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HuffPost Tech

Bounty-Hunting in a Digital World Is a Tough Game

Article Via:  HuffPost Tech


Skip tracing is a word that wasn’t too well known before the digital equations we have with the world came into being.

It was limited to fugitives and criminals on the run.

But today, with the technology turning into an inevitable aspect in human life, skip tracing is employed more than ever, to trace people who simply go ‘missing’ on their own accord, to either escape a debtor or something equivalent to that.

How does skip tracing work? For starters, this is an act that is performed ‘strictly’ by a professional though digital world may sometimes make it easy for a novice too. But to reach the logical end of a skiptracing mission, an expert would be the right person to do the job. Companies that deal with debt recovery, process serving, repossession agents and journalists too (sometimes) opt for skip tracing to track down a person who has gone underground.

It begins with the skip tracer collecting as much information as possible about the ‘subject’ who has to be traced down to his/her current habitation. The information that has been made available with the government agencies and family members is analyzed, reduced and then verified for its credibility.

The job of a skip tracer begins at the point where tangible information ends. So, if a person has left behind digital trace, how and where would he/she be? Ensuring the person is brought to book or is the information regarding the person’s presence in a particular place, is a skip tracer’s job. So is a skip tracer a private detective then? Yes and no.

Because, a skip tracer is not working on a person who exists. His or her job begins from the point where the person has gone missing since, may be, a few years before the case lands on the desk. Primarily though both a detective and a skip tracer seem to be doing the same job, the difference lies in the detail.

For instance, how do you begin your search for a person who is believed to have been dead? Or faked his suicide or death with the properly organized help of family members, and has vanished without leaving a trace?

When working on cases, a skip tracer can never be restricted to a physical appearance or one state or even a single country while hunting down the ‘wanted’ person. With Satellite phones, digital images, CCTV cameras all over the place, hiding forever or being on the run today is much tougher than it was before. But then, people who actually resort to such acts are really a tough cookie!

In such cases, skip tracers could very well be qualified hacks, a geek, intuitive, with a sharp nose and always on guard to trace down the person to the residence. All this and much more is needed to be employed while skip tracing a person, within a short span of time – just before he/she makes another move!

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