How Knowing a Phone Number Can Lead Investigations In New Directions
The days of picking up the phone and dialing a friend, family member, or business acquaintance may already be a thing of the past. Usage trends show that individuals now spend more time using their cellphones to access social media platforms, messaging apps, email, and other web-based services than they do making phone calls or texting.
Even so, the power of knowing a target’s phone number can be pivotal to the success of an investigation. A phone number serves as a unique identifier, often captured when someone signs up for a new online account. Using the new PLX + Skopenow integration, investigators and analysts alike can look up a phone number and get a comprehensive report containing the social media accounts, apps, email providers, websites, and other services associated with the number.
Knowing the online services that a target uses can help provide incriminating evidence, including a target’s previous locations, uploaded photos and videos, past conversations, email threads, and browsing history.
After identifying a target’s online presence, investigators can submit a subpoena or search warrant to the service providers of the accounts he or she is most interested in. Using the information gathered, investigators can analyze a more complete picture of the target’s activities—reducing the time and effort required to compile the evidence needed to issue an arrest.