How to Find Someone’s Employment
Make no mistake – finding where someone works is not easy. Especially if you don’t live in the same area/city. Basically, you have just two choices: find the information yourself – or hire someone to perform the search for you. Here at Skip Trace Pros, we no longer perform Employment Locates, and will always recommend that you try and do it yourself first. I’m going to explain the difference between the two.
First, the reason we no longer do them: the short answer is that they’re way too expensive and unreliable. There is no magical database anymore that has this type of information. Sure, the Social Security Administration probably has it, but it’s unlikely that they’ll give you any information. Secondly, we’re a National Skip Tracing Company. It’s impossible for us to physically follow someone. Not gonna happen. And thirdly, conducting these types of searches falls into a bit of legal gray area. There’s the GLB and all that legal business. I’m not going to go into the finer points of the GLB and pre-texting and all that. I’ll save that for another post.
Doing it yourself. Much easier, and certainly a lot less expensive. This usually works best when you live in the same city/area where your debtor lives. As far as I know, there is no law against you trying to follow them to work. Of course, you need to find out where they live first, but once you do that, it’s relatively easy for you or a friend to sit around the corner of their residence and follow them.
Before you even start, make sure to obtain some basic information about your Subject. Obviously, their full legal name and address. Probable phones, too. Hopefully you also have their full Social Security Number and Date of Birth. Very helpful. Read this post that I wrote on “Legal Bank Locates.” There’s a lot of information in there that also applies to Employment Locates.
If you have a Judgment against them, and I’m assuming you do, then this gives you the legal right (permissible purpose), to obtain a credit report. Simply write to the “Big 3” Credit Reporting Agencies. Send a certified copy of your Judgment and you should be good to go. You might be able to ascertain their current employment, but we’ve found that it’s usually old information.
Find out where they live – and follow them!
Hiring someone to do it. We don’t recommend doing it this way, and here’s why:
When trying to determine someone’s place of employment, and you decide to use some sort of “Employment Verification Service” to do it for you – beware. Keep in mind that you’ll have to supply them with information on your Debtor which may or may not be a violation of the GLB or the FDCPA, etc. Not good. That’s pretty much why we don’t do it. We also don’t wish to be involved in any sort of pre-texting.
There are some websites out there like “The Work Number. ” They can be useful, but it seems like their information can only be obtained by those with permissible purpose also. We’re not sure about that, but since we don’t perform these types of searches we really haven’t looked into it. They usually only deal with people that have a legal or business reason to obtain the information. It’s pretty simple though. Supply them with your Debtors information and they’ll check there records. It will cost you, of course.
And then there’s the “Information Brokers.” These guys advertise all over the internet about how they “Find a Person’s Employment.” I’m not going to go into what their process is for conducting their searches here. I’ll leave that for another day. Let’s just say that most of them involve a lot of not-so-gray area techniques. They’ll probably charge you up front anywhere from $50.00 – $500.00. It’s been my experience that the returned information is out of date in inaccurate.