If you’ve seen the 2013 movie Identity Theft, then you might be familiar with the term skip tracer. In the film, Robert Patrick plays a skip tracer dispatched to track down a woman for a substantial bounty.
A skip tracer is someone who has the unique job of locating a person’s whereabouts for any number of reasons. The term comes from two words: skip and tracing. When someone “skips town,” that means they left and can’t be easily found. The tracing part involves someone following clues in order to trace where they went.
Skip tracing is a process employed by a number of people, including debt collectors, repo agents, private investigators, police detectives and journalists. It’s investigative work that involves collecting as much information about a subject as possible. This information is analyzed, scrutinized and, ideally, verified.
Skip tracing involves amassing a large amount of information and clues to a person’s whereabouts and then reducing it all down in order to act on the most salient/relevant leads. For instance, skip tracing can involve checking a person’s online accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, LinkedIn or YouTube. Those online platforms might give clues to his or her current whereabouts, or lead to others who know key information. Visits to friends and neighbors can also help find a person’s whereabouts if their leads prove accurate, though there’s always a chance they’re intentionally trying to mislead the skip tracer to protect the subject.
Other things a skip tracer might check to find a person involve credit reports, job applications, utility bills, and public tax information. People try hard to “go missing,” but sooner or later they usually can be found.
Associates Asset Recovery engages in skip tracing and other services in order to help clients recover collateral such as campers, boats and other vehicles. Serving the Carolinas, please call 800-488-6869 if you require skip tracing services.