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Looking for Someone? Hire a Professional Skip Tracer

Jul 25, 2008
Trying to find people, especially people who don't want to be found, is not easy. Tools exist to make a search easier but it is rare an amateur will successfully find someone. For the best chance of success, hire someone who finds people for a living.

What is Skiptracing?

Among private investigators, a "skip trace" is the act of finding a missing person. It refers to "tracing" a person who has "skipped" town. The first thing skiptracing brings to mind is bounty hunting, finding someone who has fled bail. In a broader sense, skiptracing is commonly used to find anyone who has defaulted on a debt. The client could be a business owed the debt or a collection agency, but can also be hired by individuals seeking personal debts.

Skiptracing is used by law enforcement to find suspects or witnesses in criminal actions and by attorneys in civil actions to locate persons of interest to the case. Private consumers hire skip tracers for reasons such as locating a parent defaulting on child support or tracking down the owner of a fly-by-night company.

Not all skiptracing is for criminal or debt purposes. An estate lawyer might use it to find heirs or adoptees might be looking for birth parents.

Do It Yourself Tools

There are a few things an individual can try, but the success rate is low if the person is hiding. The internet is a huge source of personal information, which can be good or bad depending on your point of view. Something as simple as searching all phonebooks nationwide can give a person's location in minutes. Typing a person's name into Google can reveal newspaper articles, social networking pages and websites to help track someone down.

If you know any mutual acquaintances, they can be a goldmine of information even if they didn't know your target well. Some small fact could give you the lead you need. Usually, though, you won't be able to find someone even after a lot of effort. When it comes to really finding people, you need a professional.

Let the Pros Handle It

Skiptracing is an art and it takes many years of experience to get it right. A talented skip tracer can find just about anyone, often in a matter of hours. Avoid online "find anyone" services. These companies simply scan public databases to present information you could get yourself. The only advantage is you get your result quickly rather than spending a lot of your time.

For the best skiptracing you need a private investigator. Not only do you get years of experience in locating missing persons, but you get access to information you wouldn't be able to see otherwise. There are many databases of information open only to professionals such as licensed investigators. Skiptracing fees vary depending on the difficulty of the job, but run in the ballpark of $100 to $500 for most jobs.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on Skip
Tracing
or Asset
Searches
, visit http://www.theinvfirm.com.
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