Sometimes you need to locate someone and all you have is a bad address. The situation might be that they owe you money, or perhaps they were renters who bailed without paying the rent. You can hire a private investigator to track them down, or you can use this tactic on your own for around $10.oo. The United States Postal Service performs a service called Return Service Requested, or Forwarding Address Requested.
Forwarding Address Requested
Go to Amazon and buy a Return Address Requested Stamp. Place your demand for payment in a envelope and mail it to the bad address you have for the individual you are trying to locate. The post office will return the envelope with their forwarding address. You can now contact them directly, or maybe send a process server out with a subpoena. If you don’t get anything back at all, you can assume the individual is still receiving mail there, or did not have their mail forwarded. In this case you might want to contact a private investigator. You still saved yourself around $135 dollars by doing that part yourself though, so it wasn’t a total loss.
A private investigator will need as much information as you can provide on the individual. The basics are:
Last known address
Last known employer
Name of spouse or significant other
With that information a private investigator will run it through a database service, which will return the most recent information on the individual. This information can be used to start tracking them down. Often times I’m able do this with Open Source Intelligence, or sources that are freely available such as court records, and social media. Using those sources can reduce your investigative costs by about a third. I’m always looking to be as efficient as possible and cost effective.