Skip tracing is a term used to describe the process of locating a person that can’t be found at their place of work or at a registered address. “Skip” refers to the person being searched for (we all know the term “to skip town”) and “tracing” meaning the act of locating the person's whereabouts. The act of using skip tracing agents is to support sectors such as debt collection agencies, repossession agents, solicitors, government agencies, private companies, and even journalists.
There are many reasons why you may need to locate someone; it could be an ex-tenant who has left your property but still owes you money, it could be an old friend who you haven’t seen in years or a family member you want to reconnect with. Whatever your motives, tracing people is a highly skilled and intuitive process. You need to be able to make connections from a limited amount of information, often searching for people who don’t want to be found; it’s like trying to find that elusive needle in a haystack.
A tracing agent starts by collecting as much information about the person as possible. All this information is then analysed, verified, and used to determine the location of the individual. Tracing people may involve gathering and analysing a great deal of information or very little information, both of which have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Using social media can turn up a surprising amount of information, sites like Facebook or business sites such as LinkedIn can help you identify who you want, especially if you know details of their friends or past companies they used to work for. A word of caution though, if you are just looking to reconnect, a message on their Facebook page may be appropriate, however, if they owe you money, saying so publicly is probably not the best way to go!
The job of a tracing agent is to use any number of resources and databases available to them which can include:
Criminal background checks
Public records databases
Traces can also be combined with other services such as asset tracking. This is where a tracing agent will conduct a financial investigation to determine a subject's assets and examine the revenue generated. This can be helpful in difficult divorce proceedings or if a company is suspected of criminal activity. It can also form part of a background check before entering into a partnership whether personal or business.
At Baxford we offer the UK and International tracing service to our clients and depending on the individual circumstances can deliver results within 24 hours. Whether it’s finding a person, initiating a company trace, vehicle address tracing or helping landlords and letting agents find absconded tenants we have the expertise to help. To discuss your unique situation further then contact 020 8255 1010 for more detail.