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  • Rush Intel Services

The power of Social Media

When most people think about background checks, they tend to think about a check of the criminal history for a particular person. This of course is something you would want to know.

However, especially in cases where no criminal history is present, we find social media can play a huge role in determining the character of your subject. For years now, we have always looked for the social media accounts of our subjects, and in many cases, solved cases entirely from the information found there.

Recently during rioting in Philadelphia a woman had burned two police cars. Local news footage from a helicopter showed a woman in flame retardant gloves throwing burning debris into a police SUV. The FBI was tasked in identifying her. With nothing much to go on, they turned to the social media of people who were at the same location. After examining many photos, they found another shot of her. They were able to notice a tattoo and a unique shirt she was wearing at the time. After some research, the same shirt was found being sold on Etsy by a small retailer. The FBI checked out reviews of the shirt on that page, searching user names, and ultimately found a matching profile on another website, matching a linkedin profile. Linkedin had her photos and name, as well as location. Agents could see she had the same tattoo, and lived in the area. By watching videos that she had posted, the FBI could positively ID the woman who had burned the SUV.

Often times there is far more information available on the deep web, than in the professional databases and state records we search regularly. Knowing how to positively link online profiles together can paint a detailed picture of even the most elusive targets of investigation.

Have questions? We would love to answer them.


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