Always in view: You are also being tracked thanks to the universal location system for finding fugitives

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) – No one said paying the bills was easy.

But when debtors go missing, there are ways to find them – but it also saves your locations.

“We like to say we can gather more information about you than you know about yourself,” said Andrew Scott, CEO and owner of Colorado Springs-based Trailfinder, Inc.

Trailfinder is a litigation services and private investigation agency that uses a variety of methods to track down people who have left town – disappeared – without paying their dues. One of these methods is called skip tracing.

A process server attempts to deliver documents to a person of interest

It’s not a simple Google search or a $19.95 “Finder of People” site pulling up outdated information. This specialized software costs over $1,500 a month and retrieves loan headers that contain information such as current addresses on utility bills, social security numbers, and loan application information. It scrapes information from the Department of Motor Vehicles, marriage and divorce records, and home purchases.

So why is skip tracing necessary?

Maybe an ex-spouse isn’t paying alimony or child support, or lying to the courts to get custody, or giving false information about where they work and how much they make: That’s where Scott comes in to do a little digging.

“People can easily argue in court that they don’t work, work less, or are medically disabled, whether they work, how much they work,” says Scott.

But what if you do everything right – pay all your dues?

They are still being followed – but not always wanted. And how you’re being followed might surprise you.

Scott explains that not only is our digital fingerprint traceable, so is our facial recognition.

Tiny cameras—not the bubble security cameras we’re used to—logging as we enter and exit stores. This information is then stored in the camera manufacturer’s database. They are becoming increasingly common in big box stores and fast food restaurants.

Also traceable are the GPS locations of your parked car – accessible to Skip Tracers. The information is collected via repo trucks and law enforcement license plate readers. All information is also stored in a database.

“If you shop at Walmart regularly, you live in this area, then we would know what religion you are, and we could find you at this church every Sunday, we could know what store you work at,” says Scott.

Can Skip Tracers search anyone?

The capacity is there, but not kosher, according to Scott.

“We are not allowed to use this software out of pure curiosity.”

Each company behind the skip tracer software conducts an audit that asks investigators why they searched. But until now, there is no government oversight to add another layer to this protection.

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