Skip Trace Seminar EXCLUSIVE by Robert Scott

Skiptracing through Family Members
By Robert Scott, PI & CEO,

So what happens when your favorite people search service fails to find an update? You’ve run the subject of your investigation by name and SSN and he or she still doesn’t have a fresh address showing up. There are countless options but the one that stands above all others is skiptracing through family members. Because unless your Subject is living the single life, he must not only successfully hide himself but also his entire family — not an easy task.

Our first approach is not to simply identify family members, but rather to identify family members that have a history of living with the Subject. The easiest way to do this is to do a people search of the Subject’s LKA (Last Known Address) and see if a spouse, parent or other family member can be identified. If so, then run the family member through your favorite people search to see if a new address comes up. Of course if it does, the Subject’s use of the address will have to still be verified as well through additional phone or field investigation.

If your Subject is a “Millennial” — a young adult up to their early thirties — there’s another place that needs to be checked as well. Mom and Dad’s house. A recent study by the US Department of Education found nearly 25% of 26 year olds are now back living at home.  Considering this is a quarter of all people this age, the home of the parents must be verified or eliminated as a possible residence.

Next comes a group of prolific info leakers that can spill more information than the Exxon Valdez spilled oil: Teenagers. Data services like my own Skip Smasher often do a pretty good job of identifying family members in people search results. But bear in mind, these can never include anyone under 18. This can often lull skiptracers into believing there is no one else in the household except those names shown. There’s nothing illegal in using public sources to identify those under 18. I’m talking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If the teens can be identified with a Twitter handle, I first and foremost would go to and run their handle. If their tweets have geolocation enabled, Game Over — the site will show the exact location where their past tweets originated from. The family home will inevitably show up as a hotspot as the most used location.


Twitter hotspots on Tweets need to have geo-location enabled to have a visible location.

Twitter hotspots on Tweets need to have geo-location enabled to have a visible location.


Source: “99 Things Every Expert Skiptracer Knows (or Should Know)” skiptracing seminars presented by Robert Scott in March and April 2014 in Southern California. Article copyright 2014, Skip Smasher, Inc. All rights reserved.