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Question on tracking cellphones, etc

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posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 01:20 AM
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I need some info from somebody who knows their tech. I know this isn't a conspiracy post, but I need answers and I need this to be seen.

My grandfather recently was found dead in his garage- we have become very suspicious of the circumstances because his missing cellular phone became heavily active the very next day- in Mexico.
Hollywood assures me that your location can be tracked by your cellphone.

Is the location of the call stored by the phone company?

Can a private citizen, perhaps with the aid of a PI or lawyer, obtain those records, or am I dependent on the police (who are currently looking completely useless- since it took them 4 days just to figure out that they were looking at a homicide).

Even if locations aren't tracked, I'll need to know the answer to the second question to obtain the numbers that were called from the phone while it was being used.




posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 01:34 AM
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hey,

phone company does in fact store the phone number, time of call and location of the call when you use the cell phone. I dont know if you can get access to this info since i dont live in USA, probably trough a police warrant of some sort.

peace



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 11:06 AM
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You may be able to possibly request the numbers, however your grand mother would most likely have more possibilty of getting hold of the numbers. The other alternative is hacking, but I personally dont recommend that option.

Just request I guess.



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 11:10 AM
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I'm glad to hear that they store the location. Luckily my cousin is good friends with the verizon store manager who sold them the phones, so I'll probably be able to obtain whatever records I need today.

If he doesn't have the access I'll need to find out if I can subpeona the records the same way the police are able to.



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 11:15 AM
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Soory for yor Grandfather and I hope you find out where that phone went, bring them to justice.
Shame the cops cant do much else.



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 11:18 AM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
I'm glad to hear that they store the location. Luckily my cousin is good friends with the verizon store manager who sold them the phones, so I'll probably be able to obtain whatever records I need today.

If he doesn't have the access I'll need to find out if I can subpeona the records the same way the police are able to.


Vagabond,
I would highly advised using the route that you mentioned to get location / numbers. The store manager would not be able to get the information anyways. Using such methods is very illegal and at the least will get someone fired for even trying. Example, A few months ago, a Verizon employee who works in the call center asked a fellow employee to check out his records to see how much they owed. The buddy tried (and failed due to policy this information was not available) They both were fired.
Such information is covered under the Privacy Act since the phone logs are linked to the social security number of the owner.
You mentioned that the circumstances behind your grandfather's death as being questionable. If that is so, is there an investigation ubderway by the police? They will / should be in on the call information if so.
You as a private citizen would not be able to access the records nor would a PI as it requires a Court Order to allow anyone to obtain this information.
I would though, have your grandmother call up Verizon and let them know that the phone is being illegally used.



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 11:18 AM
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They wont be able to tell you the exact location but they'll be able to tell you the cell the phone was last active in which is almost as good



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by kenshiro2012
You mentioned that the circumstances behind your grandfather's death as being questionable. If that is so, is there an investigation ubderway by the police? They will / should be in on the call information if so.


They are woefully incompetent. They botched their proceedure the night of the death, they took 4 days to figure out it was a homicide, and now they are completely obsessed with getting an autopsy done (which for some reason my grandma doesn't want done- i guess she's in denial).

When I speak to the detective this afternoon I fully expect to discover that he has not subpeoned cell records, has not requested surviellance videos from cameras at stores near the two enterances to the neighborhood, and not called a single pawn shop to check out the possibility that my grandfather's ring was pawned.
Rather than piss the police off by riding their backs about it though, i'm going to handle the things they're too stupid or too lazy to do and hand them the answer on a silver platter.



You as a private citizen would not be able to access the records nor would a PI as it requires a Court Order to allow anyone to obtain this information.
I would though, have your grandmother call up Verizon and let them know that the phone is being illegally used.


They've already been informed, but you're telling me that not even the owner of the phone (my grandma) can get those records without a court order? Interesting.
Any chance that if I hired a lawyer he could subpeona those for me?



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 11:48 AM
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They've already been informed, but you're telling me that not even the owner of the phone (my grandma) can get those records without a court order? Interesting.


The owner of the phone will get the numbers (not location) with the phone bill. It is "expected" that the owner would be aware of where the phone is being used.
The lawyer would be the best route for you to get the court order. Have the lawyer use the premise that the phone maybe in the possession of the killer(s).
Ps. I am sorry to hear about the lose to you and your family.



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 12:15 PM
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Im in the cell phone industry, and i can tell you that the only way you will get assistance like that is from the authorities. The only thing the cell phone company (cell phone not satilite phones) can do, and doesnt mean they will, is tell from which cell site the call was routed through. This will give authorites a smaller location in which to find the user of that phone but by no means can it give an exaxct location. Cell sites, those big towers we see everywhere have computers that route your calls, of course based on your provider, that stores your number for billing purposes. So yes they can narrow it down to a 10-20 mile radius..... thats it. Will they is another question. Because you may be with Cingular for example, but be in Mexico using a Sprint tower, and Cingular wouldnt know untill they were billed by Sprint for allowing your call to be made, of course then Cingular would bill you. Good luck and my prayers to you and your family.



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 03:39 PM
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Well, God bless our police. They haven't done a single thing yet and they refuse to investigate this as a homicide because the coroner determined on the night of the death (without even seeing the body- based solely on my grandfather's history) that it was a heart attack. Nevermind that he had a heart attack because somebody had beaten the snot out of him.

After a brief butt-chewing the police have agreed to subpeona the phone records and investigate the theft of the phone, but that's it. Luckily whoever had the phone dialed a local number, which will be on the bill, so I have some recourse still.

If I had known 4 years ago that it is apparently OK to kill somebody as far as the coroner's office is concerned, I might have done something about my step father. Oh how I hate to learn of a missed opportunity.



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 04:40 PM
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phone records will allow you to know what calls were placed and possiably to whom. They wont tell you anythig about where the calls where made from. Only techs working for the cell phone company can do that. did you know that you could have a cell phone and it not be activated but you can still make 911 calls. try it. They, the authorities, can get the info from cell phone companies and find out where the calls came from, but no bill will tell you that. It will just say roaming or local. Roaming calls will at least let you know that the calls came from outside your plans local coverage area. If he was on a national plan then it really wont be much help at all.



posted on Jul, 27 2005 @ 12:21 PM
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I also recommend buying a Bushmaster Ar-15 and the Anarchist Handbook LOL, also a car and a fake passport to Mexico!

[edit on 27-7-2005 by horten229v3]



posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 09:06 PM
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If you have one of the newer phones with the rfid chip in it the feds can locate it if it is in this hemisphere.If the activity is from mexico you may wish to speak to a DEA or INS agent.It is possible that there may have been some other type of crime involved if I interpret what you are asking correctly.



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 01:38 AM
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I appreciate everyone's help. It looks like things are relatively well in hand now. The former mayor and police chief of our town was a good friend of my grandfather's and he's leaving boot prints all over a lot of butts to get things moving for us.
In the meantime, I've obtained all of the numbers called and have contrived several nifty ideas for tracking them down, all of them at least marginally legal and reasonably likely to succeed.



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 02:31 AM
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here is a nifty idea on searching the numbers down...google them. you would be surprised to know how many times this will result in a google map to the address listed to the number.



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 02:36 AM
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It all depends what system the phone uses; NAMPS, CDMA, TDMA, GSM...

If its GSM - good luck to you getting info on your own without being physically in the area and without police/telco cooperation.

But if you have the $$$ and contacts with the police I HIGHLY recommend you getting a GSM Interceptor. With this you are able to log all of the phones usage you can interrogate it for its Cell ID etc...

As for tracking GSM its tricky stuff. The best I believe you can achieve is this:

Each area with GSM coverage has overlapping cells. Each cell the phone is connected to also has an 'umbrella cell' that overlooks and is in charge of all the handoffs and handovers of your network connection as you leave your current cell )it estimates your speed annd angle of travel and antisipates your ETA to the border to the next cell.

These cells (not umbrella) are seperated into 3 120 degree slices so with the right information and resources you can track him down to within a km or so (depending on the physical signal limits of the given area - short range in built up areas, long range in regional/rural). You will also get which slice he/she is located within the cell.

Hope this helps you catch the murderer.

PS - my phone can analyse Signal Strength, Cell ID, group, Cell, Connected Network name and its shrot name, country code and Network ID - of the hidden encoded variety.

I can allocate it operations depending on which cell slice and segment I am in (among other operations
).



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 04:59 AM
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Dang ezekial, you certainly seem to know your tech. Unfortunately, if i follow you correctly on the interceptor thing, that's not going to do it because the phone has already been cancelled for several days and in all likelihood has now been discarded or is being used with a pay as you go service. Plus it's in Mexico last we checked, not exactly my neck of the woods anymore.

Sounds like I'm gonna be pretty well screwed. Best I can hope for as far as a location goes is for the police to get off their lazy butt and subpeona records on which cell towers calls were routed from. That would at least be mildly helpful- comparing the general areas where a call was made to the locations of the numbers dialed would build a case for aiding and abetting, which could be used to force somebody into ratting him out.


As for MetalMessiah's idea of googling numbers, I've tried it, but so far have enjoyed no success. It seems that virtually every number called was unlisted, and many of them are cellular. I'm using Intellius.com to track down service providers for the phones so that I know which companies to contact about obtaining info on those numbers, and intellius has yeilded a couple of names and addresses already as well.

I've also used a prefix locating site to nail down the cities where the dialed numbers are located. Now I can call up places in those cities that use customer databases by phone number (Pizza delivery places, certain auto part stores, etc) and use the number in question to place an order- they ask me to verify the address in their database and boom- I've got the goods on any of the contacted individuals who has ever ordered a pizza.

Later on, if no other angle pans out, I can always file a civil suit against any of the people who were called for their role in the killer's escape, to use as a fishing expedition- subpeona their phone records and bank records to see if I can turn up a hotel where the guy stayed or wiring of money to him.

Frankly I doubt any of this will be nearly that hard. I'm guessing that once i've run down all of these phone numbers and looked up the owners on intellius I will find that one of those houses is missing a resident, and that will be my guy.



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 06:48 PM
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Still assuming its a GSM phone, the telco can still track the useage of this phone even with a PAYG SIM. Each phone is allocated an IMEI serial number. This number is logged on the system. - With an interceptor you can even do this yourself.








posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 07:46 PM
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Originally posted by Ezekial
Still assuming its a GSM phone, the telco can still track the useage of this phone even with a PAYG SIM. Each phone is allocated an IMEI serial number. This number is logged on the system. - With an interceptor you can even do this yourself.


So the phone has a serial number of its own, even with a new SIM, which I could theoretically have looked up if I had the proper authority and knew which service provider to inquire with?

Again, I don't know if using an interceptor is going to work for me. I can't just go bebopping around in Mexicali on a trail that's been cold for 6 days now trying to intercept a phone call with technology I hardly understand- especially since even if I found him my only real recourse would be to kill him or kidnap him. My grandpa had a saying, and if you heard it, it meant you were making a mistake that would land you in a world of hurt. He'd say "Hoss, I wouldn't do that if I was you." Well, that's just what he'd say if I told him I was gonna go down and commit a crime in the jurisdiction of the Federales.

The other part is very interesting though. I'll have to bring that up with the detective.



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