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Collecting information on your target
Know everything about your victim
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
~Arthur Conan Doyle
My Sister ‘Stinky’ had a crush on a friend of mine recently. She sent me in to find out his intentions so to find out if he liked her I used a nice bit of Psywar. “I hear you met my sister the other day. Did she do anything stupid?” I asked. This didn’t arouse suspicion as I was conforming to my established behaviors, my public persona – He knows I’m mean to my sister, thus he won’t suspect anything. I would then look for tell-tale signs such as, “She’s not an idiot!”
He didn’t fancy her though; she’s stinky.
Gathering information from your target is the key factor in how you deal with them. Everything they say, everything they do, the quirks they try to hide all play into their ‘story.’ Whether you are applying for a job, pitching a screenplay, or just trying to get someone beautiful interested in you.
This may seem far-fetched, but I and all my friends have used The Complete Detective online investigative website for awhile now. One friend found out his boss was cheating on his wife and hinted at this information. He received an amazing raise! I found out that my asshole neighbors were ex-convicts and got them busted for selling drugs (I live in a rather nice neighborhood). What could you do if you knew the employment history of someone you were about to go on a second date with?
The importance of collecting information
Knowledge is power, information is knowledge. Time is money too. In theory then, if you could amass as much as possible of both time and information, then you should become rich and powerful. That would make an interesting experiment…
I think the point is though that the right information is power. It is crucial to know your ‘enemy’ by collecting all the information you can get on them. For the sake of argument, in this scenario, your romantic partner is your enemy. The more information you get on them, the more you can impress them and woo them. For example, finding out that a girl wants to be a teacher without her telling you can enable you to then hit them with the line:
“Have you ever thought of being a teacher? You’d make a really good one.”
It will be an incredibly effective compliment and will seem totally sincere as you didn’t know she wanted to be one – thus you had no motive to say it. She will be incredibly happy and will associate that feeling with being near you.
I did exactly that once. We dated for a year til she moved to LA to act. Collecting information the traditional way can be helpful too. There is no feeling nicer than thinking someone knows you inside out. Making a mental note of a girl’s favorite topics and TV programs will enable you to text her to tell her that there’s something on she might like.
If you want to go Batman on your opponents’ asses you keep all the information you gather on both enemies and friends in a database. I call mine ‘The Psylab’. You simply make notes after any encounter with someone.
While in Bangkok, my brother took me to his suit maker. He had mentioned ahead of time that the suit maker would know his name remember everything they talked about even though it had been 2 years since he had been back there. As we walked in, everything happened exactly as he said it would. It even happened with me three years later when I came back for another several suits.
Obviously, this man has an incredible talent for memory, but I refuse to get my suits anywhere else. Beyond that, it was obvious that he was asking a lot of leading questions. He was collecting information on his customers that he could somehow recall years later.
Shut up and let others talk.
The importance of information means that you should never turn down free information. Even if you think you already know what someone is going to say, let them talk. They might say, “Have you heard of so and so?” Even if you have, it is often beneficial to tell them you haven’t. You will find there is always more you can learn and more importantly you can learn what they know and what they want you to know. You have also now lead them to believe you know less than you do.
People love to be in this type of position of power. If you’ve ever heard someone tell a personal story about an encounter with a celebrity (or maybe have told your own) there is a kind of mini-celebrity the teller has because of their brush with greatness.
Studying a person
Know thy enemy. This is borderline paranoid but then again the whole notion of this website is really. If you really want to have the upper hand over someone in particular you need collect information by studying their behavior. Notice how friends you’ve known for years can’t lie to you? It’s because you know them too well. You need to know your enemies that well too.
For example, get someone to lie and then observe them. Look for ticks or give away signs. How are they acting differently from normal? This is particularly useful if you plan to play poker with them later on. Make sure you play for money.
Fishing for information
Sometimes you have to squeeze the information out of them. Unfortunately tying them to a chair in a room with bright lights and a leaky tap is no longer considered acceptable. Here are some less traumatizing equivalents for collecting information.
If you’ve ever been to an interview you’ll probably remember (in a cold sweat) how you ended up spilling your guts and telling them things that you really wish you hadn’t. The way they do this is simple – they just stay quiet. If you ask someone a question and their answer isn’t enough then stay quiet for longer and they will instinctively carry on talking to fill the silence. If they have anything they’re trying to hide this is when they may let slip. Salesmen do it too when you’re bartering for a price as you suggest prices they will just stay quiet and that will coax you into suggesting another. My Mom used to work in telesales and she always says that the first one to break the silence loses.
When you’re fishing for information, people naturally become guarded. If you’re trying to find out something that happened that you suspect they may be less than forthcoming about then the simple thing to do is to ask a related question. Of course you must again do this in a non-obvious way. They mustn’t suspect your true motives.
Another way to get someone to open up to you is to tell them something about yourself. They will a) think you’re honest b) think they have something to use against you should you try to betray them. Our culture is also obsessed with trading things that it will seem almost rude of them if they don’t offer a snippet of information back. The beauty however, is that what you tell them needn’t be true.
The brilliance of collecting information is that people loved to be remembered. The fact that you remembered the name of an acquaintance’s daughter will endear him to you. People remember when it applies to them.