Skip tracing is the art of locating a person who is hard to find. The private investigator must use skill and coercion to locate these types of people.
Skips would include people like: criminals, people hiding from spouses, long lost loves, old friends, and so on. There are many reasons people might need a skip trace. As with most investigations you will be performing, each skip trace will require customized investigations.
Finding people who do not want to be found is a difficult task. In fact, it is the hardest thing a private investigator will ever do. The reason being, when people want you to find some one, they usually have limited information on that person. That means you will probably just have the persons name and a general location to go by.
We will create a few steps to follow to find general information on people. We can’t cover the whole of skip tracing in this article, because it would take about 200-300 pages. Each skip trace will be different, so different material will be needed for each one.
First, you need to do an online search at a free phone listing site. Your skip will probably have an unlisted number, but it is always good to look at the obvious first. Your skip might be hiding in plain site. Use information your client has provided you. Your client may not know where your skip lives, but they do know where the skip used to live. You can narrow your search to those areas for that person’s name.
A lot of times, the client will have a past phone number. You can perform a search for “reverse phone number searches” on any search engine. You can do these for free. Reverse phone number searches allow you to enter a phone number and get the name and address used with that phone number. Using the reverse phone search in combination with searching phone number listings, will often times lead you to your skip.
The next things you need to search are criminal and civil records. By now, you should have some idea of locations your skip has lived in the past. Narrow your search down to the counties your skip lived in the past. Search for the court clerk of each county online. Most counties will have an online listing of records. Look to see if your skip has any records in any of these counties. The court records, if there are any, will lead you to assets, past aliases, and associates. All of this information will be useful in tracking down the skip.
The next thing you are going to have to do is interview people. You are going to have to make phone calls and hit the streets in order to speak with friends, relatives, and business associates of your skip. This should be your final stop. A private investigator must be able to coerce information out of people. You will learn pretty fast once business is rolling in.
As you can see, a private investigator must develop research and interview skills in order to track people down. It is one of the most requested services sought by clients. Spend a lot of time studying this art and practicing the methods needed, as this will be the skill that will set you apart from all on the private investigators.