Articles & News

7 Most Wanted Items from Cell Phones

by: Steve Linn

People use their mobile phones more than they use their computers.  They provide an incredible amount of information you can use in a case.  Here is a list of the most wanted items to get from a cell phone:

  • Contacts – This can tell you to whom the person is in contact with and detailed information such as addresses, phone numbers, even birthdays & anniversaries.  The most valuable part of contacts if finding out when the phone last called, emailed or texted them.
  • Call records –  It’s incredibly difficult for someone to remember a sequence of phone calls or even if they called someone at all.  Call records detail who, when and how long the phone call was.  All this information is stored on a phone, no need to waste time requesting documentation from the phone carrier.
  • Videos – We have become video journalists of our own lives.  Videos often reveal the intangible truth of emotional states, claims and even circumstantial evidence.  I recently investigated a case involving drug possession, in which the video showed a drug deal happening in the background of the video!
  • Photos – Photos are now the little brother of video.  Photos capture the daily lives of people, with modern phones having enough capacity to store thousands of them.  Take a look at the photographs to reveal not just the subject but the time & GPS location where the photo was taken.
  • Deleted text messages – Text messages are more common than phone calls and emails.  Billions are sent every day.  The secret is that cell phones not only store up-to-date text messages but they also store deleted text messages.
  • GPS locations – Phones such as iPhones and Androids hold data, such as where phone calls were placed, and store this data on the phone.  GPS data also tracks where picture and videos were taken,
  • Web browser history – Mobile phone web browsers store not only the sites that people have visited but the search terms they use to get to those sites.  You can reveal exactly what people are looking for by viewing their web browsing history.