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The art of tracking somebody down, or "Skip Tracing" as it is called, is both an art and a science. There are a few different kinds of missing persons, with varying degrees of difficulty in finding them.
The first type of missing person is where the person has just lost contact and moved. These are the easiest missing persons to find. They’re the ones who just move to a different place, but are not hiding from anyone for any particular reason.
The next type of missing person is what we call in the business a "skip". This is the person that is purposefully hiding from something: legal trouble, creditors, etc. These missing persons can range from easy to downright difficult in locating them. Some have been doing it most of their adult life, and can be professionals at hiding.
The last type of missing person I will mention is the most difficult to find, and that is the missing person where there is some sort of malfeasance involved. Many times these are the tragic cases involving kidnapping of children and cases like this. These, of course, are extremely difficult, and usually involve law enforcement agencies.
Okay, let’s get down to it. Following are 10 things you can do yourself to find a missing person, or "skip" as they are called:
1. Use directory assistance and the phone book. I know it sounds obvious, but always try the simple things first. I can’t tell you how many times that has saved me a lot of effort. Many times people aren’t hiding, you just need to check for them.
2. Check for any special memberships in clubs, unions, groups, etc. A person can change most things about their identity, but they can’t change their “behavioral fingerprint”. That is a person’s interest, hobbies, etc. Those things almost never change about a person.
3. Call known friends and relatives to try to find out where the subject is. Many times they will not be cooperative, but it is a good source to try. There are different ways to get information out of people, just use your imagination.
4. Pretext different sources for information. Pretexting is basically misleading people to get information you need. There are many different ways to do this, and you have to be careful to stay within the law. Also, it is not easy to do if you aren’t used to using this technique.
5. Public databases. Voter registration records, property ownership records, state and county recorded documents can be good sources of information. That being said, you’re very unlikely to find someone that’s really hiding off of public records, but it can be a good place to start.
6. Check with the skip trace departments of other companies. Many companies out there will share information with other creditors to help find someone. Others will not, but it’s worth trying.
7. Sending out mail with “Do not forward, address correction requested”. If the post office has a forwarding address for the subject, this is one way to get it.
8. Checking employment transfers. If the subject you’re looking for is with the same company, but was transferred, sometimes you can find out the new area of the country they might have been transferred to.
9. Using professional organizations. If the missing person you’re looking for is a professional of some sort, there is usually a directory for it. The best source would be to call or check the internet as those are usually updated more frequently.
10. The last thing I want to mention is not necessarily a specific technique, but it is worth mentioning. Here it is: put yourself in their shoes. Think what an average person has to do everyday to live. They have to eat, sleep somewhere (most people), buy things, eventually work at something, legal or not. Just remember that everybody has to live and survive, and they always leave some kind of trail..
Okay, if you have done all of the above (or don’t want to do it) and that didn’t work, your next step is to hire a professional. At Torque Investigations, we are experts at tracking people down. We have found hundreds of people, ranging from people that have defrauded millions of dollars to people that are hiding from the law. We understand what it takes to find someone. It’s not as easy as punching someone’s name into a computer and up pops the current whereabouts of the target. It’s never that easy when someone is hiding. Our investigators actually go out in the field to track people down. We do things to find people that you will not get from a “$99 Locate Fee” that have become popular on the internet.
We specialize in hard to find missing persons. Maybe someone absconded with a large sum of money from a business, or they are hiding for other reasons. The point is, they can be found with the right professional help. If you’re looking for a cheap locate service like you see advertised all over the internet, then we’re not for you. We concentrate on getting results for our clients, not competing for the cheapest price. If you are serious about getting results, then we can help you. Don’t hesitate, call us today to get results!