There may be a time in your life when you have to track someone down. This could be for personal reasons or for legal reasons i.e. a court case. You may just want to snoop around and be nosey! Whatever the reason, you should be aware of what you can legally do to find someone, and what options you have at your disposal to find your desired target.
It is important to understand what is against the law when trying to find someone in the UK before embarking on your search. What could you potentially be arrested for? The following is a list of tracing means a member of the public cannot do without potential legal action being taken if caught:
- Place a wiretap on someone’s phone
- Intercept someone’s personal mail
- Access government held records
- Access certain and special databases containing personal information
- Enter someone’s property without permission
As you will find out later, it is possible to do some of these things, but you would have to enlist the services of a private detective or law firm who can offer a person tracing service. If you are unsure if what you are doing is illegal, seek advice before you do it or hire a professional!
Simple methods anyone can use to track a person both online and offline
Now you understand what you cannot do, we can look at the myriad simple methods you can use to track a person within the realms of the law. It is surprising to see that you do not need extensive training to track someone – although the methods listed below are not guaranteed to work, they are relatively easy to do and could yield positive results:
1. Search social media platforms
In today’s modern society many people live their lives on social media. You can find out a decent amount of information about a person simply by trawling through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
2. Search through phone directories
Phone directories and products such as the Yellow Pages do still exist. Consider searching through directories such as these to see if your person has a listed telephone number and address.
3. Perform a Google Search
Have you ever tried “Googling” your own name? You will be surprised at the results! Why not try searching for your person through a search engine to see what information you can gather.
4. Visit their last known whereabouts
If you know your target’s last known address or place of work, you can simply go to that address and see if they are in. Whether or not they answer the door or agree to speak to you is an entirely different matter, however.
5. Contact their last known place of employment
This is still considered legal but may not yield any results. If you know where your target worked, you can always call their office. In most cases, a company will more than likely not provide any personal information about an employee but you could get lucky .
Hire the services of a professional tracing agent
If your sleuthing skills prove inadequate and you cannot locate your target, do not despair! It is possible to hire the services of a firm such as Diem Legal that specialises in Tracing and Process Serving. A tracing agent and process server both specialise in tracking individuals, and if necessary, serving them important documents. Furthermore, such firms have access to databases and documents not widely available to the general public. Finally, organisations such as these can help obtain warrants to search premises and get approval for other surveillance methods in some cases.