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What Is Skip Tracing

Skip tracing might sound like a term straight out of a spy novel, but it’s a critical tool for various professionals. Skip tracing is finding or locating a person, especially someone who has “skipped” out and doesn’t wish to be seen. But why would someone employ these tactics? Let’s dive in.

The Essence of Skip Tracing

As the name implies, skip tracing is about locating individuals deliberately distancing themselves from their previous location or known contacts. Contrary to some beliefs, it’s not about chasing down mysterious characters in dark alleys. The person of interest, often abbreviated as POI, usually has a reason to remain undetected. More often than not, this reason is tied to financial obligations.

Debt and Disappearance

A significant chunk of skip-tracing efforts revolves around debt collection. In an attempt to evade their financial responsibilities, some individuals go off the grid, prompting creditors to seek the services of professionals who specialize in locating them.

Private Investigators and Skip Tracing

Skip tracing services are frequently sought from private investigators. Estimations suggest that skip-tracing tasks account for 20-30% of a private investigator’s workload. While they unearth a POI’s whereabouts, they strictly provide information. They can’t, for instance, make any contact with the POI.

Why Would Someone Need a Skip Tracer?

Apart from debt evasion, there are multiple scenarios where a skip tracer’s services become invaluable:

  • Identifying a witness for legal cases
  • Tracing heirs for estate distribution
  • Serving legal documents
  • Locating court-absent defendants
  • Finding bail skippers
  • Resolving unpaid business service disputes

The endgame? Pinpoint the POI’s current location and gather critical contact details.

Tools of the Trade

Modern skip tracers have an arsenal of tools and strategies at their disposal:

  • Investigator Databases: A goldmine for phone numbers, addresses, and vehicle movements.
  • Open Source Intelligence: Deep web searches, social media data harvesting, and more.
  • Public Records: From property taxes to court documents, these can be revealing.
  • Human Intel: Conversations with acquaintances, colleagues, or neighbors can offer clues.
  • Surveillance: Old-fashioned stakeouts at known POI-frequented spots.
  • Area Canvassing: Sometimes, a door-to-door search proves effective.

Depending on the available leads and the intricacy of the case, skip tracing can either be a swift online affair or a time-consuming investigative process.

Cost Implications

The complexity of a skip-tracing assignment directly influences its cost. A mere web search might be pocket-friendly, but intensive surveillance or canvassing can escalate the expenses substantially.

Skip tracing, while methodical, is rooted in human stories. Everyone has a reason to disappear, and everyone has someone looking for them. Whether to settle financial scores or reconnect with a long-lost friend, skip tracing continues to weave stories of connection and closure.

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost varies depending on the complexity of the search. Online searches are generally less expensive than comprehensive investigations involving fieldwork. Visit our pricing page for more details.

While skip tracers aim for accuracy, there’s no guarantee. The data’s precision depends on the sources used and the individual’s effort to remain hidden.

It can range from a few hours for simple cases to several weeks or even months for more complex situations.

Unlike bounty hunters who can arrest or detain a person, skip tracers simply locate and provide information about an individual without confronting or detaining them.

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