This is a little Creepy

Imagine the ability to type in someone’s Twitter handle and find out everywhere that person has been. Their local coffee shop, office building and even the street they live on. A little app called Creepy has made some waves with privacy advocates,  because it does just that. is an application that allows users to gather geolocation related information about other users from social networking sites and image hosting services. The information is presented in a map inside the application’s interface where all the retrieved data is shown accompanied by coordinates or other relative information.

Creepy’s location information is obtained from various sources including: EXIF tags from photos, geolocation feature from hosting API, coordinates from mobile devices and IP addresses transmitted from web checkins. Platforms currently supported are: Twitter, Foursquare, flickr,,,,,,,,,, and The one catch is that this application only works if the user has location sharing turned on within the platform settings.

Try using this app the next time you have a Skip you’re trying to locate or a target you are trying to serve process. It just may be the tool you need to close that case. Like any application, it has its limitations. But I think it is a worthy weapon in our arsenal.

Creepy may be downloaded from here:

Keep following those virtual breadcrumbs. ~ The Hi-Tech P.I.

Searching High and Low

There are many ways to confirm someone’s residence during an investigation. Now depending on local laws, some of these methods could be illegal, so always verify beforehand. In order to find Intel that will confirm a suspect resides at the alleged address, an investigator will sometimes examine letters in the mailbox, look at trash in garbage cans or just wait around for the resident to appear. In some situations they may even have a neighbor or local mail carrier confirm residence, but that is only if anonymity is not a concern. Now the aforementioned ‘low-tech’ methods of confirming residence are usable, but let us explore a couple of high-tech methods as well.

Our first high-tech method requires a WiFi enabled device, e.g., smart phone, tablet or a laptop. Once parked in front of the suspected residence, open your WiFi device’s Wireless & Network settings. A screen similar to the one pictured below should be viewable, revealing a list of available networks. Each network is represented by an SSID aka network name. Some SSID’s are gibberish, but many will be customized by the owner. So if you were sitting outside my house and searched for a WiFi network you may see ‘The HiTech PI’ (example only), along with a strength indicator, which is an added bonus because the closer you get to that residence the more confirmation you will have. As you can also see I have a neighbor by the name of Wesley and another Madison, both true. I have seen many people use good indicators like “Holmes House” or “Craigs Cave”.

The great thing about using SSID as confirmation is that it is in real-time. You know that the resident has current internet service at the address that is broadcasting the signal.

Another high-tech method used to locate/confirm residence are location based social networking platforms such as Foursquare and Gowalla. Along the same lines of network names, are user created ‘venues’ or places with their own names incorporated in them. For example my friend’s home may be a venue called “Joe Smith’s Garage”, which usually lists an exact address or cross street. Even though it may only list a cross street, since these are GPS enabled apps, the marker on the venue map is often an accurate GPS placement. The Foursquare method can be utilized when you are in the area of the suspected residence, or alternatively, venues may be searched at, where they can be narrowed by city and zip.

Keep following those virtual breadcrumbs. ~ The Hi-Tech P.I.