How do tracing agents work?

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People employ the services of professional tracing agents for a wide variety of personal, financial and business reasons; it could be that you have a friend or family member that you have lost contact with or who has gone missing, and you are concerned about them and want to check on their wellbeing and safety or need to pass on important information like a family bereavement. Some people need to trace a person who owes them money and has fallen off the radar; they need to find this person in order to address the issue of the debt or to initiate legal proceedings against them. It may be that a person or company are already in legal proceedings over a matter related to business, assets or family and the respondent has disappeared; to serve the missing person with legal papers they will need to first be found or proceedings will be unable to reach any kind of satisfactory conclusion.

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The current population figure for the UK stands at 66,435,600; trying to find someone, particularly someone who does not want to be found and is actively avoiding detection, amidst this number of individuals is a monumental task. It requires significant training, skill, knowledge and resources to find a person at all against these odds and absolute expertise to find a person within a short timescale.

Professional tracing agents are not only able to find the most elusive of missing or absent persons; they are able to achieve this in a short timescale, often within a matter of days, or even hours. You may be wondering how they manage to find someone who has been so well hidden, and how do they find them so quickly? You may even be asking yourself if they can do it than surely so can I and save myself the cost of hiring a professional?

Professional tracing agents find people for a job; it is what they do all day, every day. They have the time to dedicate that amateur searcher, or those wishing to find someone for their own personal reasons, do not have due to work, household, family etc commitments. Professional tracing agents can dedicate themselves to finding someone on a full-time basis which already places them at a significant advantage. Also, due to doing this as their job, and on an everyday basis, they build up a wealth of experience and knowledge around what works and what doesn’t work, where to look, who to ask, the subtle signs and hidden indicators to look out for. This is their bread and butter and becomes second nature to a professional tracing agent over time.

Professional tracing agents also usually arrive at their tracing vocation from a background within previous military, government or police employment. This experience will have already equipped them with knowledge, training and skill sets, as well as the aptitude and perspective necessary for the role. 

Tracing agents then complete further training and qualification necessary to ensure that not only do they have the most up to date knowledge to make full use of ever developing resources and technology, but that they always operate within legal frameworks and obtain and share information legitimately, including being fully compliant with laws relating to data protection and credit records. Professional tracing agents need to have awareness of and fully adhere to legislation including The Data Protection Act 2018, The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and The Human Rights Act 1998 and to also comply with criteria stipulated by the Credit Services Association (which relates particularly to the tracing of absent debtors). 

Professional tracing agents do not rely on electoral roll or census information that would be utilised by private individuals to find a person, or by amateur or online “find someone for free” type searches. People who do not want to be found or are not able for whatever reason to have control over their own personal information and records easily evade tracing through these methods and can go undetected. 

Professional tracing agents have access to files and records that are not available in the public domain such as government and credit referencing databases; these are records that are not easily able to be changed or have your name removed from, and they hold information that is current and up to date. Access to this type of record and information, and the skill, experience and knowledge of how to use it, is essential to the successful tracing of a missing person and a keystone in the work of professional tracing agents.

Professional tracing agents will leave no footprint during their search enquiries and the details of your trace will remain entirely confidential.

Professional tracing agents also use skills and techniques beyond online or record searching and will often be trained private investigators, meaning they have knowledge and experience in the fields of covert surveillance, reconnaissance and tracking. Agents can undertake physical activity to enhance their search for a missing person and to obtain robust evidence of the person having been located such as photographs.

Due to their level of training and skill set, professional agents will undertake activities such as door knocking, neighbour, community and employment enquiries as well as surveillance in a discreet manner that ensures that they, and the details of your trace, remain absolutely confidential and that their search methods are ethical and legitimate. Professional tracing agents will travel widely to wherever they need to go to ensure the correct person has been located and the details that they provide for this person are the most current and accurate.

Where possible they will also obtain photographic evidence to provide proof and reassurance that the right person has been found and that they are resident at the location provided.

There are occasions that professional tracing, sadly, determines that a person has passed away. In these instances, professional tracing agents will utilise their information accessing and physical search skills to confirm that this is the definite truth and to identify the last residence of the deceased and information pertaining to this and their death so that action required can be taken by the person requesting the trace.

In summary, professional tracing agents use an arsenal of knowledge, experience, training and skill sets as well as access to resources, technology and information records not available within the public domain to trace a missing or absent person. They have the time, experience and network to undertake this in a targeted and efficient manner that achieves results where amateur searches would not and within timescales that would not be possible for a non-professional or inexperienced person. Whilst it is tempting to consider tracing a person yourself, this is an inordinate amount of work for an individual to undertake and akin to finding a needle in 40 haystacks rather than just one!

Amateur person tracing can be an extremely long and fruitless process and can be extremely stressful, frustrating and disappointing, especially where an individual is emotionally or financially invested in finding a missing person or when timescales are short or the need to find is urgent.

Professional tracing agents actually charge relatively low costs for person tracing when the amount of work that goes into this is considered and for approximately £350 to £450 you can relieve yourself of the extensive labour that goes into a person search and have the reassurance that your trace will be conducted in an efficient, legally compliant and ethical manner and, most importantly, will achieve results in finding the person you need to locate. 

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