Skip tracing is the profession of tracking down people who do not want to be found. The term comes from those who would skip town as a way of avoiding a bad situation, such as paying a debt. The tracing part of the phrase refers to using the clues left behind by the missing person to discover his or her whereabouts.
Depending on who the person is and how they went missing, the skip tracer will use several different methods to track down the person of interest. One good way to begin a search is to check communication channels. Social media is a great way to track a person. Skip tracers can not only check for recent posts or pictures which might provide information about the location but they can also use social media to create a list of friends and possible locations that the person of interest might be staying.
Skip tracers also have access to information that the average person cannot get. They can check transaction history on debit cards and credit cards to verify location as well as phone records to see who the person of interest is calling. The skip tracer can also check to see if the person of interest has opened any new credit cards with a new address. Other useful data based include utility records, employment applications, and applications for rental properties or new bank accounts.
In addition to Internet research, skip tracers will speak to the people who know the person of interest to see if they can provide any information. Sometimes previous co-workers or neighbors can provide basic information that could help find a relative or friend who might have more detailed information. This process can be far more time consuming and will require a bit of travel as well.
There are many different reasons that a person could hire a skip tracer to locate someone. Skip tracers have been hired to find long-lost relatives, to find a person who has taken another person’s possession, to help a repossession agent, or even to work with a journalist who is seeking information for a story. Some skip tracers will specialize in a certain area of the field while others will work for just about anyone who is looking for a person who does not want to be found. Hiring a skip tracer offers a much better chance of finding the person of interest in most cases.