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With so many records out there, it may seem impossible for a person to go off the grid. And in a way, it’s true – people leave trails with almost everything they do, whether it’s making a purchase or liking a photo on social media.
But if you work in collections, repossession, law enforcement, or any other industry in which you need to skip trace, you know firsthand how difficult tracking down people can be. While having billions of data points connected to people does make it harder for people to disappear, it’s not always easy to search through those data points and find accurate and relevant information. But what makes the skip tracing even more difficult? When people actively hide. So here are three of the biggest challenges you might face in skip tracing, and how a public and private records database can help you overcome them:
Gathering data on someone with no credit or bank activity
You might think that basically every American has at least some credit or bank activity. But actually, it’s becoming more and more common for people, particularly young people, to avoid credit and banks altogether. Whether it’s intentional or not, the person you’re looking for may have no credit or bank activity – which can be a big issue in skip tracing.
Why? Because many databases pull large amounts of their data from credit headers and banks. But with no credit to link a person to, you may not be able to gather any information about that person using traditional searching methods.
The solution? Use a software like Tracers that also pulls data from unbanked sources. When you use a database that pulls from sources other than credit headers and banks, you can get a full profile on someone – even if they’ve never used a credit card or bank in their life. Tracers offers a variety of unique data sets, a key one being utility listings data. That means if someone has ever paid a utility in their life – whether it’s a phone, gas, electric, water or other bill – you can find the information you need to locate and contact them. With Tracers unbanked data, finding someone without credit or bank activity is no longer a concern.
Performing a social media search on a person “off the grid”
Social media has become a huge channel for people looking to skip trace someone. People reveal all sorts of information about themselves because they associate social media with the idea of anonymity, making it an obvious place to look when you need to get in contact with someone.
The problem is that people who don’t want to be found often know this, so they might try to be sly and make their social media accounts private, or in some cases stop posting on social media altogether.
So if you want to use social media to help with skip tracing, you need to be able to go one step further than manually searching people on the main social networks, and this is where a comprehensive social media search from Tracers comes in to save the day. Tracers not only pulls information from key profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), it also uncovers user accounts on other websites, message boards an individual has posted on, web domains they may own, mentions of the person on websites and media, extensive email address history, and much more.
With a comprehensive social media search engine, you no longer have to run into dead ends when trying to find someone on social media. Even the smallest mentions on a website can give you large amounts of information, helping you track down people who think they’re “off the grid.”
Locating a person with hidden or outdated asset records
When dealing with collections and repossession, it’s not at all uncommon for people to hide or sell assets in an attempt to avoid being found by their connection to that asset. For example, a person may exchange their vehicle, sell their property to live with relatives, or even change the name under the title of their car in order to avoid being connected to the vehicle registration. When people go to these lengths to hide assets, it makes it incredibly difficult to find information on them. Even if you do, there’s a high chance it’s outdated.
In situations in which people are hiding assets or changing locations in order to avoid being located, it’s simply not enough to know what asset someone was connected to a few months ago. You need real-time updates as well as historical records to know exactly where that person was and predict where they might go in the future, as well as ensure right-party contact.
With Tracers, you can get real-time property information and motor vehicle registration, along with up-to-date asset records such domain registrations, aircraft records, vessel records, and more. This information can immediately notify you if someone changes the name under their vehicle registration, show you their current addresses or phone numbers, or even link them to potential relatives in case they’re no longer living on their own.
So no matter how hard people may try to fly under the radar and avoid being connected to an asset, a public records database like Tracers with real-time property and vehicle updates and comprehensive asset records can help you find them.
Locating people isn’t easy, and it’s a whole lot harder when people don’t want to be found. But with investigative research software like Tracers, you can leave old skip tracing problems in the past and stay one step ahead of the person you’re trying to find.