Address Search Key Terms
Understand key elements for locating someone's address
You may be a private investigator or run a repossession service. Someone may owe your business money or you may be an attorney looking to enforce a judgment for a client. Whatever the reason, all of these businesses, at one point or another, will need to use an address search tool to find someone. As you begin to explore the address search tools available, you may run into a few puzzling key terms. See below for explanations.
AVS stands for address verification system and is a feature offered by many providers that allows you to accept credit card payments. AVS also allows you to verify the address a customer gives you and make sure it is the address associated with the credit card account. This helps prevent fraudulent use of the credit card.
ZIP code, also known as postal code or postal ZIP code, refers to the numerical code the United States Post Office assigns to an address in order to help determine where mail goes.
P.O. box stands for post office box. It is a small box located in a post office or other mail service facility where individuals or businesses have their mail delivered. Attorneys and other legal entities can request a P.O. box verification, in which the post office must provide the physical address associated with the P.O. box.
Geocoding is assigning latitude and longitude to an address for more accurate address location. This helps when your company is delivering a package or in trying to verify that someone lives where they claim to live.
COA stands for change of address, also known as forwarding address. Individuals or businesses can file a COA with the post office either on a temporary or permanent basis. The post office will forward mail to a new address for up to a year and can help you during that time to find someone that may be in a new location.
Skip tracing is a means of locating someone who's in a new location and did not provide you with that information. Hire a skip tracing firm (or use software) to exhaust all possible leads, including credit reports and public records, to try and locate a current address for someone.
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