My job essentially entails locating individuals (and collateral) who are hiding. My means of locating individuals involve social engineering, databases, and social media. Think of Dog the Bounty Hunter but from behind a desk and without all the trashiness. Ask me anything!

Proof: (sorry I need to black everything out for security purposes because I ruin people's lives)

Edit: Proof with user name added.

Edit #2. For those of you who are PMing me about how to get into the business, allow me some time to respond to you individually. It takes some time to gather information about your specific state. Please do not think I am rude or ignoring you.

Edit #3: Thanks for everyone who asked questions! I didn't think there would be this much curiosity about my job! For now I'm done answering questions and will slowly be working through PMs I have received throughout the next few days.

Comments: 189 • Responses: 80  • Date: 

willtheyeverlearn30 karma

So many questions...

1) How long does it take to track a person on average?

2) If you wanted to go into hiding, what would you do to hide yourself from people like you?

3) Could you describe a common instance where you would use social engineering in your job? What method have you found most effective?

4) In the case of debt collection, how large would the debt need to be for you to get involved? How much commission/payment would you get? What's the largest amount owed by someone you found?

-LazarusLong-41 karma

  1. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes sometimes it takes months. One guy we have been looking for, I had been looking for him since February of this year and barely found him last week.

  2. Do not use credit cards. Do not contact any former family members or friends. Use a burner phone. Do not have ANY social media profiles. Do not have any utilities in your name or rent anywhere under your name. Do not vote. Do not take out any hunting or fishing licenses. Do not get any tickets, get arrested, or go to court. You REALLY have to be living off grid in order for me not to find you. You basically have to be homeless.

  3. A common instance is where we talk to family and friends. Family and friends ALWAYS give up the goods. We just sound friendly and like an actual human being and usually get all sorts of information from them. Ex wives/husbands/girlfriends/boyfriends are the best for this. This one along with a very specific database we use are the two most effective tools we use.

  4. I've seen them as little as $2,000. We get paid $500 per case we close in the office along with any bonus the clients offer us however the owner takes half of whatever we make. This means I make $250 per case I close. On a good week I've made $2,300 for one week worth of work. On a bad week I have made absolutely no money since I work on 100% commission. If we are just helping process servers we average about $60 per half hour of our time. Not me, but one of our other investigators was looking for a Dodge Viper valued at around $120K which she did successfully find.

Edit: Added some stuff.

malwareguy11 karma

Do not use credit cards, Do not have any utilities in your name, Do not take out any hunting or fishing licenses.

I work in information security / incident response / digital forensics and am extremely familiar with what data is / isn't available. None of the above data I highlighted is public in any way and would require a court order to obtain. Unless you're pretexting you'd have no way to access this data... and pretexting was made illegal..

So can you explain why use of a credit card, utilities, or taking out a hunting / fishing license would be an issue??

-LazarusLong-9 karma

The databases we use are 100% legal for skiptracing purposes. The main database we use is in fact a large staple in the skiptracing industry and clearly stipulates how we are allowed to use it. All of the data highlighted is actually sold to third parties (ie: our database provider). Some states have laws saying it cannot be sold, in which case we have no info on these individuals and have to resort to just tracking them down via phone and documents our clients have provided us. The data packets our clients give us often have this information included and in the contracts individuals sign it clearly states what information can be used to find them.

Edit: I should note that the main database we use although is the same tool some law enforcement agencies use, I imagine we are on a different levels of access. I don't know how they use the tool, just how we use it and what we can see. I assure you everything we do is 100% legal. No company in our industry would be operating if this was not the case.

Edit#2: The credit card information if you have negative reports, it will be listed on the data packets our client sends us. The hunting and fishing licenses are listed by state so we are able to find a general area that you live in.

malwareguy2 karma

Yes credit card companies sell data to advertisers and this ends up with various data brokers.. however I don't know of a single credit card company that doesn't heavily anonymize this data so you can't determine what purchasing records belong to a specific individual.

Really the only exception is if you were doing work for a law enforcement agency and they already had a court order out for the full account history on that individual. This does happen and would explain why you'd sometimes have credit card account details.

The data packets our clients give us often have this information included and in the contracts individuals sign it clearly states what information can be used to find them.

This makes a lot more sense.. and falls in line with what I've seen in the past.

No company in our industry would be operating if this was not the case.

Yes reputable businesses follow the rules, however there are a ton of shady businesses that exist in this space that don't. Many actually do things that boarder on violating existing pretexting laws or just outright violate the law..

-LazarusLong-7 karma

Yes, I know exactly what you mean. We don't actually know what the individuals buy just that they have an account open or owe a debt to a specific company along with an address and maybe a phone number. Nothing more.

As for the last part of your statement I have heard of companies doing this and can see why you say this. The reason we are recommended so much by word of mouth is because we always operate within the law, have such a good turn around, and have such a good rapport with even the individuals we look for. We are very successful in what we do for such a small company.

malwareguy2 karma

Ok.. the CC bits makes a LOT more sense now.. I read "Don't use credit cards" as active use of said card.. vs "Don't have credit cards" aka just having one.

I've known a few PI's / repo guys etc in my time that would pretext to get access to the CC purchasing history since this can readily give away location (store numbers / unique business names) or frequented establishments.. (A specific bar every friday after work) which means their vehicle may be on public property..

-LazarusLong-1 karma

My apologies for not clarifying earlier. I can see why my original statement was confusing.

Tamparockout172 karma

So that detective got commission based on the value of the Dodge?

If so what percentage?

-LazarusLong-4 karma

The investigator got such a shitty bonus on this car for the return on investment. The entire office was PISSED. We only made $1K for finding such an expensive unit.

Tamparockout171 karma

Damn that's under 1% the estimated value.

-LazarusLong-3 karma

Hence why we were so angry. We saved our client all of that money and they cheaped out on us.

username7539511 karma

That seems odd. Do you not agree to a fee beforehand?

-LazarusLong-2 karma

Generally our fee for this particular client is $500 flat rate for whatever they send us no matter what we are looking for. If it is a high ticket item they often include a "bonus" which the actual amount is not disclosed until after we find said item.

ceslek2 karma

You "barely" found him?

What does that mean?

-LazarusLong-2 karma

It means I recently just found out where he was hiding last week despite looking for him for 6+ months.

i23throw-13 karma

Whats hilarious is you've mentioned a few times how everything the business does is perfectly 100% legal.. but you have this one nugget in here.

On a good week I've made $2,300 for one week worth of work. On a bad week I have made absolutely no money since I work on 100% commission.

Not paying you at all is actually illegal and violates federal labor laws.. IF you have a job that's a commission only position and your total commission pays you less than minimum wage based on the hours worked the business MUST pay you the differential. In your case if you made $0 in commission they MUST pay you $7.25 per hour for each hour worked.. and if you worked more than 40 hours that week you may qualify for overtime.

So yes.. your business engages in illegal practices..

-LazarusLong-5 karma

No, the business does not. I'm an independent contractor and was brought on with that in mind. FLSA does not apply to independent contractors. I will reiterate we are 100% legit.

I will say that we will be going actual employee soon once the business gets off the ground. The arrangement we have now works for both of us for the time being. Being an employee vs an independent contractor both have their pros and cons.

rishi1315 karma

Which was your most difficult case ?

-LazarusLong-27 karma

Personally my most difficult one was locating a gentleman who had moved to a different state along with his wife. He left no forwarding info and I had no way to get a hold of him through the databases or phone numbers we had. Him and his wife did however have a Facebook which included public photos, but completely different states listed where they were living. I was able to locate them because his wife uploaded a photo of their new house which had only the number of the house. The wife's friend kept tagging the wife in halloween pictures but the wife's friend had a super common name. When I was looking through the wife's friend's husband's pictures I was able to see a partial dealer plate which helped me narrow the friends down to a specific city and state. When I looked up the friends up in our database I looked up their address in google maps and they had a very similar house number to the individual I was looking for. So I used the picture I initially found of the wife along with the street name of the friend and lo and behold I was able to locate them!

no_talent_ass_clown9 karma

Whee! That's my jam!! That "aha" moment :-) How did it make you feel, to put all those pieces together?

I actually followed you from the other thread to read your AMA.

-LazarusLong-20 karma

I felt so fucking boss! I actually took a shot of tequila, did a fist pump, and then a jump kick. The feeling is AMAZING when you connect the dots. Thanks for following!

Jpeezer841 karma

Dude yes. Love that feeling.

Student loan collector by trade. Creeper by nature.

adub88713 karma

As a former student with 21k in loans. Fuck you!

-LazarusLong-5 karma

You mad bro?

adub8877 karma

If I'm anything, I would say I'm college educated.

-LazarusLong-6 karma

I'm just busting your chops. I've got around 30K in student loans so I understand first hand where you're coming from! This $400 a month payment is no joke. it suuucccckkksss.

risingstars1 karma

Wait, so my years of Facebook/instagram/LinkedIn stalking can land me a job...

-LazarusLong-4 karma

Yes, yes, they can. You can make quite a good living at it too if you're good.

beardygroom1 karma

Could you give some insight on how to get into it?

I looked into it briefly a few years back and it mentioned needing to have experience to get a license to be an investigator; but you have to have a license to do it, so it felt impossible.

-LazarusLong-3 karma

If you qualify as a police officer or can work at a bailbonds place you can get experience this way. Doing volunteer police duty is a great way to get AWESOME experience.

2342342342434323413 karma

What does your average work day look like?

-LazarusLong-18 karma

I get to the office at 9am. I work my cases and make calls until about noon. I open a bottle of wine at noon, have lunch, and wait for calls to come in throughout the rest of the day. From about one pm to about five pm I'm talking to individuals and doing research in between. Depending on if we had a good day making money sometimes I leave at five or maybe a little earlier. If we're having a tough day or are having a good day (or sometimes no reason) we keep a bottle of tequila we do shots from throughout the day haha. I'm 100% serious. I also browse reddit all day between working my cases such as when I'm on the phone.

balducien3 karma

That sounds rather enjoyable

-LazarusLong-3 karma

It really is a great job. The people I work with are fun and we listen to music all day while working. Once we build up, we intend on bringing on more people.

StealthEagle13 karma

Do movies/reality shows/ documentaries portray your profession correctly?

-LazarusLong-19 karma

I haven't seen a single portrayal EVER that gets our job correctly. The First 48 sometimes I have seen them use the same tools that we use. One of the databases is the same one law enforcement uses if I am not mistaken.

username7539512 karma

I'm a fan of Airplane Repo, even if they're exaggerated reenactments. Do you have an opinion on that particular show? Just curious.

-LazarusLong-3 karma

I've never seen this show, but I've always wanted to watch it. I will make a note to watch it and report back my findings.

NorbitGorbit11 karma

which methods do people in your profession frequently use that would, if found out, land them in jail themselves, or at least on the wrong end of a lawsuit?

-LazarusLong-9 karma

We do not go to jail, but all sorts of dumb things can get us slapped with a lawsuit. For example in Massachusetts we cannot take collateral off of private property. If it is in your drive way, we are not allowed to take it. Anywhere on public property such as a street is fair game. In Louisiana for example, we have to get your permission to take your stuff. Laws vary from state to state but those are some of the dumbest that can land our agents in hot water.

NorbitGorbit3 karma

have you heard of anyone running afoul of any laws preventing decryption of data?

-LazarusLong-4 karma

I'm afraid I don't understand your question. If you provide an example or prefer to rephrase the question, I will be happy to answer this.

NorbitGorbit3 karma

If there's information you want online, but it is protected by a simple password (say the password is "password"), I suspect you might be running afoul of some laws if you attempt to get that data -- in practice is that an issue?

-LazarusLong-8 karma

That is 100% against the law. We don't use those methods. Most of the methods we use we either pay for or just use Google search. You would be surprised at what you can get just using Google!

Kronis18 karma

What's the craziest confrontation you've ever had? Any resources you don't mind sharing?

-LazarusLong-7 karma

We don't go out into the field. We stay behind a desk ALL day and do all of our work on computers and the phone. The craziest one I can think of is a murderer that we had to find. Apparently the guy had killed his wife and his son for insurance money. Although that wasn't the primary reason we went looking for him, we learned about all of this after the fact.

Edit: Answering second part of the question.

Most of the resources we use are proprietary. However most of the free stuff we use is Google and Facebook. You can find almost ANYTHING on just these two websites alone.

webdevborninthe90s7 karma

If you stay behind a desk all day, when you do locate someone what is the means of apprehending them?

Do you call the police or do you contact another bounty hunter for the physical part?

-LazarusLong-8 karma

We mainly focus on locating people and taking their cars, boats, RVs, motorcycles, etc. When we do work with the process servers/legal people, I am not 100% what happens after that. They just ask us for the information and we give it to them. On a few occasions our clients have had to involve the sheriff along with their legal department because they think they can get away with taking what does not belong to them. We mostly stay away from that though.

motivatingasshole2 karma

Hey, I'm expecting to be served(I refused to sign papers a certain state department sent me since it'll mean I did it{not a crime, baby mama}), would a bounty hunter go after me?

-LazarusLong-2 karma

Depending on how much someone wants to find you, they can. Baby mama can just hire someone like the "process servers" that use our services and we run the information to find you. We give the info to the process servers and then you get served.

mythriz7 karma

Thanks for your AMA, your job does sound interesting!

What are some common reasons for people to require your services, and what are the most interesting uncommon reasons they have needed it?

-LazarusLong-4 karma

The most common reasons are someone getting served with legal papers such as divorce papers, etc. or for us to help locate a specific item. We haven't really had any "uncommon" circumstances that I can readily think of. Sorry, I wish I had an awesome story for you!

motivatingasshole1 karma

What do you do if you find the person that is to be served? "Detain them" or just give them the papers?

-LazarusLong-3 karma

We do not physically go out in the field. We just get hired by the people who go out in the field. As far as I know the servers just give them the papers and go about their day.

ShittiusMaximus1 karma

A process server pretty much is a specific kind of mail man for a specific kind of registered mail. They deliver a notice that you are being sued or whatever. For a judge to rule against a party they need to have been served papers first outlining the specifics of the suit.

-LazarusLong-2 karma

Exactly. It sounds a lot more glamorous than it really is.

Karisma665 karma

Thank you for taking the time this morning for this AMA. I have always been interested in this type of work and do well with research. What does it take to get into this line of work?

-LazarusLong-10 karma

It doesn't take much, but some people are really not cut out for it due to the nature of not having a secure pay check. I would say 95% of people could not hack it because they want a steady pay check. Most people who do this either fall into it like I did, started out as an actual debt collector (I was a debt collector when I was 18 but quit because I hated the job), or start out in the bail bonds industry.

In my state, it doesn't take much. In other states you have to get licensed, insurance, incorporated, and all sorts of other crazy certifications and whatnot.

no_talent_ass_clown5 karma

How long have you been doing this and how long do you see yourself doing this work?

Pros and cons?

Could it be done remotely? As in, not in an office?

Do you always have work?

-LazarusLong-5 karma

I have been doing this since roughly November or December of last year. I do see myself doing this for a while. It's a great job and I love the people I work with. I was hired on with the explicit goal of helping expand the business. The owner wants to be able to make $25K a month minimum take home after labor and overhead. This is definitely feasible with the right people. Eventually I want to grow it to a point where I make $10K a month without even having to come into the office.

Pros: I have a set schedule, I spend more time with my family and friends, I can drink on the job, have all the tattoos I want, dress however I want, massive amounts of $$$ if I put in the effort, and not be politically correct.

Cons: Because I'm on 100% commission I can make ZERO money and get behind on my bills. Also no benefits.

Technically yes it could be done remotely but because sometimes we need a second set of eyes and we are always printing things, it is best to stay in the office. My goal is to eventually be able to do this from an RV anywhere in the country while traveling.

There is ALWAYS work. We have so much work that I'm behind on some of my files. Browsing Reddit doesn't help I imagine haha.

doughtyc5 karma

Is Joe Flacco an elite qb?

-LazarusLong-5 karma

He is in fact. I wish he played for the Cowboys!

jxke3 karma

How much are your services? I am trying to assist my mother in finding my little brothers Father. He's been MIA for 12 years. No Social media pages or anything I can find online. He just up and vanished one morning.

-LazarusLong-3 karma

Our costs range on the amount of work we have to do. If it is something easy we could charge as little as $60 or up to the thousands depending on the man hours.

phillyfanjd3 karma

How does someone become a bounty hunter?

-LazarusLong-2 karma

It really depends on the state. If you tell me your state, I would be happy to help point you in the right direction.

Edit: I will slowly answer these through out the next few days by the individual state since I've gotten so much interest.

Redrum013 karma

Is it true you guys work kind of on the knife's edge of the law, and would you call your job dangerous?

-LazarusLong-6 karma

I would say for us specifically we stay within the confines of the law however I have heard of other companies being VERY shady such as threatening people with arrest, threatening jail time, and such things. We are successful because we don't resort to these methods. We just talk to people like they are human beings and most of the time they realize the trouble is not worth it.

We are fairly safe due us being inside of an office where we have no signage. We also never disclose our real names or our physical location. In the event some crazy person does find us, I always have this strapped to my hip at all times.

I will say though that some of the agents (not us) we send in the field have been shot at and have guns pulled on them often.

Redrum013 karma

Are the agents you send specifically skilled or trained? Are they well armed? Or is it just Steve, the intern that nobody likes?

-LazarusLong-2 karma

Not really. Most of the agents we send are just regular Joe's. An "agent" is just a fancy word for "repo man". I never meet the agents we send so I can't tell you if they are armed or not.

mankind_is_beautiful3 karma

Who/what are you most glad you found?

Who/what are you most upset you didn't find?

-LazarusLong-2 karma

I'm glad I found the one guy via the public Halloween photos.

I'm still pissed at one lady I did not find who was posting photos of herself going to casinos, going shopping, and spending money on another fancy car. What makes it even worse is she worked for the government.

xampl93 karma

I just finished reading the first Jack Reacher novel. In it, he locates a hiding banker by deciding that he had taken the bus to the next town to the west, then spent the next few days working his way counter-clockwise to various towns at the same approximate distance from his home. Jack found him in a motel in Augusta by spending 25 minutes on the phone calling various motels and asking if they had a guest named "Paul Lennon" registered there.

Serious technique? Or bullshit?

-LazarusLong-7 karma

Serious technique. I wouldn't ask if a Paul Lennon was registered there though. I would ask to be transferred to Paul Lennons room at which point I would either be transferred or they would tell me he is not a guested registered there.

fuckthetide3 karma

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to do this. I am currently a process server but I have had some interests in going further up the chain in the terms of bounty hunting of something of the sort. What do you wish you would have know before you started this line of work?

-LazarusLong-3 karma

That's such a difficult question. I've had a wide assortment of jobs prior to this so they helped me IMMENSELY. If I had to pick just one thing, it would be learning multiple languages because I talk to so many different people. As it stands, I have understanding or speak fluently Fus-ha Arabic, English, Spanish, French, and German. It would be super helpful if I was able to learn Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese fluently.

ComicBookDad2 karma

Favorite Heinlein book (or story)?

Great username!

-LazarusLong-2 karma

Time Enough for Love and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls without question. I'm working on slowly obtaining his entire catalogue though!

I absolutely adore this man and his craft. Thank you!

cantmakeupcoolname2 karma

Do you idolize Boba Fett? Just kidding, I wondered what 'collateral recovery' entails. I'm not American so it might be something obvious ;)

-LazarusLong-2 karma

Boba Fett is actually my favorite Star Wars character!

Collateral recovery means we find boats, cars, motorcycles, planes, etc.

cantmakeupcoolname2 karma

Planes? Got a fancy story about that or was that just a random example? Thanks

-LazarusLong-2 karma

That was just a random example. I've never been hired to locate a plane, but that would be awesome if I did!

Edit: spelling

azzurro322 karma

Have you ever found someone and let them go because you felt bad?

I did skip tracing for a while. Our way to get their info was pretending to be a hiring agency and would send them a package to fill out (and we'd have their address that way). I found one of my targets and she was so excited to get a job since she was pregnant (offered her a light work from home job).

Anyways I fell bad since I didn't wanna cause her unneeded stress during pregnancy I threw her file away.

-LazarusLong-1 karma

I have not. If I let them go, that means food is not being put on my table. I'm not a monster and still feel bad, but the reality is we are in the business to find people and stuff. I have all sorts of stories about people having cancer, people's houses being foreclosed and them being laid off, and we still take their stuff.

lucid_walker2 karma

Hi and thanks for doing this. As someone interested in hacking and social engineering i have a couple of questions:

Can you name some of these databases? There are some books on skiptracing, can you recommend any? Any other good study material?

-LazarusLong-3 karma

I unfortunately cannot recommend specifics due to it being a competitive market and we have such a leg up on our competitors but I can recommend some reading material.

Look up the OODA Loop, The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker, the entire power series by Robert Greene, and general books on human behavior. They help you recognize patterns about people.

Sorry to be such a downer.

Disclaimer: In no way shape or form am I endorsing or helping support illegal activity. The information I have given is for research and lawful purposes only.

Renaxe2 karma

Have you ever met Dog the bounty hunter? If so, is he as great as he seems on TV?

-LazarusLong-2 karma

I have never met him, but I think it would be fun to meet him!

Ifrizza2 karma

You said in OP that you ruin people's lives. Does that sort of thing ever take a toll on you, or do you pretty much just find people whose lives could use some ruining?

-LazarusLong-4 karma

It never takes a toll on me at all. It's just a job that I have to do is how I look at it. Sometimes I do feel bad for the crappy situations I'm forced to put people in but I can sleep easy at night. Whenever I was an actual debt collector (many many many years ago) I did have one guy I called commit suicide. I called his dad a week later after I spoke to him and his father said he had shot himself. For months after that I felt so guilty, but in reality I didn't have any choice in what he did.

PurpleRhymer2 karma

If you are a civilian and you go onto somebody's property without their permission. Can they legally shoot you?

-LazarusLong-4 karma

For liability reasons I unfortunately cannot answer this question.

oylooc1 karma

Who hires you? Companies, government, private parties? Are you generally looking for people or stolen merchandise? Isn't this dangerous as meaning these people are obviously on the run, wouldn't you think they wouldn't hesitate to shoot you to avoid jail?

-LazarusLong-1 karma

Companies and private parties. We typically look for people and people who are behind on car payments, or people who are actively hiding high value items such as boats, motorcycles, etc because this is where the good money is.

That's why we stay inside the office. Since we are the ones who send agents in the field we are realistically not in any danger. I have brought up the idea for our boss to open offices in other states and us be out in the field to make even more money, but the idea was shot down for obvious safety reasons. If I was in the field, I assure you they would not hesitate to shoot me. As it stands most of the stuff we are involved in the day to day are not serious enough to require jail time.

SuaveMF1 karma

Have you considered chasing after Most Wanted for the reward money or you local crime stoppers?

-LazarusLong-2 karma

I have considered it, but personally, the risk is not worth it. As it stands I get to chill inside of an air conditioned office all day and still get a similar feeling when I find someone but with the added benefit of not getting shot at.

ZurgTage1 karma

So you dox people for a living?

-LazarusLong-5 karma

No I do not. Technically I could but that would land our company into such deep shit. I'm not going to put the livelihood of myself, my family, and the employees at risk for something so stupid. Our entire searches are logged at all times so it would be ridiculously easy for us to get into trouble. Even if I log into the database from a different IP address/computer doing legitimate work we get sent an email or a phone call telling us to knock it off.

DrunkleDick-9 karma

I feel like you don't know what doxxing is, because it's exactly what you do.

-LazarusLong-5 karma

None of this information is ever broadcast to the public so it is NOT doxxing. We share this information with specific parties like the agents or our clients ONLY.

DrunkleDick-10 karma

You're still finding and sharing info, doxxing is an accurate term for that.

-LazarusLong-7 karma

Essentially, doxing is openly revealing and publicizing records of an individual, which were previously private or difficult to obtain.

We operate within the confines of the law. If we are arguing semantics, it is similar to but NOT doxxing, we just don't give out the information to the public. That would land us in a lawsuit so quickly and we would be out of business.

DrunkleDick-6 karma

Ok, I do understand the difference and why you're so reluctant so say that you basically doxx people for a living.

Semantics aside, it seems like a cool gig. Are there any people you work with that did the job before the internet and Facebook made everything so easy compared to when it was a lot of staking people out in cars and wasting a lot of gas money?

-LazarusLong-1 karma

Yes, the owner has been doing this for YEARS. Back in the day it was strictly just phone calls and talking to people. It was a lot tougher back then from my understanding.

DrunkleDick1 karma

From what I hear too. I have a friend who hated it. Once phone calls were exhausted he had to hop in his car and stake out jobs, family members, etc. Said that some weeks he'd spend more money in gas than he'd get in commissions.

Would you want to try out field work?

-LazarusLong-1 karma

I have zero desire to do field work. I enjoy my body having the same amount of holes that I came into the office with. We had one guy we looked for who ripped off some drug dealers and skipped town. Can you imagine trying to go find a guy insane enough to rip off drug dealers? No thanks.

deb_on_air1 karma

Is it ok to go about trying to trace suspects or terrorists on your own and later report them to the cops ?

Also , if we plan on doing so, is there any way possible to do so privately and still have access to all the records that might be required which some of the companies would not give without a cause. ?

-LazarusLong-1 karma

Due to liability reasons I unfortunately cannot answer this. I would advise to counsel legal advice from a qualified attorney.

neobyte9991 karma

I used to work for the census bureau where I had to gather information on households that did not submit their information. I enjoyed the job quite a bit. What concrete skills would one need to look into this further?

-LazarusLong-1 karma

My biggest recommendation would be to learn foreign languages. Focus on Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, and Mandarin Chinese. This is by far the biggest thing that will help you.

beozbane1 karma

Has this job caused you to think differently about your personal privacy or how easily you are found? Have you ever attempted to trace yourself?

-LazarusLong-2 karma

Absolutely. On a monthly basis I go check my privacy settings on my social media and I Google myself to see what information is found about me. Certain things I cannot control. For example because I hunt and fish in Texas my information will be listed in the DBs simply because I know they sell my information. We are prohibited from looking ourselves up, so I cannot say what exactly is in the DB about myself. I also use a PO BOX, trash emails, and a google voice number which is disposable.

ShittiusMaximus1 karma

Do you add people you trying to find as friends on facebook? Also do they often accept?

-LazarusLong-1 karma

We do not. Laws prohibit us from doing so. We just look through their public information. Sometimes it is helpful sometimes it isn’t. This is covered under the FDCPA which we are still bound by.

PsychedelicBadBoy1 karma

Have you ever explored the "deep web" to try and track someone down?

-LazarusLong-1 karma

I have not. I have never even explored the "deep web" even out of personal curiosity. Even seeing the word just makes me think "shady" which is not the business we are in.

frozenpond1 karma

I need to find a former tenant's new address. They just moved out of an apartment I manage and I need to serve them so I can sue them in small claims. I know where they work. What is the best way about finding their brand new address? Thanks this was an interesting AMA.

-LazarusLong-1 karma

My advice is hire a skip tracing firm. If you google "skip tracer <the name of your state>" you should be able to find plenty of results where you can get this done.

frozenpond1 karma

What is a fair price i should expect to pay? (Ballpark)

-LazarusLong-1 karma

For the skip trace by itself expect anywhere from $60-$200 depending on how much work is involved.

CaptainCold7771 karma

What got you into doing this job? Was it the thrill or did you want to just help out?

-LazarusLong-1 karma

Initially it was just to help out. I hated my previous job so it worked out really well for me with this opportunity.

ParanoidPanda351 karma

I don't have a cc, I don't have any social media accounts, no rent/utilities under my name and my last address is a dead end. I'm essentially a ghost. How would you find me?

-LazarusLong-1 karma

That depends. Usually when we look for you we have at the very minimum a name, date of birth and two former addresses along with at least one phone number. I am allowed to call references until they tell me to piss off, I'm which case I am not allowed to call them anymore to pass along messages. If you drive a car in Boston or New York for example I can catch you with a plate number if you get a ticket. I have a general vicinity of where you're you're getting tickets and can send my agent to drive around the neighbor until you're spotted.

deb_on_air1 karma

Do you have access to all the databases even from the banks(for example to trace the credit cards) ?

What do you do if some banks say no to giving any information. What do you say to them you are representing, so as to get that info.

Also, what do you do if the company is in another country ?

-LazarusLong-1 karma

We do not have access to those DBs.

Most of the clients are happy to give us information we need for clarification since we work for them. If individual A for example has an account open at Bank Z but Bank Z did not hire us, we cannot get info from them. They would tell us to get lost.

If Bank Z however was where the individual took out the loan for the item we are looking for, we can request information through the insurance company that hires us. The bank obviously wants the item found so they don't lose money so they give us any information they are legally able to (IE: addresses and phone numbers) which are usually found on the actual contracts the individuals sign.

deb_on_air1 karma

Thanks . So is there also a similar tracer branch in the government ? Do you happen to know how do they do it ?

-LazarusLong-1 karma

I honestly have no idea. if the government wants to find you, I imagine they will find you no matter what. For us, sometimes we just cannot find the individuals and have to close the case as unable to locate.

deb_on_air1 karma

Oh ok, but like in some of the cases like the 1990's murderer, wasn't the accused also charged ? So wouldn't the government have done something to trace him down as well ?

Sorry for too many questions. Hope it doesn't go off topic.

Thanks again!

-LazarusLong-1 karma

I'm not sure on the specifics about that honestly.

muhandes1 karma

Why did you decide to go into this profession?

-LazarusLong-2 karma

I absolutely hated my last job. I previously worked in fiber optics for a large telecom company and dealt with assholes all day. My schedule would change from week to week and I would work anywhere from 6am-midnight on any day of the week. Planning things and spending time with my family was impossible. The money was excellent but I felt my soul was dying a little every day I went in.

muhandes1 karma

What requirements did you have to meet in order to get the job?

-LazarusLong-2 karma

I showed up for the job on time and took initiative. I can run the entire office by myself including billing, accounting, working cases, interfacing with the clients, and most importantly I was able to make the boss money. If I hit my monthly goal she takes $5K a month from me alone.

rishi131 karma

Can you tell me your most interesting case ?

-LazarusLong-4 karma

We looked for redacted

Edit: Probably not a good idea for me to link that.

-LazarusLong-2 karma

I just remembered a case where the FBI was also looking for a guy and his wife because they were involved in a huge fraud scheme which unfortunately included one of our clients.

rishi131 karma

On duty do you have any gun ? Which gun ?

-LazarusLong-6 karma

Yes I do carry a gun. I carry a Nickel Boron coated Glock 19 with two spare magazines, a set of titanium lock picks, a Leatherman Wave, and a Fenix flashlight.

This is my setup:

_YEAH_1 karma

If you don't go out in the field, why the lock picks?

-LazarusLong-6 karma

I have an interest/hobby in prepping/survivalism/lock sport which is completely unrelated to my job. I carry locks in my backpack so I can practice lock picking in my spare time. Mainly I carry them in the event I am ever unlawfully detained or kidnapped, which sounds absolutely ridiculous even writing it. Yes, I'm a very strange man.

rishi131 karma

Have you ever trace any terrorist ?

-LazarusLong-5 karma

We have not traced any that I'm aware of. We've looked for murderers, drug dealers, and all sorts of shady people though. In some of collateral our agents find, they find drugs, guns, and in one case they found a body in the trunk. Yikes!

Most of the people we look for are just down on their luck though.

rishi131 karma

What are your favourite movies ?

-LazarusLong-3 karma

My top favorite five at this moment in no particular order are:

Casablanca, Fight Club, V for Vendetta, The Count of Montecristo (the newer one), and The Goonies.

easternchild1 karma

As someone who lives on the other side of the globe, I often encounter the stereotype regarding US' gun laws, everyone can carry, threaten or even shoot people with close to no probable cause and so on, I'm sure you've seen the jokes around.

You stated that you bring a weapon to your office (amongst other things), but your work place doesn't hold any threats, the (usually) only people who show up besides co-workers are the mail man and the cleaning lady.

Do you feel that bringing a gun to work is necessary for your own safety, even though there has never been (assuming according to your replies) a threat to you, or your co-workers such as being injured by, per say, a crazed gun-wielding man attacking you with the only thing he has left, a taped .38?

Do you think bringing the gun to a safe workplace enhances the stereotype? Or is it just a sort of accessory in this particular job?

Thanks for the AMA!

-LazarusLong-2 karma

This is actually a common misconception. You can't just pull a gun on someone and get away with it. This is very similar to what everyone thinks when I tell them I'm from Texas. They think I wear a cowboy hat and ride a horse everywhere (not kidding).

I specifically carry a gun to work, not because of the job that I have but because I live in a large city (Dallas area), have had my house broken into twice, and someone also attempted to rob me after work (about ten years ago). Recognizing the world is not always sunshine, rainbows, and kittens, I have taken it upon myself to carry a gun to protect myself and my loved ones in the event the need ever arises. Not that I have the desire to look for trouble, but I carry it for the same reason I have insurance in my vehicle and carry condoms, "just in case".

The problem with guns in America is a several part issue.

  1. The media portrayal of guns is dubious at best and outright lies at worst.

  2. Xenophobia. People fear what they do not understand. They think a person carrying a gun is somehow mentally unstable or a lunatic. I challenge ANYONE who is looking down the end of a barrel or has ever had their home burglarized (sp?) to not want to get a gun. I'm not sure about everyone but I'm not putting my life in the hands of some person who may or may not be having a bad day. Me bringing a gun to work realistically is almost unnecessary considering all of the precautions we've taken to keep ourselves safe and anonymous. I wouldn't even call it an accessory. If I was out in the field actively chasing and detaining people, yes it would be a requirement for my safety, but I stay inside a locked office all day.

throndse1 karma

I see you reference using databases as tools for finding people. I get the impression these are tools you have purchased licenses to be able to access? Are there other in-ways, like government licencing, etc? You said official law enforcers use them as well? In general, I'd be interested in hearing more about these databases.

Edit: also! If you could talk a little more about how social engineering gets (or have gotten) you through the day, that'd be awesome.

-LazarusLong-2 karma

Yes, we spend several thousands of dollars a month to use the tools we have access to. There are many other ways to use these tools like being in law enforcement, being a lawyer, or even a bondsman for example.

The social engineering aspect helps us greatly. Sometimes we don't even have to say anything and we call up an exgirlfriend who is so pissed at the boyfriend who skipped out, she will tell us he is a drug addict and he left with so and so and moved to such and such town. Sometimes we have people who call us (family for example) just based on a message we leave and snitch them out.

appsncoffe-4 karma

Please provide better proof.

-LazarusLong-3 karma

Can I provide the same business card along with a post it note of my user name?

[deleted]1 karma


-LazarusLong-3 karma

I have edited my post. Please let me know if this is sufficient.

danedaddy-7 karma

How do you feel about H.R.2964 - Bounty Hunter Responsibility Act of 1999.

How often do you fuck people over by using their ignorance of the law?

Do you really expect people to believe you spend $7,000 a month on your so called databases?

How exactly do you ruin people's lives? Are you proud of that?

How often do you use that titanium rake in the great state of TX?

Do you think about TX Penal Code Sec. 9.32 (TX castle doctrine) when you use that titanium rake?

How often do you drink and CCW?

You have been working at this job less than a year, How do you think you compare to the average 12yr old on 4chan, in regards to tracking people down?

-LazarusLong-6 karma

Since this is clearly a troll post and you have absolutely zero reading comprehension, I will only make one statement to you. Fuck you.

danedaddy-5 karma

No trolling. Just answer the questions. They are completely legit. YOU said that your DB's cost 7,000 a month, I say BULLSHIT.

YOU posted your EDC (every day carry) then boasted about drinking on the job. So I asked you about drinking and CCW.

YOU posted your rake and pick and I asked how you feel about TX laws, since TX laws state work against you and could possibly get you killed.

I questioned your experience regarding your job because you are so new to it, yet you talk like you have done the job for years.

I guess fake it to you make it?

You say I have zero reading comprehension, how so?

I just asked valid questions regarding what YOU said about your profession.

Do you not believe 4chan mudda fuckas can't do your job?

-LazarusLong-8 karma

I'll bite.

How do you feel about H.R.2964 - Bounty Hunter Responsibility Act of 1999.

No opinion because I'm not actively in the field. Our business stays away from detaining people which if you had read in my previous post, you would see I explained this clearly. I have no desire to chase dangerous people around.

No trolling. Just answer the questions. They are completely legit. YOU said that your DB's cost 7,000 a month, I say BULLSHIT.

Please point me to the post where I say we pay $7,000 a month. I said SEVERAL, NOT seven.

YOU posted your EDC (every day carry) then boasted about drinking on the job. So I asked you about drinking and CCW.

In Texas there is no "legal limit" for drinking and carrying. I do not drive, carry and drink. I do take that seriously which I believe any license holder would. Since I am at my place of business this is considered my castle. We lock the doors at all times and if anyone is going to forcibly gain entry into my "castle" I have reason to believe they are going to do me harm. The only people who ever drop by the office are the mail man and the cleaning lady. No one else. I have a glass of wine or a shot during lunch which any reasonable person can conclude does not make me an alcoholic much less impaired.

How often do you use that titanium rake in the great state of TX?

If you bothered to read the entire thread you would see I made mention that I practice locksport as a HOBBY and carry several locks with me in my bag to practice on. Because I also have an interest in prepping I also carry them in the event I would ever be kidnapped or unlawfully detained. Again, this was in my post which was already covered.

Do you think about TX Penal Code Sec. 9.32 (TX castle doctrine) when you use that titanium rake?

Doesn't apply to me. I don't break into people's houses or cars which obviously means I am not a thief. See my previous post about lock sport where I specifically mention I pick my own locks which I carry in my backpack as a hobby.

How often do you drink and CCW?

I will have a glass of wine if I feel like with lunch like any reasonable person. Nothing more. It is not against the law to drink a single glass of wine and carry in the state of Texas. This is not the Old West where I'm swigging out of a bottle and shooting my gun in the air dude. Being an active gun enthusiast for years and friends with numerous law enforcement offers, I'm very well versed in the laws of my state concerning drinking and carrying. If I was impaired and shot someone then I would obviously have some explaining to do obviously. Per my previous post I stated we are in a very safe environment due to no signage, usage of a PO BOX, and heavy locking doors where we receive no visitors. Ever since there was an attempted robbery on my person several years ago, I've carried, not necessarily for this job.

Edit: Texas has ambiguous laws on what constitutes "impaired". This is why I have no more than one drink IF I do drink which is obviously not every day. I'm no lush.

How exactly do you ruin people's lives? Are you proud of that?

I leave them without a reliable way to get to work causing them to sometimes get fired. If they get fired they sometimes lose their house. That's how I ruin someone's life. You imply I'm bragging about this. I assure you I take no pleasure in making someone's life miserable. Simply stating facts is not boasting.

You have been working at this job less than a year, How do you think you compare to the average 12yr old on 4chan, in regards to tracking people down?

I don't know any four chan people so I cannot comment on them. Getting paid for what I do is what I focus on, not on someone who has no business relationship with us. While I'm sure there are talented individuals, what they do is none of my business.

How often do you fuck people over by using their ignorance of the law?

We do not fuck people over. I have stated numerous times throughout this thread that we act within the law consistently. Breaking the law is a short term monetary gain and would eventually cause us to go out of business. That completely defeats the purpose of me working.

danedaddy-7 karma

Okay, WTF? YOUR post says your a bounty hunter.

IamA Investigator AKA skip tracer AKA bounty hunter AMA! (IamA Investigator AKA skip tracer AKA bounty hunter AMA!)

I read your post, YOU say your a bounty hunter. WAT the fuck?

You said you spend 7,000 on DB's, LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLLOOLOLOL

(Yes, we spend several thousands of dollars a month to use the tools we have access to. There are many other ways to use these tools like being in law enforcement, being a lawyer, or even a bondsman for example. The social engineering aspect helps us greatly. Sometimes we don't even have to say anything and we call up an exgirlfriend who is so pissed at the boyfriend who skipped out, she will tell us he is a drug addict and he left with so and so and moved to such and such town. Sometimes we have people who call us (family for example) just based on a message we leave and snitch them out.) LOLOLL OLLOLO

It is against the law to be intoxicated and CCW in TX. (There is a legal limit). Any way if your drinking and CCW you are fuckin up. How the fuck do you have your job and not know about 4chan?

-LazarusLong-3 karma

Are you being intentionally obtuse? I clearly said I have ONE drink with lunch which does not constitute intoxication.

I'm aware of who 4chan is, I said I don't know of any individuals in 4chan.

I'm done with this conversation.