"Skip tracing" is one of the terms used in the business of finding missing people. Professional skip tracers allege to be able to locate anyone, by using a vast array of methods.
Their major weapon is the social security trace. By using this method, skip tracers simply run the missing person’s social security number through credit bureaus. They get back header files from the person’s credit report. Header files can give a plethora of valuable information, including the missing person’s full name, address, and information such as date of birth and current employment. Until recently, “header files” were deemed public information under the “Fair Credit Reporting Act. ” However, the “Graham, Leach Act” limited their use to permissible purposes” like insurance, business/investment transactions, employment and litigation.
If given a “permissible purpose” – and skip tracers have the knack of getting them - they can run the social security traces through phone or computer and find people in an instant, since almost everyone uses credit these days.
In rare cases, where the skip tracer does not have the missing person’s social security number, a national identifier search” is used. This method employs the last-known name and address of the missing person.
Thus, the skip tracer's secret is to find people using credit bureaus’ files. However, not everyone is given this permission. You have to have a valid account with a well-known credit bureau; and credit bureaus generally only open accounts for particular types of businesses, like information professionals. You may hire the services of information professionals to do the job, but it comes with a fee.
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