Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve certainly seen one of those Internet ads: “find your old classmates” and “click this banner.” But do these systems really work?
I’m not going to say a that all of these firms provide a service that is substandard. Because many of them do try very hard to locate the individual in question. They even do occasionally have a success story or two.
The only problem with contacting some of these companies is that due to licensing and data access constraints, they just don’t have the resources to do the job in most instances. And frankly, most of what they are capable of, you could do yourself for free. You may not get the results that you want, but at least you’ll save yourself that credit card fee that would have been on next month’s statement. All for nothing but a little of your time. And with a little bit of luck, that small time investment COULD pay off.
By using the methods that these firms use, you may be able to locate someone really very quickly. Sometimes these techniques are right under your nose.
The very first place to start is the most obvious.
If you’re reading this article, there’s a 99.9% chance that you own or have access to a computer. Search engines can be a wonderful tool for locating an individual. Use the larger search engines to your advantage. Start by simply putting in the person in question’s name. Almost all search engines also have an advanced search feature where you can add other parameters to your search. So by using these tools, you can add all of the information known to you. Once in a while, you’ll come up with a direct hit. Sometimes even the whole enchilada. Name, Address, Phone #, etc. You can even use the Google map for directions!
So my advice to you is to always start there. It’s the least expensive, most accessible method available to the general public.
There are also a few other methods that the average Joe can use to do a skip trace themselves.
Here are just a couple.
One great method to use in order to locate that long-lost lover or old chum from high school is to simply call any of your old friends that you know had contact with them. You would be surprised to find how many people are still in touch. Occasionally, it can be just that simple. No magic there. A simple phone call and your search is over.
Another avenue for your people search is to beat the sidewalk. If you happen to still live in the town where you knew the person originally, visit the old neighborhood, and any old friends or acquaintances that you can find that still live there. You can also just knock on the doors of the Skip’s old neighbors. Ask questions. Lots of them.
Many people love to gossip. If you live here in Boston, you know all too well! Often, you’ll find willing candidates that will gladly give you the latest scoop on the person you’re trying to locate. Once in a while, someone will grab a piece of paper and give you everything you need. On the spot.
Another method you can use is send a letter to the person you are trying to find to their last known address.
However, some exact phrasing must be present on the letter in order for this to be successful. You must, I repeat, absolutely must, write in larger bold letters above the person’s address these words: “ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED, DO NOT FORWARD. NOTIFY SENDER OF NEW ADDRESS.” If the person has filed a change of address card, many times the post office will simply send the letter back to you with the new address on the letter. This is a trick that is not known by many and often will let you know exactly where you’re skip trace is now residing. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s exhilarating to know that you accomplished your search for less than the price of a cup of coffee!
A word of caution. It can be dangerous, attempting to locate someone that you have not spoken to for many years. People often change, their lives change and their situations also change. You never know what their world is like currently, nor do you know what you’re getting yourself into. Walk lightly, and be very careful. There are many cases where people have been seriously injured and even had their lives taken by attempting to contact someone from their past. Please be careful. We suggest that if you know, or even think, there is the possibility of danger, PLEASE contact a professional to handle the search for you.
Word of caution. I have been trained to handle these situations, and much, much more. Many times, it’s not the situation itself, but the unseen that can cause problems. I am trained to handle these instances. We know that you want to find this person, but for peace of mind and personal safety, we always suggest that you contact someone that specializes in the field. Let us free up your time, provide for your safety and use our expertise to make every attempt at realizing your goal and locating the person in question.
As I mentioned above, there are many databases available for searching in order to locate someone that has long since moved away. However, one of the benefits of being a licensed investigator in the state of Massachusetts is that I also have access to databases that are not accessible by the general public. This gives me the edge necessary to provide you with results. After a quick consultation, you’ll also see that this is quite affordable.
Sometimes, even less than what you see in those self-help kits advertised on television or online. Consultation is always free. So if you are looking for someone, take just a minute and call my office. It only takes a few minutes, and we may be able to help you decide what avenue is best for you. We do have some excellent success stories, and my firm could help you locate that part of your life that you miss so much. So don’t lose any more precious time. Click the link below to visit my website.