Skip Tracing Tools

Plenty of websites advertise they will find anyone for you and for a fee they will access this information and give you a report. Before you pay make sure you’ve exhausted every free website that gathers public information. Some of the information skip tracers are able to develop is available to you for free if only you know where to find it. If you still cannot find what you need then at that point you may choose to pay for additional skip tracing services as skip tracers do have access to some pretty powerful search databases.

As a skip tracer for fugitives I‘ve created my little BlackBook online which I use in my Bail and PI business. Here, I will share some of the free sites I’ve found useful and bookmarked for easy access throughout my bail career. They in combination with pay for access websites like Lexis Nexis, Merlin and Auto Track are part of what make up my skip tracing tools. Knowing where to find information on people is half the battle of finding them.

You can run but you can't hide
You can run but you can't hide

What is Skip Tracing ?


Skip tracing is a specific niche within the private investigation industry. It is a service mainly provided by collection agencies and private investigators. Many companies have their own in house investigators to conduct such work. Skip tracers are employed to seek out this information for varying reasons. Some of the clients may need to find a witness, repossess an item, find an heir, serve legal documents, find a fugitive, a friend, a long lost love or for child support reasons, the list can be endless. Bail bondsmen also do their own skip tracing or employ skip tracers to help track their bail jumpers. Anyone can learn the skills to find people and their assets if only they dedicate some time and search deep enough.


Locating people whom you have lost contact with, have moved or even secretly fled in order to avoid paying debts or face prosecution can be located. The so called "Skip" for whatever reason can normally be found through the paper trails they leave behind. Skip tracing is a skill that can be learned to find anyone. Nobody just disappears unless of course foul play is involved.


Locating skips that have become such because of old information on files, or have skipped due to financial hardship are considered unintentional skips and are much easier to locate. They just happen to have moved and not left forwarding information or did not bother to update information with creditors or other source that are now trying to find them.

Intentional skips are harder to find due to the fact that in avoiding whatever is haunting them like a lawsuit, debt , divorce, the law and child support they are aware they could be found by leaving a paper trail and so they use methods to actually conceal information. They may change cell numbers constantly, only give out P.O. Box addresses and may even cut communication with family and friends, they might work odd jobs for cash and jump around from job to job and place to place. Some go as far as taking on a new identity, sporting a new look and leaving the country. Although these skips pose more of a challenge, unless they have disappeared from the face of the earth they can still be found. It may take years but sooner or later they tire of running, slip up and eventually get found out and caught.

Prime example is this Doctor that went missing for four year. He was wanted for fraud and medical malpractice. Just recently ( December 2009 )he was found on a mountain. Although this might seem a bit extreme it shows the extremes some will go to to avoid being caught.

Starting your Search

Having basic information as a full name with a date of birth or social security number will help tremendously as you really don’t realize how many others can have the same name until you start searching. You need some identifying data to narrow the search otherwise too many results might come up. Other good information to have would be Last Known Address, Spouse Name and a phone number.


My BlackBook Online

  • - a name and city and state will turn out all the past addresses for that individual sometimes with a date of birth.
  • - If an article has ever been written about you , it will turn out here as well as any social network profiles such as Facebook and Myspace you may have
  • Google search - google people search
  • - lookup names, phone numbers, addresses
  • - good for email search by name
  • - directory of business professionals wishing to network

Other Public Information Websites to Consider

Clerk of Courts in the county and state where your “skip” has resided. Any traffic tickets, marriages, divorces, criminal activity, law suits, mortgages are all potential leads to finding your “skip”.

Sheriffs websites in the county and state where your “skip" has resided.

Department of State websites are also great because you can find if they have a particular license, business or corporation by searchinging their name.

All these sites might prove to contain a wealth of information .

Research, persistence and organizational skills can lead you in the right direction. All you have to do is use the skip tracing tools suitable to your search and continue following the leads.

Find Anyone Fast

Find Anyone Fast (Find Anyone Fast: Easy-To-Use Guide to Finding Anyone Anywhere)
Find Anyone Fast (Find Anyone Fast: Easy-To-Use Guide to Finding Anyone Anywhere)

And the best part is a well laid out appendix of every state with names, addresses and phone numbers of virtually anyone you might need to contact for records or assistance.


More by this Author

Comments 46 comments

creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you BailUp for a very informative hub on ship tracing tools, thank you for sharin. Godspeed. creativeone59

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

You are welcome Creativeone59. I hope you find some of these websites useful.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

I loved this hub. Thanks for all the information. I find it all very fascinating.

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Thanks Breadfastpop - It is a pretty fascinating field. I love it so much , it hardly feels like work.

Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Thank you so much, Bail Up, for writing this hub. I've tried to search for people but "gave up" due to never finding the right site! Will these search engines work for someone you want to find in another country/continent?

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Ann Nonymous-

these are for searches witnin the US mostly although has directories for Canada. If you have a specific country in mind let me know, maybe I could point you in the right direction.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate you becoming a fan.

Truth From Truth profile image

Truth From Truth 6 years ago from Michigan

Nice hub, I find this information interesting as I always found private investigation work to be fascinating. Thanks.

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author


Thanks for the compliment. Private Investigations work is pretty interesting. No two days are ever the same but sometimes surveilling someone for hours and nothing happens - that's the flip little boring side.

double_frick profile image

double_frick 6 years ago

i wish i could be a skip tracer~like stephanie plum! yeah!

am i too tiny though? i mean, its a dangerous job, right??

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author


You would be perfect. Skip tracers aren't any particular size most of their searches are done online. You'd probably make a good P.I. as the less conspicous the better. If you want to be a bounty hunter ,then I would discourage that. you need a bit of size and a mean face :# - you are too cute. thanks for the comment

dexterdunn9274 profile image

dexterdunn9274 6 years ago from fort lauderdale

Good Stuff. It gets harder and harder to hide, especially if you have a unique name.

hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

This is one of the things that is good to know as they can be useful in life. Very good hub. Rated up and bookmarked for further reference.

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author


With today's technology it's very tough to hide permanently. Like the saying goes "You can run but you can't hide".

hypnodude- Thanks for the rate and for swinging by to read. Hope it becomes useful for you someday.

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Thanks for this interesting information. I think it's quite intimidating to know that hiding is so difficult!

Love and peace


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author


Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to disappear but I know it would just be a matter of time if someone really wanted to find me. There are eyes everywhere, thanks to advanced technology.

Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Bail Up I'm looking for someone in Germany! Like right now!!!!! Thanks!

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Ann Nonymous

There is a fellow hubber with contacts in Europe - maybe she can provide some useful links for Germany. Good Luck.

Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Thanks so much for the speedy response. I'm going to check this fellow hubber out right now!

Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Valuable information for anyone needing this type of service. I know a few people in such a situation—you know, looking for child support. Might have to pass this one on.

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author


By all means do pass this on. I hope this hub helps find those Deadbeats, they should pay up! Thanks for reading.

lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

Great write up. Your research is good and informative. It helps to clear up how so many people can call and email and you not know who the heck they are....

thank you,


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Most certainly they are probably trying to find someone with a similar name and have reason to believe you could be a relative or they've looked you up to solicit. Either way, hang up.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

A very good hub. We bought a house 10 years from a deadbeat but our last names unfortunately the same. She is no relation to us. We STILL get calls from collection agencies trying to track her down!

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

nice tracing tools Bail Up,. Thnaks for the links, Maita

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author


I know what you mean. Some people just never give up.

prettydark horse

You are welcome. You never know , they might be useful some day. Like to check up on that stalker neighbor you once had.

Thanks Pamela and prettydarkhorse, I apprecialte the readership.

travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

The arm of the law really gets you in jail. There's no escape. Thanks for this hub, Bail Up!

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author


You are welcome. Good to see you around.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

Very interesting! I shall be bookmarking this one for future reference. Thanks

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Tammy Lochmann

I hope you do. Hope it will be useful for you some day.

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

OK, I'm not going to try to hide...

P Morgan profile image

P Morgan 6 years ago

Hmm...PI tools, nice :) Thanks!

cameciob profile image

cameciob 6 years ago

Hi Bail Up, I learned something tonight reading your article: never leave traces behind or somebody will find you. I tried the links also.

You have an interesting job.

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Sheila b. - HaHa - I like your sense of humor :)

P Morgan - Use them well, no stalking now!

cameciob - I'm happy to offer you a glimpse into the PI career. Hope the links worked for you.

Chicagovision profile image

Chicagovision 6 years ago from Chicago

good hub.

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author


Glad you liked this hub. Currently working on part two of this hub. Please come back and view.

Tara Tufford profile image

Tara Tufford 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

I spent some time as a skip tracer in a law firm. Unfortunately, it was a collections law firm, and was not so much fun getting yelled at from people that clearly owed a debt of some kind. I will admit that it was a lot of fun sometimes tracking them down, it was not so nice knowing that some of those people really did fall on hard times, and just could not catch a break. I really enjoyed reading your hub, thanks for the insight!

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

I'd hate to be a skip tracer for a collections agency- especially right now as times are difficult for most. I don't mind tracking the bad guys though.

Thanks for the relevant comment. I appreciate and agree with your point of view.

Michael G. 6 years ago

Bail Up, you sound like you know your stuff. I've been a bondsman since 1978 and I've learned a lot of tricks in skip tracing, but the one tip that turned out to be the best, I learned in a book I bought about 20 years ago. I'm not sure but I think it's the one you're advertising.

That tip was "Never look for the person you're looking for, look for someone close to them". What that meant to me was: when posting a bail bond, get as much info as you can on someone close to the person you're bonding.

A good example would be a girlfriend, because the person running usually cannot get anything in their name, such as telephone, utilities, etc. Find the girlfriend and you find the jump.

Enjoy your blogs. Good info.

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Michael G.

Pleased to make your acquaintance fellow bondsman. The tip is right on the money. When skip tracing try to look for someone close to the skip or look for the "Judas" that will sooner than later betray them. The latter seems to work best for me. Thanks for the relative comment.

Stan 6 years ago

This article was very interesting and great to read

denise mohan profile image

denise mohan 5 years ago from California

Awesome and informative, will bookmark this page!

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 5 years ago Author

denise mohan

Thanks for the comment. Who knows? Maybe someday you might make use of it :)

skiptracing profile image

skiptracing 5 years ago

Nice hub, Bail Up! I actually just published one of my own, which i'm planning to expand to include social media skip trace practices.

Best wishes!

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 5 years ago Author


looking forward to your new social media skip trace hub.

Always ready to learn something new. Best wishes @Hubpages to you as well.

how-to-make profile image

how-to-make 4 years ago from India

Can somebody look for career opportunities in this profession. Great hub, I like this.

Nina 17 months ago is not a free site anymore. Thought i would let you know.

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