Background Check and Skip Trace Skills overlap for Private Investigators.

When you’re skip tracing, you are developing a lot of information while trying to find the person who skipped. You’re looking at a variety of sources of information. When you do background checks you have the same type of thing going on although your objective is different.

With background checks, you may have a client who wants to know things about criminal history. Or they might want to verify a previous address. Those types of things are very specific background information, but with skip tracing you’re trying to actually find the person.

With a skip trace you may discover information about their criminal background. You may discover a little bit about their address history but that’s not the primary objective. Most of the time, the primary objective is to find an address where the person is staying.

You need to be able to find the same information for skip tracing and background checks. The difference is, with a skip trace, once you find the skip, you stop digging into his background.

Examples of information that can help you with both a background check and a skip trace are an addresses history and criminal records.

If you’re looking for a person, I can tell you that some of the things you’ll find in a criminal history are going to be pure gold for you. I’m not just talking about database searches. As wonderful as those are and as much as they can stream-line the process for you, they are not the end!

Just to know that a person got busted two years ago for picking a fight, aggravated assault, indecent exposure or whatever it might be, may not help you.

Even if the database gives you the address that the subject listed at the time of arrest, that may not be enough.

When you pull the actual criminal complaint, pull the arrest record and look at the mug shot, this type of information is very valuable and will give all sorts of clues.

When you’re looking for this person, who made bail for them two years ago?

If you got a buddy who’s good enough to make a bail for you at two o’clock in the morning because you smacked somebody in the head, that person probably knows where you are right now. As an investigator, I’m really interested in talking to anybody who might know where you are.

As you can see, background check and skip tracing skills really overlap.

If you want a shortcut to learning a lot of these tricks, tips and secrets, be sure to check out the lesson Detective Tricks in my course The Investigator’s Ultimate Guide to Process Serving or my bestselling book 51 Weird Private Investigator Tricks that Actually Work.

Of course, between the $3.99 ebook and the $400 process server course, you can find my Public Records Mini-Course for only $37!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Best Wishes,
Larry Kaye,
Private Investigator

2 thoughts on “Background Check and Skip Trace Skills overlap for Private Investigators.

  1. I’m a student in my grade eleven year in high school. I think that being a P.I. would be a really good job that I know I would like to take as a future career path. However, I am forced to get a college or university level degree. What would be recommended that could help in the future for being a Private Investigator. Like a Law course or Computer course?

    • Computer courses are valuable, of course, and a second language will always make you more valuable to employers.

      It may not seem like the easy thing now, but I highly recommend getting your degree for a couple of reasons.

      First, the people in your classes (and even your profs.) are the people you are “growing up with” in the investigative world. I don’t mean age-wise. I mean knowledge and experience-wise.

      You will be a peer with your classmates in school and a few years later you will still be their peer when you’re helping each other with cases. It’s pretty nice to know you can call a senior fraud investigator at a major bank when you have a question. Obviously, I am not talking about anything illegal or unethical but, when you’re stuck on a case, being able to call a friend and say, “I’ve got a routing number on a check but it seems to be to the wrong region. What do you think?” and having them tell you some common piece of info every bank investigator knows that you don’t (eg. what the fist few digits on the routing number really mean) can be invaluable.

      Or maybe a classmate ends up in the Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Or District Manager at some large international retailer. These are helpful friends and contacts to have. A lot of cases get solved that way.

      Secondly, the college degree opens doors. Is that a cliche? Yup. Is it true? Yup. ESPECIALLY when your starting out and have no experience.

      Also, don’t rule out working in Loss Prevention while you go to school. I did and it was my ticket in to P.I. work because I worked traditional Loss Prevention for the company but, also worked as an investigator putting together criminal histories on repeat offenders, address histories to prevent certain types of Theft by Deception and know associates for check fraud. (And many other things.)

      I hope this is helpful.

      Feel free to contact me any time.

      Best Wishes,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *