Locating Persons

Skiptracing (also skip tracing, or debtor and fugitive recovery) is the process of locating a person’s whereabouts for any number of purposes. The term “skip” refers to the person being searched for, and is derived from the idiomatic expression “to skip town”, meaning to depart (perhaps in a rush), leaving minimal clues behind to “trace” the “skip” to a new location. Skiptracing tactics may be employed by debt collectors, process servers, bail bond enforcers (bounty hunters), repossession agents, private investigators, lawyers, police detectives, and journalists, or by any person attempting to locate a subject whose contact information is not immediately known. Similar techniques have also been utilized by investigators to locate witnesses in civil and criminal trials. Skiptracing is performed by collecting as much information as possible about the subject. The information is then analyzed, reduced, and verified. Sometimes the subject’s current whereabouts are in the data, but are hidden by the sheer amount of information or disinformation. Often, the job becomes more than mere research and one must often employ methods using social media.

• September 30, 2015

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