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Skip Tracing Tools 2

Updated on March 13, 2011

What tools are needed to be a great skip tracer? None you don’t already have. Assuming in this day and age we all have a PC or at least access to one. All the skip tracing tools you need are a PC, a sharp mind and a sharp pencil or pen.

Skip Tracing Tools 2 is the second part hub to Skip Tracing Tools. I won’t be rambling about what skip tracing is as all that is covered in the previous hub. This skip tracing tool hub focuses on finding information on your subject in a more streamlined fashion. Read the remaining of this short hub and follow the Black Book Online link below to try your hand at skip tracing.


Skip Tracing Overload

Who was I looking for? You don't want to be this Skip Tracer.
Who was I looking for? You don't want to be this Skip Tracer.

Organization and Focus are Essential

Organization is key when it comes to skip tracing if you want great results. Successful skip tracers manage to devise their own organizational system or chart to better understand the information they are gathering. The best skip tracers and investigators are meticulous about this step. They really have to be otherwise they could wind up with tons of useless data and potentially get easily sidetracked. Analyzing information that is relevant and fitting it into a flow chart helps get a better total picture of your subject, his or her relatives and associates. This is more important today than ever before because today’s families are short of traditional.

Focusing on a main objective and planning accordingly before you commence the search cannot be overly emphasized. Gathering all the information you have will help pinpoint more accurately the person you set out to locate since there can be thousands of individuals with similar names.

Getting yourself organized and planning ahead before commencing a search eliminates possible subjects with say different middle name initials or different dates of birth. It also prevents you from wandering to other non pertinent information. Getting caught up and side tracked from one individuals information to another persons is pretty easy to do since most people have a spouse, significant other, parents, siblings, and plenty of extended family.

Cross referencing addresses will help determine who the current folks living there are or if they could potntilly be related to your skip. Organization and focus as to your goal will help you remember how the information received links in to the skip.

Years of searching through trial and error most skip tracers devise their own flow chart. While there is no one proven method that works better than another, use what best works for you as long as it helps you keep organized. In the long run you will better be able to read and decipher the data gathered and apply it into a useful and logical pattern.


How Skip Tracers Search


If you were trying to find someone, we will just call him SKIP and you know SKIP previously resided in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, then you will probably find more information on this subject by narrowing your search to the City and State of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Regardless if your subject has moved or not, you are bound to find some previous records of his stay in that area that might include information you did not have before such as a vehicle tag number or a spouses name.

Plugging a name into a search engine without narrowing will net too many results. You would be surprised to find out how many people out there share your same name. Even if you think its a unique name chances are it is not. If the name of your SKIP is pretty common you could end up with thousands of people with the same name. This is exactly why when paying for a search they ask for other identifiers such as a date of birth or social security number. By process of elimination you may be able to pinpoint your SKIP but you would be doing yourself a favor by gathering all pertinent data you have on hand prior to attempting to search for SKIP. Keep in mind also that sometimes clerical errors are made when entering data and some names may be misspelled or the wrong middle initial typed in. Birth date characters might also be off. So if most variables match, it may be worth looking into a bit further until you can totally eliminate as not being your subject.

Narrow your search like the Professionals Do

One particular site I’ve found very useful is Black Book Online. This search site is totally FREE and a great asset to private investigators and skip tracers alike. They have done the tedious work for us which allows one to enter the city and state of the last known address of your subject.

It will automatically list all free public record sites for that city and state. This saves you a lot of time in searching for each potential free site as the work is already done for you. All public record websites available for that city and state will show up, your job is to go down the list and input your “SKIP”’ name to see which database might hold any information on your SKIP.

From then on go down the list and plug in your “Skip’s” name into all the free websites and start to build a dossier on your subject. Don’t forget to write down any relatives and associates as these can be searched later on individually for additional information. ‘Skips’ rarely put utilities, phones, or assets in their name to avoid detection. Most likely these will be in someone else’s name such as a spouse, girlfriend, relative or other associate.

Is there such a thing as Private Records?


If you think about it it’s scary how much information is available to the general public on you and me, our neighbors, coworkers and family. The funny thing is its not just the government holding our information. Just as disturbing is the information held and peddled by private companies like Lexis Nexis, Accurint and AutoTrack. The compilation of information on each one of us and personal details are out there for the purchase. Subscribers to these database are mainly law enforcement, attorneys and private investigators. Tighter regulations are always in the works limiting access. In the past collection agencies and bail skip tracers had access as well.

While there are some regulations as to whom has access to these databases I still find it mind boggling that private companies can purchase information from others and be allowed to hold our personal data. For them to sell and release it seems unethical and an invasion of privacy.

The way companies solicit this information is by buying it in bulk from companies that us as consumers have willingly given our information to. So, technically we voluntarily gave our information at one time or another. While some companies will not share personal details to others, some companies will.

 Personal information by private companies is resold for legitimate purposes and not provided or meant for any illegal activity. There are always the few that will use it to do no good. Private companies have their own disclaimers and do take precautions but there is no full proof system. Some have been hacked and our personal information compromised. Some hackers are good at what they do and have entered sophisticated and “secure” data system and stolen countless of records.

Public Records


Public records are a totally different story and available to you and me just for the asking as long as you pay for copies and certification. Public Records vary from state to state. Some are available online, some need to be requested via fax or mail and appropriate fees paid. Most common records available are criminal histories, vehicle ownership, home ownership, state and business licenses.

More on Skip Tracing


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    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      One of these days when I have 5 seconds, I should learn more about it - it sounds fascinating. I know these days, the information you can obtain is incredible. I could have used this about 10 years ago when I was trying to locate family members and had to do it the 'old fashioned way'. You are right though, it depends what the 'motive' is whether it is a positive or a negative!

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

      Kaie Arwen

      You are welcome. Most information can be used for good or evil, depends what your motives are. Glad you see the positive side of this.

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 7 years ago

      Very interesting.......... the information that's available makes us all more than a little vulnerable if it's used in the wrong way, but for someone who is looking for someone for the right reasons......... I suppose it can be a God send! Thanks for this! kaie

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

      sheila b.

      I hope you never have to search for anyone, that means everyoone you love and need is close enough around you.

      Its different when you do it for a living. Thanks for the loyal readership.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago


      None of us really like the idea of so much public information out there. We really don't have much control over it. Only time it comes in useful is if we are trying to track down an old debt like child support. Also good to reconnect with someone you may have lost touch with. It has some perks. Thanks for being my first comment here.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      I can't imagine I'd ever do this, but it's fascinating to read about.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      This is a fascinating hub. I never have done any skip tracing and I don't really like the idea of so much information being available so readily.