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Home  Georgia  People Search

Checking Out A Business
The Danger Signs To Look Out For
  (An Overview)
How To Background A Business Or Business Owner

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Overview (What To Look for)
The sources below can help you identify scam operations from legitimate businesses.  But even legitimate firms are not always trustworthy.  Indeed, some legitimate companies have terrible track records.  

Before doing business with a firm, find out if others have been treated unfairly or have filed complaints against it.  Note that big firms are apt to receive more complaints than small firms, especially if they've been in business a long time or deal with a huge volume of customers.  

If a company has received several complaints, look into their nature as well as their number.  Then ask whether such is unusual given the organization's size and years in the business.

For small businesses, be sure to do a background check on the business owner.  A new business could be crooked but not yet have any complaints against it.

Be on the lookout for disreputable owners
and agents.  Red flags include people who have prison records, bad business dealings and lots of lawsuits.   Also be careful of those with expired professional certifications or those who've been disbarred or disciplined by their licensing boards. For More see
Red Flags

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How To Background A Business Or Business Owner

Look up who owns the website or business and then do a background search in Google and in Court/Prison records. For common names, enter the name in quotes and narrow your Google hits by adding the state where they live. To further refine your search, add the words FRAUD or Complaint or SUIT. See Also, PO Box Lookup-Finding A Business Or Person Through Their Post Office Box

Check their website for trademark or copyright symbols (™ sm ®©) and see who owns them. Scamsters don't register their intellectual property. So be careful of firms that use these symbols but have not registered them.

See Resources On How To Profile Businesses
Whether it's researching their track record or looking for sanctions, this is the place.

Is the person a professional with a license or certification? See if they've been disciplined for bad conduct or have an expired license. You may find they don't even have a license!!!!! Does the business offer goods or services that must be licensed through the state licensing boards? To find out, make a list of their main products and services as well as the state(s) where they do business. (Their locations can be found via Google, the BBB or their own website)  Then check the the appropriate state licensing boards for complaints lodged against their business or their key employees. All states are different. You will have to scroll down the list of boards just to see if your area is even regulated. For example, in the case of lawyers or law firms, complaints can be found at every State Bar.  But in the case of home repair contractors or hearing aid dealers, such may be regulated in one state but not in another.

Look up their name in the Internet White Pages or do a reverse lookup on their residential address. Then give the person a call.  You're less likely to be cheated when it's obvious you know their whereabouts.

Find out what is said about the person in the local newspapers.  Many newspapers have search boxes where you can search stories and see if the person is mentioned in them.  Recommend you search by last name only. If you get too many hits, add their first name also.

Check The Other Ways To Background People.

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Find Where The Company is Headquartered or Incorporated
Each step is progressive with the easiest and most efficient steps first.

To Find Where The Company is Headquartered or Incorporated,

Look On:

1. The Product Box, Disc, or Manual for companies and their subsidiaries (may be several companies).

2. The Company Website (good for subsidiaries and may show which one sells what product)

3. Suing Publicly Trades Companies (US Only)
To find state of incorporation, principal place of business and the names and addresses and salaries of public officers, enter the company name in their search box up top.

4. Google or Google Scholar may also reveal the company headquarters or place of incorporation. For Example: to search for a lawsuit against the computer
    company Nintendo, put in the search box,
    v. Nintendo headquarters
, then use step #5 to confirm place of incorporation and principal place of business.

5. PACER,Party Name Search (Look for recent law suits-Complaint will list where each company is headquartered and the place of incorporation)
     Sign in, enter in a company name, click "Search" and sort by "Date Filed" Column to get the most recent cases. Then click on a recent case, click on
     "Docket Report" and then "Run Docket Report."
     Scroll down to the various entries and select the one that says COMPLAINT (Usually will be the first or second item). (Note PACER won't bill you if your usage is less than $30 per quarter (every three months).
6. The Local Secretary of State (by now you’ll know which state or states to search in and can confirm where incorporated and headquartered)
 Often agents and officers will be listed along with their titles.
When Filing a Legal Complaint against a company, Choose the entity address over the address of registered agent (if different).

7. Find out Who Owns The Website if You Can’t The Find Name Incorporated Anywhere (Good For Porn Companies that have a different corp. name from what's on their website (see ). To find domain info concealed by
private hosting services, Google the name of website and the term “whosis”. Example: whosis This may show the information that was published before they decided to hide it.

8. Find out who owns trademark (TM, ®) or Patent and search the Secretary of State for that company.

9. Google search Defendant’s name with the term 10K or "annual report". Click on “advance search” and limit to within a year, for the most recent data.
    (Various docs may list where company headquartered or incorporated).

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Other Red Flags

a. Individuals or organizations that have received an unusual number of complaints against them. (Contact your local BBB and the BBB where the company is located).

b. Small companies that have been sued often for breach of contract, misrepresentation or fraud. (Call the state and superior courts in the surrounding counties).

c. Firms or individuals that have been disciplined by their state licensing boards or the government. (Contact applicable licensing agencies and your Secretary Of State ).

d. Firms ending in "Co.", Inc. or "Corp." that haven't registered or qualified with the Secretary Of State and Business Licensing/Tax Division.  

e. Firms that are unlicensed or seriously late in paying incorporation fees, business license dues or other fees required by law. (Ask this information from each of the agencies above).

f. Firm Owners with a bad reputation. Look for lawsuits, prison records, and complaints against them by their licensing boards.

g. Businesses/Business Owners with a PO Box for an address or list a physical address that is really just a disguised a PO box or mail drop. Most people have street addresses.  Scamsters often won't.

h. The only # You're Given Turns Out To Be A Cell Phone.

i. Any other claim that is shown to be false or unsubstantiated. 

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Finding People With Common Names

Don't use this guide until you first read How To find People Through The Internet Step By Step.

A common name such as John Smith, can get you thousands of multiple listings.  Obviously going through every one of them would take an eternity. But don't despair. Your "John Smith" can still be found.  All you have to do, is cross reference things unique about him  to narrow your leads.  Once you know your subject's age, middle name or living patterns, it's easy to find your mark.

For example: California may have ten thousand John Smith's.  But how many were Harvard grads from 1977, have a wife named Mora and now live in West Hampton? Not too many I bet.  And of these John Smiths, how many are 47 years old and have lived in Sacramento, Boston and Austin?  Even fewer no doubt.

Yes. With cross referencing, you can find the people who match your subject's age, middle name, travel patterns, profession, education,  etc.  And from there the search can be narrowed to the one person who fits the bill. Here's How:

  1. First, find out all you can about them through special search engines, obituaries, bios (if famous) newspaper stories, etc.
    Then write it all down. Include their name, age, city or state they once lived in, last known address, hobbies, interests, profession, name of relatives or spouse(s), colleges, etc. For An Overview, See Using A Bio To Background Someone.

  2. Search for the subject's first and last Name on Google or Write down any new information you learn and don't forget to look them up by their possible nicknames. (Use "Control F" to search for names within the nickname website.)

    Note: if you find your mark, stop here and do a typical background search.  Still not sure you have the right subject? Then see the next step below.

  3. Narrow your findings to those people about the same age as your subject (as indicated by their bio, college graduation date, newspaper summaries, ussearch, obituaries or other sources).

  4. See Find People By Their Photos.

  5. Narrow findings to those who live or once lived near any place mentioned in step 1. This information can be quickly obtained from age websites that list the subject's city, state or Zip Code. Ussearch and Intelius are great for confirming ages and list the city and state where the subject lived. (To get city and state through reverse Zip Code lookup, click Here.

  6. Narrow findings even further to those who work or once worked near any place listed in step 1. (i.e. same state and/or nearby city). Note: People tend to work close to where they live.  Simply narrow your search to those subjects who lived near where your target works or has previously worked. For An Overview, See Using A Bio To Background Someone.

  7. Narrow findings to those who have spouses with the same name and living patterns as your subject's. This can be a two step process. First, repeat all prior steps but now use the name of their spouse. Second, if your search turns up multiple listings, simply cross reference the places where these two people lived together. For example, The "Mora J Smith" found in Sacramento, Boston and Austin is likely the wife of the "John P Smith" who lived in Sacramento, Boston and Austin.

    See Cross Referencing Spouses To Get A Hit

  8. Search for one of their-easier-to-find friends or relatives who can tell you more about your subject, i.e. phone #, last address, etc.

  9. Once you are almost certain of your target, do a Google search. Put the name in quotes (try with and without middle name).  Get too many hits? Then Refine Your Search. A Google search may tell you even more about your target or confirm you've got a hit.

  10. Then look up the person in the Internet White Pages or do a typical background search.
    For An Overview, See Using A Bio To Background Someone.

  11. Search Pipl or other social agregators, by email address, username, phone # or an address they once had. The goal here is to pull up the exact person connected with this information, and not just a list of people with the same name. Doing it in reverse like this can get you the exact John Smith that once had that phone number along with any new contact information. With Pipl you can also click on their relatives and background them as well. You may even want to do a Pipl name search starting with a relative (if they don't have a common name) and then click on your subject when they appear as a relative.

































Using A Bio To Background Someone
The Bio (Highlighting Names, Ages and Places)
Cross Referencing Spouses To Get A Hit
Piecing It All Together

See Also
Finding People With Common Last Names
Finding People On The Internet-Step By Step



















































Bio Of Francis Comerforl (CEO Found on A Media Network Website)

Color Key

Formerly the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the PBC Television Stations Division, Frank Comerforl was named President and General Manager of WPBC, effective July 12, 2002.

Comerforl has led the station group to record sales -- a major achievement in the recent challenging ad market.

Comerforl, a 23-year TV veteran, has been overseeing sales and marketing for PBC's owned-and-operated stations since 1999. Previously, he had served as head of sales for WPBC since 1994. Under his leadership, PNBC broke numerous sales records and surpassed the competition as the top billing television station in the New York marketplace. Under his watch, WPBC supported numerous community based campaigns, launching "Wednesday's Child," one of the most successful programs in the nation to help place foster children in permanent homes.


Comerforl joined PBC from Storer Broadcasting Company, where he held a variety of sales management positions, culminating as General Sales Manager at WSBK-TV in Boston.

Honored as "Volunteer of the Year" by the Friends of RSVP, Inc. (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program of the Community Service Society), Comerforl has been proud of his work as a GE/PBC Elfun Society volunteer at the Manhattan School of Science and Math.

Comerforl graduated Georgetown University in 1977, and holds a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration and Finance.

A native New Yorker, Comerforl and his wife Maura currently maintain residence in both Brooklyn and Long Island.

See Using A Bio To Background Someone


Piecing It All Together

Hi Luanne:

You asked me to find out if PBC Exec. Frank Comerforl is your uncle or a close relative.  It looks like he's not your uncle but he still may be related.  My first stop was to go to the PBC website and look for his Bio. There were many Frank Comerforls and it took some time to locate your subject with certainty.  However, with the information from his Bio I was able to pinpoint your man.  At that point it was easy to find him through the search engines.

This big wig actually has a listed # under the name Francis.
According to the bio I sent you, he's married to "Maura" and maintains a residence in both Brooklyn and Long Island. He also works in Manhattan for PBC and can certainly afford and probably has bought an apartment there.
Formerly he worked in Boston, MA (probably took his wife too).
A "ussearch" on Maura and Francis Comerforl found the following:
Although these names are quite common, both a Francis and Maura Comerforl live or have lived in Westhampton, Long Island, Massachusetts and NY,NY. This suggests they are husband and wife.  This particular Francis has a middle name of "X" (very unusual)  and he also lives in Brighton NY. (Brooklyn)  So Francis X Comerforl has lived in every single place mentioned in the Bio of Big PBC Exec Frank Comerforl.  Who by the way should be about 47 years old if he graduated Georgetown in 1977.
I did a white page lookup on him and found a
 247 86th St
Brooklyn, NY 11210

(718) 749-8180
This looks like the same man in the PBC bio. I also confirmed through Any that he's 47 years old (was born in 1955). Also found a Frank E. Comerforl with the exact same birth date and the same Brooklyn Zip Code as the above subject.

I then put his full name in Google. From this I learned that Francis X. went to high school in Hackensack, NJ and Graduated in 1973.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find him in the The Georgetown University Alumni website.  Although he went to school there, I didn't. And only GU alumni have access to the website.

Google also turned up a genealogy discussion forum where the subject actually lists his close relatives! See below.

Relatives of Francis X Comerforl
I grew up and live in NYC. We trace our family back through Pa. & NYC
My Father was Edward Francis COMERFORL Jr.
Grandfather was Edward Francis COMERFORL
Great Grandfather was Nicholas COMERFORL
I am not sure about his father's first name.
I think he was born in NYC or emigrated to NYC and died in Pa.
Any info you may have would be appreciated.

See Using A Bio To Background Someone



Cross Referencing Spouses To Get A Hit

Note: US search will often list the same individual several times if they've moved around a lot. The bolded entries have been color coded to show where both people have lived in common. Given their names and locations, it's almost certain they are the husband and wife duo described in the WPBC Bio.

See Using A Bio To Background Someone

See Also Finding People With Common Last Names