In the previous two issues we have looked at and discussed the various ways a person can elude and evade a tracer and what the tracer must do to counteract those efforts. In this issue we will go even deeper into the fascinating world of a runner’s psyche and take a look at how they can earn money without being tracked.
I have often stated we track people by the four things they must have to exist in today’s society: food, shelter, transportation, and money. In this issue we will delve into the fourth item, money, for in order to obtain the first three trace items the runner must have the fourth. The traditionally accepted way people obtain the fourth is to get a job and work for it. Unless the runner has accumulated enough money to live on without working or has another source of funds, they will have to resort to one of two tactics: beg on a street corner or seek some type of employment to earn money.
So where do we look for our errant runner? How do we thwart and counteract their attempts to conceal themselves while earning enough money to live on? I urge professional tracers to look closely at the person’s previous lifestyle. We are all creatures of habit and seek a comfort level in all areas of our lives including employment. Look at where the runner previously worked, what did they actually do and how often did they change jobs. Try to establish a flow chart showing this information as well as the physical direction of travel over the past 5-10 years. This can easily be accomplished through the use of data providers which show previous addresses and dates of residence. Once you have established employment habit patterns and direction of travel you may have to get down to some basic old fashioned skip work. Use the Internet to locate related employment sectors in the area where you suspect the runner has relocated and use the method taught below to seek them out.
Through the years I have found many people by checking with not only related employment sources but also temp services in the city where I suspect the runner has relocated. Today, verification of employment is a fairly simple task consisting of three steps.
1) Google the related employment sources and temporary employment agencies in the given city.
2) Call the agencies and request to verify the person’s employment.
3) Do not ask if the person works there. Step three is very important and you must use your neurolinguistic programming skills if you wish to be successful. Follow the procedures below for success.
Do not use a salutation such as “good morning” or “hello” when the phone is answered. Simply ask for HR. The majority of temp agencies will not have an HR department and the person answering the phone will ask if they can help you.
It makes one feel good to be able to help and you are giving them the opportunity. Next use the phrase “I just need to verify employment on John Doe.” Be sure to use the word “just” which minimizes the importance of the request and use the name of the person you are tracking. This creates the perception of prior knowledge. Nothing is 100% in our line of work but this will greatly increase your chances of getting the information you need. Since September 11th temp companies, all companies for that matter, keep very good records on the people they hire and verify the information the applicant has provided. The information you might be able to obtain, if you ask, is current address, phone number, location of employment and hours of work. All this data is just another piece in the puzzle you are trying to solve. By the way, a silver tongue comes in real handy when using these techniques.
Many times I have located people using this technique and by exploring jobs easier to obtain like telemarketing, phone survey companies, customer service, and even collection agencies. Also check janitorial services, food service, and manual labor forces. Many times the runners work for cash only and put advertisements in newspapers for painting, mowing, and handyman work. Check out the want ads and look for your runner’s first name.
Try these techniques, master your neurolinguistic programming skills and we will meet again in the next issue.
Ron Brown is a member of the National Association of Fraud Investigators and the author of “MANHUNT: The Book.” Contact him at