The best way to investigate a person for free is to use a variety of methods, including Internet searches, public record searches and library research. Investigating people for free is possible, but such efforts often require you put in great amounts of work and effort to find the results you seek.
Many clues, tips and strategies for investigating people can be gleaned from investigative journalists. According to Investigative Reporters & Editors, an organization dedicated to quality investigative reporting, journalists often use Internet searches to find out information about people. In addition to typical searches, skilled investigators search the "hidden Internet" as well, which includes database entries, photos and other information that is inaccessible via classic search techniques. Websites such as completeplanet.com work well for searching the "hidden Internet."
Public records searches are usually free, but some municipalities may charge a nominal fee to access them. Such records may detail large purchases made by the person you are investigating, such as homes, boats or buildings. Additionally, public records detail any arrests or convictions a person has experienced. Divorce, name changes and bankruptcy filings are also available via public records searches. Libraries are a great place to find old newspaper articles that involve the person you are investigating.