I think this a topic most private investigators would agree that you can write about for days. Since I already know this is something I want to continue on with, I'll go ahead and make it a series. It's one of my more favorite topics and skillsets.
Skip-Trace: The Process of Finding Someone
For those that are looking for a missing person. Maybe they are playing hard to get due to owing some sort of debt or criminal cause. It could be to find a particular long lost family member or friend from high school. Whatever the case, skip-trace is the art of tracking down someone playing hard to get and the business in skip-trace is good. Ever wonder how a random collection agency is able to track you down at your new address or telephone number to get that bill?
For those looking to find someone it may be beneficial for them to approach a private investigator and request a skip trace investigation. I always ask my clients for information such as name, social, birthday, etc to help hone down my search. The less information, the harder it can be to find someone. You can imagine there are a lot of John's out there, so the more detailed the better. Even aliases help.
In today's digital age a lot of skip-tracing can be done through social media. Most people harbor a lot of personal information on websites such as twitter, facebook, and instagram. As a matter of fact, if you have ever "facebook stalked" another person you more than likely checked out their photos and timeline to get a picture on their daily life. You can tell the area a person is in by their daily check ins, where they work, telephone numbers, their friends, and so forth.
The one tool a private investigator will have over the general citizen is the use of databases out there such as IRB Search, TLO, Delvepoint, and Accurint. These databases harbor billions of public and private records and allow a private investigator to pull massive amounts of data on a person. It was just the other day I posted an article about how cell phone numbers are becoming the new personal identifier over the social security number as we use it through our daily lives. Such as memberships at the grocery store to receive discounts. Once a private investigator can get an exact match on you in the database, all addresses, friends, family, work associates, properties, vehicles, and so forth comes up.
Aside from database searches, there are also other methods such as checking public records at a variety of sources. Checking arrest records, divorce or marriage licenses, or property information is to name a few.
If you are looking to locate someone, please do not hesitate to contact me or check out some of my services on my investigations page. The locate report, contact card report, or finder report would definitely provide detailed information without breaking the bank.
If you're looking to get an entire background profile on someone, you may wish to pull a comprehensive report to pull everything from the database on that individual. It really depends on the client on how deep the investigation must go, but there are certainly options for various degrees of investigation.