Skip Tracing Tools for Private Investigators


Skip tracing is a specialized investigative technique employed to locate individuals who are intentionally evading contact or attempting to conceal their whereabouts. Professionals commonly utilize this practice, including private investigators, debt collectors, law enforcement agencies, and bounty hunters.

The process involves sifting through various information sources to identify clues to the subject’s location. These sources can include public records, social media platforms, financial records, utility bills, and even interviews with acquaintances or associates of the person in question.

Modern skip tracing often leverages advanced technology and databases to streamline the process. Information brokers and specialized software can help aggregate and analyze vast amounts of data, increasing the likelihood of success.

Legal and ethical considerations play a crucial role in skip tracing. Professionals must adhere to privacy laws and regulations to ensure the rights of the individual being sought are respected. Misuse of information or intrusive tactics can lead to legal consequences.

Skip tracing is a meticulous and strategic process to re-establish contact with individuals for various reasons, ranging from debt recovery to criminal investigations. Its effectiveness depends on skill, accurate information access, and ethical guidelines adherence.

Skip Tracing Examples

When finding people, a skip tracer’s services are similar to that of a private investigator. For example, services may include:

  • Tracking down someone who owes a debt, child support, or a judgment.
  • Locate an individual who skipped bail. This is bail bond enforcement and is also known as bounty hunting. Bounty hunting is often used to locate a witness or expert to testify in court or legal proceedings. Also, it is used to locate a person of interest or to find a long-lost love, friend, or family member.

The skip-tracing process could involve almost any facet of an investigation that entails contacting a subject.

Skip Tracing Resources

The following are skip trace resources for private investigators. Some resources provide access to national skip trace databases, allowing you to use online tools to conduct free skip trace searches.

Accurint – Accurint®, a Lexis Nexis product, is a locating tool used by government, law enforcement, and commercial customers. It can locate people, neighbors, associates, and possible relatives. It can also access over 50,000,000 non-directory assistance records, including cell phone numbers. – Provides free nationwide databases that search for bail agents, bail bondsmen, bail bondsmen, criminal lawyers, and private investigators. This site will help anyone arrested locate a bail bonds person to write a bail bond, municipal, county, state, federal, or immigration bonds, and locate any jail, circuit court, county court, and appellate court.

BeenVerified’s Background Check Report allows you to search billions of public records online in just a few seconds. Search for criminal records, arrest records, bankruptcies, and more. In addition, you can find people using an address, phone number, and email lookups. BeenVerified offers an easy and affordable way to run a background check. Run an Online Search Now.

Internal Revenue Service – The IRS may forward a letter to someone when humane reasons are involved. For example, to notify someone of a serious illness, imminent death, or death of a close relative, seek an individual for a medical study to detect and treat medical defects, or notify an individual who cannot otherwise be located that he or she is entitled to certain assets.

The IRS will forward a letter from an attorney, estate administrator, or another person who directly controls the assets.

For more information and clarification on what may constitute “humane” reasons, refer to the IRS Handbook 1.3, Chapter 11, which you may find in Other Information Available to the Public. If you would like the IRS to help locate an individual, place a personal letter addressed to the individual in a blank envelope. Include first-class U.S. postage, and do not seal the letter. Place the unsealed letter in another envelope and address it as follows:

Internal Revenue Service
Office of Disclosure Operations
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20224

SkipSmasher – An online data service for private investigators, collection agencies, skip tracers, judgment enforcement professionals, repossession companies, bail bond agencies, government agencies, and others who need to locate hard-to-find persons. It is not available to the general public.

US Department of State, Overseas Citizens Services – This service will help locate relatives or friends who are overseas when there is concern about their welfare or a need to notify them of emergencies at home. The Privacy Act requires that U.S. citizens over 18 provide a waiver before information about them is released to a third party. Persons in the United States may inquire about the welfare or whereabouts of U.S. citizens abroad by calling Overseas Citizens Services at 202/647-5225. If you want more information about locating persons of unknown whereabouts, call the National Contact Center toll-free at 1 (800) FED INFO, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.

ZabaSearch – ZABASEARCH is a free people search and public Information search engine.

Skip Tracing Books

Skip Trace Secrets: Dirty little tricks skip tracers use…: Learn Skip Tracing
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • McGilvrey, Valerie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 77 Pages – 04/15/2014 (Publication Date) – Valerie McGilvrey (Publisher)

Skip Trace Secrets. Dirty Little Tricks Skip Tracers Use to Find People, Private Investigators, Repo Men, Bounty Hunters, Debt Collectors, Process Servers, and Social Tracking. This book provides some tricks, secrets, tactics, tools, and methods for finding someone from a seasoned skip tracer. This book is excellent for process servers, recovery agents, collectors, attorneys, experienced and beginners.

Find more books on skip tracing and investigations.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


  1. The Social Security Administration will no longer forward mail. So far there’s not been an alternate maneuver to replace this.


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