Skip tracing does not necessarily have to be used by criminal investigators for escaped fugitives. It can be finding old friends, family or relatives as well. You can try doing it yourself or can hire a professional skip tracing service.
What is Skip Tracing?
The term skip tracing refers to the act of tracing someone who has ‘skipped town’ or ‘gone off the grid.’ It is a process that includes collecting all the information you can get to discover someone’s current location. The person you are looking for does not necessarily have to be hiding from you in for the process to be called skip tracing. Some people get lost or move away without telling anyone where they are going.
Many professions skip trace as a part of their work, for example, missing children organizations, insurance fraud investigators, repossession companies, and employment and tenant verification services.
What Is a Skip Tracing Service?
As mentioned earlier, you can try skip tracing yourself, but reading about its process might change your mind. It is not a one-off activity by any means. A skip tracing service conducts interviews with people close to the subject and keeps surveillance on them. They use subscription-based databases and different software that are not typically available to the public.
Some relatively easier information to find includes:
- Full name and nicknames
- Relatives’ names and contacts
- Friends and associates
- Previous employers
- Physical address (current and previous)
- Schools attended
- Physical appearance
- Date of birth
- Ex-spouses or significant others etc.
But the information that might be difficult for you to discover but professional skip tracers can find on their databases includes,
- Courthouse records
- People owing debt
- Lenders and creditors
- Driver’s license number
- Loan applications
- Job applications
- Flight records
- Public tax information
- Criminal background checks etc.
The lists go on, but you get the point. If there is urgency or the matter is of high importance, it is always better to hire professional skip tracing services.
Here is an efficient, experienced, and credible skip tracing service in Maryland.
Is Skip Tracing Legal?
Skip tracing is legal as long as you don’t do anything illegal in the process. If you are acquiring all the information through legal means, you are okay. Some examples of illegal information extraction are,
- Illegal access to private records
- Use of violence to get information from someone
- Obtaining or going through private documents without consent
- Bribing someone etc.
You should always be honest and transparent about your intentions and check your local laws to know the possible illegalities. Another perk of hiring a skip tracer is that they know all the ins and outs of the related laws.
Laws vary from state to state, but there are laws for certain skip tracing businesses that require them to disclose certain pieces of information. If you are a debt collector, when you get in contact with the person you skip traced, you have to tell them why you have contacted them.
Skip tracing is legal but can take you years to find someone if you are not a professional. Therefore, it is advisable to either hire an expert or perform extensive research about the processes and laws before trying to do it yourself.