Given the ease of access to online data and social media, it seems everyone thinks they can skip trace. In saying that, it is now heaps easier for anyone with basic computer skills to connect with and locate information on people. But so what?

Well, considering that most Skip Tracing is conducted for legal and recovery purposes, it’s critical you ensure the skip tracers you work with can guarantee and stand solid behind their results.

So here are a few key Facts and Fantasies surrounding the art of Skip Tracing.

1. Hit Rates: You will often see skip tracing companies spruiking hit rates of 90% plus. Whilst this may be possible with some clients’ files, it is not remotely possible on all. So we call FANTASY on this.

2. All clients are different: Of course, every client is different irrespective of industry. The service you provide on a daily basis is often structured to meet your client’s needs, and often with different outcomes. Skip tracing is no different. The same basic investigation often yields different results based on the information the client provides. So Skip tracers need to be flexible and responsive. FACT.

3. It’s down to the quality of the tracers, not the data: There are numerous types of data sources that can be accessed publicly by anyone. But it’s the data sources you pay for that are often the key to any Skip Tracing investigation. The key factor here is the skip tracer being able to interpret the data and deliver it to you in mutual formats. With courts now allowing more alternative methods of service via orders, it is even more important that you engage a Skip Tracer who can deliver the information in a format acceptable to the courts. FACT.

4. Time restraints: Clients often ask for turnaround times. This may be for very good reasons, like impending court dates, and so on. The issue is, do you want to find someone or not? Some files can often be over two years old before your investigator gets to see them. So if you want a quick turnaround, then you get what you deserve – a rushed job and below average results. I am sure your clients will be happy to be patient if it helps the case or recovery results. We call FANTASY on time restraints.

5. Anything you got, we want it…’ Roy Orbison was almost right. If you have information on your files on a person of interest, then please share it with your Skip Tracing team. Don’t hold anything back, even if you consider it irrelevant. It may just turn out to be that small piece in the puzzle that brings the whole investigation together. We appreciate it can’t be helped sometimes, but there is nothing most frustrating to any investigator or Skip Tracer than to receive a crucial piece of information after completing a file. FACT.

So what’s the message in all this? Just don’t go it alone. Engage a professional. You’ll be grateful you did.

Steve Wallis
Managing Director
SWA Recovery & Investigation
T: 1300 557 864

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