What’s the Difference Between Skip Tracing and Person Locate?
Skip tracing and person locating are both services offered by private investigators that involve finding an individual whose whereabouts are currently unknown. While both tasks require expert investigative skills, research, and surveillance, they have stark differences. The primary difference is in the reason that the person is being looked for and the length of time they have been out of reach.
What is Skip Tracing?
Skip tracing services are used to locate a person of interest who cannot be found at their usual residence or hangouts. There are intentional skips, in which case the person intends to remain hidden. There are also unintentional skips, in which case the person is not actively avoiding anyone, but simply difficult to find.
Skip tracers are often used when someone needs to be located so they can be served legal documents. Debt collectors sometimes use skip tracers to locate a consumer who owes a debt. Many bounty hunters and bondsmen also use skip tracing services to help locate individuals who have failed to uphold the conditions of their bond or fugitives who are hiding to avoid incarceration.
But skip tracers are not bounty hunters. Their job is to use investigative skills, analyze clues, and do surveillance work to pinpoint the location of a person of interest. They are not responsible for apprehending the person of interest.
Skip tracers utilize proprietary databases, property and address information, criminal records, court documents, and even social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter to locate the person of interest. As long as the information is obtained lawfully, skip tracing can be conducted by anyone.
However, unless the individual knows the local, state, and federal laws regarding conducting a skip tracing investigation, it is best to leave the task to the professionals.
The Difference in Skip Tracing and Person Locate
Person locating is often used to help find missing persons, long lost relatives, and witnesses. In many cases, the person of interest has been unaccounted for for years or even decades. Think of skip tracing as locating a person that has been hard to find for a short period of time, and probably for a specific reason.
In contrast, person locating could involve looking for someone that has not been seen for a very long period of time. The person of interest may now have a completely different life, physical appearance, and country of residence. They may now be married with a family, incarcerated, or deceased.
For this reason, person locating is normally a more long-term, in depth investigation than skip tracing. Person locating services can be used to track down someone who was abducted or ran away.
Person locators may interview old friends, relatives, and associates of the person of interest. They also rely heavily on information from public records databases, libraries, court documents, housing records, United States Post Office records, Department of Motor Vehicles records, air travel records, and public tax information.
Speak to a Private Investigator About Skip Tracing or Person Locating
Are you a lawyer hunting for a crucial witness, a family member hunting for a long lost loved one, or a bounty hunter looking for a fugitive? The private investigators at CGA Solutions have decades of experience in skip tracing and person locating. If you need help locating a person of interest, call today to see what we can do for you.