journalist, please practice ethical research:

  • Do not stalk people.
  • Do not pretend to be someone you’re not (don’t use fake accounts) unless authorized by your editors/professors.
  • Always represent yourself as a journalist, and be transparent with the fact you’re doing a story that may be published.
  • Practice ethical reporting. Make good choices.

Google Search Operators

You can use Google Advanced search to narrow or filter your Google Search results.

https://google.com/advanced_search

Another way is to use search operators. These are syntax mechanisms to do the same thing directly in a search field.

Put an exact phrase in quotes:

“Berkeley Journalism”

Search for results that are only restricted to a single domain.

chevron site:richmond.ca.us

Find by filetype:

chevron site:tombutt.com filetype:pdf

Filter out certain results by using the minus symbol before words.

Richmond -VA -virginia school district

Look up multiple other advanced search operators.

Finding Email Addresses

There are a number of third party services for finding email addresses.

Hunter.io

VoilaNorbert.com

RocketReach.com

Phonebook.cz

Email-checker.net

Dehashed.com

haveibeenpwned.com

whatsmyname.app

ThatsThem.com

Spokeo.com

Whitepages.com

TruePeopleSearch.com

Webmii.com

VoterRecords.com