Shifting methods in collecting information for skip tracing

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skip tracingFinding an individual who has gone missing without a trace can be challenging. The situation can be a “needle in a haystack” scenario.

The individual may be a key witness in an ongoing investigation, be aware of a pending court case, or simply owe too much money to several people. In other cases, an individual may not be in hiding, but is simply difficult to find due to incomplete and abstract information.

The pursuit of these people is referred to as skip tracing, a job that is processed in multiple steps and needs in-depth analyses.

The job frequently entails discovering more information about a person than just their address and phone number or email address, such as property and residence records, criminal histories, legal histories, and even social media accounts.

Law firms, insurance companies, and debt collectors are just a few of the businesses that use skip tracing to locate people for various reasons. Skip tracing issues have become the norm for many businesses.

Some concrete examples of cases that entail the use of skip tracing are:

  • When a vendor fails to pay its dues to its partner and escapes without notice.
  • When a merger and acquisition transaction goes wrong because one of the major stakeholders is a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) with a bad reputation.
  • When an individual lies about an accident/incident to take advantage of their insurance policy.

Skip tracing, from dumpster diving to deep web browsing

In order to identify the target, the process begins with the collection of as much data on the subject as possible. The information is then examined, condensed, and verified.

Gathering information can be done through several methods. In the past, skip tracing jobs would necessitate activities such as dumpster diving and interviewing resources.

But recently, most skip tracing has been done online and is more popularly conducted using paid databases to obtain and validate information. Also, skip tracing has become easier, thanks to Facebook as well as other contemporary social media platforms.

Other than the above, using open-source intelligence (OSINT) can also be powerful in the earlier steps of a skip tracing case. The objective and function of OSINT are to discover information about an asset while adhering to the law.

The information is often a combination of social media, internet archives, and deep web information. It is, in simple terms, the entirety of online databases which are not easily accessible or hidden to the general public, for instance, the information behind paywalls, members-only platforms, or plain old programming data.

Oftentimes, extracting information becomes more than simple research. To support OSINT, an expert must also master in social engineering techniques to gather information from former neighbors or other known contacts to inquire about the subject

Experience in skip tracing

Skip tracing requires the use of numerous records and information. Some of these records may be available to the public, but others may require a valid search warrant or reason.

Therefore, the key to successful discovery generally boils down to gathering accurate information that intelligence skill is required, such as being able to interview resources from diverse backgrounds, being emotionally strong and persistent, and having great problem-solving skills to analyze and evaluate information from different sources, and other skills that are acquired through experience and professional training.

Integrity Asia, for more than two decades, has been trusted by clients from various business backgrounds as a provider of compliance services, including skip tracing. Our experts are trained and experienced in sourcing and extracting information with various methods tailored to the needs of clients.
Should you require further information about skip tracing services, do not hesitate to contact us.

 


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