There are a lot of myths surrounding private investigators. The media plays them out to be hackers who tap into phones and record information on their subject. In reality, a skip trace investigator has certain limitations. But that doesn’t mean they can’t help you with a variety of services, and they always find a way to get the job done.

There are times when a skip trace investigator needs to track someone or collect information on certain people. When it comes to that point, they will use these 5 reliable tools.

  1. Investigative Database

There is actually a database that private investigators use to gather information on their subjects. This database gathers information from a variety of sources, including ones mentioned below.

  1. Court Records

This is especially vital if the subject has a history, or suspected to have a history, of criminal activity. Private investigators also have access to lawsuits and charges imposed on their subjects.

  1. Public Records

This is general information collected on the individual. Investigators collect information such as business records and property transactions. Private investigators will usually check this database if the subject has warrants for their arrest. Unpaid child support or alimony might also pop up.  Surprisingly, this source isn’t a go-to for private investigators; this information isn’t easy to access, even for an investigator. For this information, a private investigator usually uses their database.

  1. Social Media

This is one of the easiest ways to trace anyone.  You don’t even need to be a skip trace investigator to find out where someone is, they simply post about it and tag their location. Private investigators use this source when they need to find someone or the subject is accused of immoral or illegal activity. Contrary to popular belief, a private investigator can’t hack into your social media. If a subject’s profile is private and they don’t post a lot of information, a skip trace investigator can’t rely on their social media profiles.

  1. Surveillance

This is the stereotypical but exciting role you see in films: when a private investigator follows their subject. They do this in many ways — the most popular one is when a PI follows their subject in their car or parks outside of their home.  Surveillance is another common skip tracing method; this is done by installing cameras, tracking their vehicle, and even interviewing neighbors. A less luxurious skip tracing method is digging through trash.

Whether it’s information regarding your appearance or your criminal past, a skip trace investigator has access to your information. A private investigator is experienced and willing to help you when no one else will. While there are still limitations, a private investigator will do what they can to get their job done and to serve justice.