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Thread: intersting police capabilities on pre paid cell phones

  1. #1
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    intersting police capabilities on pre paid cell phones

    So last night I came across a police operation that involved a "phone harassment case. I was listening to my scanner as events unfolded and a high ranking cop was there and he clued me in on some capabilities I didn't know local cops had.

    Basically someone was making threating or harassing phone calls to a female. Within minutes the police were able to trace the phone number of the person making the calls. The number came back "unregistered" and it was from a prepaid phone.

    The police were then able....and the cop wouldn't tell me exactly how, to access a database that can identify "most likely" owners of prepaid cell phones. It works by the phone companies, in collusion with police, using GPS data to find out where the phone stays dormant for extended periods of time. This is inferred to be the residence or workplace of the person who possesses the phone.

    For instance, the phone company tracks all cell phones by GPS data. They have computer software that shows movements and stagnation. The software uses algorithms and if a phone sits idle for periods of more than 5-8 hours its assumed that that is where the person lives.

    This data is combined with lots of other known data from government spying that can VERY accurately identify the owners of these phones.

    Anyway, about 3 hours later a search warrant was served and arrested was made.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Brace's Avatar
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    What happens if they keep the phone turned off? This system seems easily defeated.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brace View Post
    What happens if they keep the phone turned off? This system seems easily defeated.
    im not sure but a lot of phones cant really be turned off unless you take the battery out

  4. #4
    Regular Member ron73440's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onus View Post
    So last night I came across a police operation that involved a "phone harassment case. I was listening to my scanner as events unfolded and a high ranking cop was there and he clued me in on some capabilities I didn't know local cops had.

    Basically someone was making threating or harassing phone calls to a female. Within minutes the police were able to trace the phone number of the person making the calls. The number came back "unregistered" and it was from a prepaid phone.

    The police were then able....and the cop wouldn't tell me exactly how, to access a database that can identify "most likely" owners of prepaid cell phones. It works by the phone companies, in collusion with police, using GPS data to find out where the phone stays dormant for extended periods of time. This is inferred to be the residence or workplace of the person who possesses the phone.

    For instance, the phone company tracks all cell phones by GPS data. They have computer software that shows movements and stagnation. The software uses algorithms and if a phone sits idle for periods of more than 5-8 hours its assumed that that is where the person lives.

    This data is combined with lots of other known data from government spying that can VERY accurately identify the owners of these phones.

    Anyway, about 3 hours later a search warrant was served and arrested was made.
    WOW, that's not scary at all./sarc
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  5. #5
    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brace View Post
    What happens if they keep the phone turned off? This system seems easily defeated.
    Cell phones are never off unless the battery is removed. Try turning your cell off for a day, note battery level before turning off and after turning back on. The only way to turn off is by removing the battery, not easy on a smart phone.

    And Brace, thanks for the info, we all may need it before long

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