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Skip Tracing Tools

Updated on January 25, 2010

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.



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    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 7 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 ! 7 years ago

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

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

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

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

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

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 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 ! 7 years ago

      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 7 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 ! 7 years ago


      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 7 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 ! 7 years ago


      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 7 years ago from fort lauderdale

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

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrea 7 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 ! 7 years ago


      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

      Tony McGregor 7 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 ! 7 years ago


      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 7 years ago from Virginia

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

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

      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 7 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 7 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 ! 7 years ago


      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 7 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 ! 7 years ago

      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

      Pamela Oglesby 7 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 7 years ago from US

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

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago


      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

      Ireno Alcala 7 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 ! 7 years ago


      You are welcome. Good to see you around.

    • Tammy Lochmann profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago

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

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

      Tammy Lochmann

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

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

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

    • P Morgan profile image

      P Morgan 7 years ago

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

    • cameciob profile image

      cameciob 7 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 ! 7 years ago

      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 7 years ago from Chicago

      good hub.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago


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

    • Tara Tufford profile image

      Tara Tufford 7 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 ! 7 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Michael G. 7 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 ! 7 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Stan 7 years ago

      This article was very interesting and great to read

    • denise mohan profile image

      denise mohan 6 years ago from California

      Awesome and informative, will bookmark this page!

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago

      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


      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 5 years ago from India

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

    • profile image

      Nina 23 months ago is not a free site anymore. Thought i would let you know.

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