In the legal field, skip tracing is the attempted location of a fugitive who cannot be located by using their home address, usual hangouts, or other traditional means. The term comes from 'skip', meaning someone who has 'skipped town', and 'tracing', or the act of locating the person. While skip tracing is typically done by bail bondsmen, bounty hunters, private investigators, and debt collectors, it can also be a profession all on its own.
In order to become a skip tracer, you need to be able to utilize any means necessary to collect information on the person in question, no matter how much or how little. In this day and age, skip tracers mostly use the internet to gather information on their target; however, old-fashioned tactics such as social engineering are still utilized to uncover information. All information gathered by the skip tracer is analyzed, verified, and used to determine the location of the individual in question.
The information used to find a skip is usually gleaned from the following sources:
- Phone number databases
- Credit reports
- Credit card applications
- Job applications
- Criminal background checks
- Loan applications
- Utility bills
- Tax information
- Public Records
- Courthouse records
- Department Store loyalty programs
- Travel records
- Driver's license/vehicle registrations
Interested in becoming a skip tracer? While there is no formal education or training required to become one, you still need to do some homework. You should first make sure to read up on federal and state laws regarding everything from privacy to surveillance. You may also wish to specialize in a field such as debt collection or bounty hunting, and look for a job in the field of your interest in order to potentially receive training on the job. Formal training is also often offered via seminars and other professional development conferences; these are typically offered by organizations such as the National Association of Fugitive Recovery Agents or the American Recovery Association, Inc. These seminars are also great for keeping up on the latest in databases and search tools being offered.
If you have any questions, contact Same Day Process today!