How do Tracing Agents work?
Specialist Tracing Agents have access to an extensive range of databases not available to the general public and many other resources to gather information. The information they obtain from these databases can include full names, dates of birth, past or linked addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.
The information obtained is then systematically worked by a tracing agent and may also include internet searches and telephone calls until a confirmed current address is obtained for the missing individual. They usually try to obtain a second form of confirmation that the address is current and correct by speaking to the subject directly or a neighbour or other local source. You must provide a legitimate debt related or beneficiary reason to trace the individual via certain databases.
How much does a tracing agent cost?
Fees to instruct a tracing agent will vary greatly depending on the amount of information you already have such as full name, last known address and date of birth. The more information you can provide the cheaper the quote will be. As long as you can provide a valid debt or beneficiary reason to trace, fees can vary from £75 plus vat to £350 plus vat per instruction.
Fees may be at the pricier end of the scale if the specific enquiry is complex, fraud is involved or its overseas. Usually tracing agents work on a fixed fee basis and you can obtain a quote beforehand. Discounts can be offered for regular and volume instructions sent per month, usually from law firms, debt collection agencies and banks. Tracing agents also tend to work on a ‘No Trace No Fee’ basis, which means if the company is unable to trace an address for the subject, then there will be no fee.
Before you instruct a Trace Agent and if you have the time, there is a lot you can do for free such as:
- Search Engines such as Google, Firefox, Safari, etc:
Play around with all the information you have using various combinations of the subject’s name and email address or name and town or name and telephone numbers.
- Social Media Sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter:
Search using the name, telephone numbers and email addresses. Since the facebook data privacy scandal in 2018, it appears that searching for names using telephone numbers is not as successful because the users have to give permission for their telephone numbers to be used in that way.
Search using their name and if there are too many results try narrowing down by using an extra piece of information such as employer name separated by a comma eg; Joe Bloggs, Microsoft.
- Companies House:
Most countries have an agency, usually run by the government, who act as the registrars for companies. This information is usually publicly available.
- Land Registry:
You can request the title of the property and find out who owns an address.
- Obituary & Death Notices:
You can search online using the name ‘Joe Bloggs’ and the words ‘deceased’ or ‘obituary’.
- Genealogy Websites:
Use the Genealogy websites when you are looking for family members or are trying to create your family trees.
If the above fails please fill out a contact form or phone 01937 831290 to find out more.
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