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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.
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.
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My BlackBook Online
- ZabaSearch.com - a name and city and state will turn out all the past addresses for that individual sometimes with a date of birth.
- Pipl.com - 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
- Skipease.com - lookup names, phone numbers, addresses
- About.com - good for email search by name
- LinkedIn.com - 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.
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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.