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Three Skip Tracing Tips to Help You Locate a Missing Person

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We’ve all typed the name of someone we once knew in the search bar of Facebook or Instagram from time to time, curious as to what they are up to these days. While mostly harmless, what if you needed to find that person? Perhaps they skipped town because of a debt, maybe they need to be contacted for an important legal matter, or who knows? They could be a long-lost member of your family.

Skip tracing is simply defined as the process of finding a person’s whereabouts. With plenty of online resources, it can be difficult to know where to start when you are looking for someone. So, what are some skip tracing techniques? Try following these three tips to help you get your search started.

Have a Plan

While it might be easy to type a name into a search bar and hit enter, finding a missing person is not going to be that easy. Start by identifying the most recent information you know about them, like their name or address, ensuring the spelling is correct. Ensure you have a couple of search options available in case your initial search does not come back with optimal results or concrete findings. 

Start Broad

There are plenty of free online resources to help you find a person. Be certain that you are using them to the best of your ability, like narrowing your search results on Google by using punctuation in the search bar. Try looking for leads on various databases like genealogy websites or white pages.

Verify Your Results

Once you’ve found a lead, maybe even the person you are looking for, be sure to verify your results through the other databases you have been using. Accuracy is key, especially when you first reach out to connect or are sending a notice in the mail.

While skip tracing on your own is possible, it can be a lengthy process with dead ends and inaccurate results. At the Smith Investigation Agency, we pride ourselves on the ability to find those who don’t want to be found. Using our years of experience and cutting-edge techniques, we can get you accurate results in a timely manner. Our process is completely legal, and our private investigators are certified professionals prepared to help you find who you are looking for. Ready to start skip-tracing for a missing person? Contact us to learn more about our servi

About the Author

Whitney Joy Smith

Founder of The Smith Investigation Agency in 2014, Whitney Joy Smith’s extensive background as a private investigator is matched only by her passion for the role. A graduate of several respected institutions, including Northwest Florida State College and George Brown College, her early years in life were spent between Canada and the United States. This education, along with her formative years as a private investigator in various agencies, informed much of her knowledge of private investigative laws, regulations, and operating standards in both countries.


The recipient of numerous industry awards and accolades, including the Consumers Choice Award, Best in Ottawa, and many others, Whitney takes pride in working closely with her ever-growing agency to raise the bar, maintain compliance, and meet the investigative needs of clients. Whitney is active in various membership and supporting roles, including the CPIRC, CBN, CAPI, Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and many others. Her experience-driven, thought-provoking articles have been featured in everything from Readers Digest to Business News Daily, and she strives to continually redefine standards for those in the private investigative and security fields. Learn more about Whitney and the team at The Smith Investigation Agency today.

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