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There are many reasons why you might require an expert social media investigation and none of them are pleasant. Is a Facebook profile you don’t recognise sending you harassing messages about your alleged indiscretions, threatening to reveal more? Are you unsure whether the person you are dating online is genuine or a scammer trying to sell you crypto? Has a stranger tricked your teenage children into sending sexually explicit photos or videos and is now blackmailing them? Are you fighting a custody battle or other court case but lack satisfactory evidence? Whatever cyber dilemma you find yourself in, Cybertrace is here to help. Our experienced investigators have the tools and capability to deliver vital intelligence to help victims get justice. Contact us today to see how we can help. But first, let’s look at the role social media plays and what our professional investigations offer.

Social media: the good, the bad and the ugly

Social media platforms have become ubiquitous in our everyday lives. They allow us to date, communicate with friends and family, buy and sell goods, and interact with businesses or customers. According to the latest statistics, with more than 4.5 billion users, 58% of the world’s population now utilises social media. In fact, 400 million new users have joined over the past year alone, a ten per cent annual increase. For comparison, that is more than the entire population of the U.S. joining social media platforms in the last twelve months! The typical user spends about 2.5 hours/day on social media and utilises more than six different platforms across a month. In order to keep up, social media investigations need to be at the forefront of technological changes and development.

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This is because social media expansion also provides new opportunities for ruthless online scammers, creepy stalkers, and vengeful harassers. From defamation to scams, data mining to hate speech, election interference to the spread of misinformation, harassment and cyberstalking, social media also has a deeply troubling side. One area where this is particularly apparent is the scourge of fake or anonymous profiles and accounts. It is here that we see a clear need for professional social media investigations.

Is it getting better or worse?

As detailed in previous blogs on Facebook and Instagram, more than one in ten social media accounts are probably fake. While many fake accounts are spam or politically motivated bots, quite a few specifically facilitate scams, stalking and harassment. Despite providers’ efforts to deal with bogus accounts, however, the number of fake sites only looks set to grow further. Also, investigators often have bigger fish to fry than individual cases of scams, defamation, stalking, and harassment. Even if a social media platform does act and shuts down a Profile or Page, scammers, stalkers, and harassers often simply set up another one. A game of whack-a-mole ensues but the central task remains unsolved. You still don’t know how to find out who is behind a fake account, which is why expert social media investigations are desperately needed.

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Other gold mines for scammers, stalkers and harassers are online dating sites such as Tinder where romance baiting is rife. This describes the process of matches establishing rapport and then casually mentioning how much money they make from crypto, thereby “hooking” their victims. It is a growing problem that sees more and more Australians finding themselves ensnared in investment fraud. In addition, there is of course’s Tinder’s well-documented failure to protect female users from stalking and harassment. At the end of the day, the only way to know for sure whether someone you are communicating with is real or fake is through a professional social media investigation. But first, let’s look at the most common problems presented by fake or anonymous accounts.

Problem #1: Scams and fraud

Whether through romance baiting or fraudulent posts on social media, scammers are after only one thing: their victims’ money. Directing their targets to fake websites or encrypted communication, they deceive by offering opportunities simply too good to be true. However, the slickness of their operation is such that they often hoodwink new investors, vulnerable pensioners and other target groups. Once both their money and contact with the scammers have disappeared, victims feel distraught, desperate, and embarrassed. Thankfully, social media investigations, combined with other cyber investigative tools, can offer a way to identify the scammers.

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Problem #2: Creeps and stalkers

Creeps and stalkers present probably the most serious problem that social media investigations can address. Feeling a lack of safety and agency when others intrude into our personal lives is awful and humiliating. While this is bad enough if it affects oneself, it’s even worse when our children are the target. Perpetrators will often use threat, coercion and shame to silence and blackmail victims, for example by demanding sexually explicit images. This is why unmasking a perpetrator via a social media investigation is so empowering. It turns the tables on their supposed anonymity and exposes both themselves and their misdeeds.

Problem #3: Anonymous harassment

Usually motivated by revenge, anonymous harassment can be debilitating for the person at the receiving end. Slanderous pages, hateful messages and vicious rumours threaten victims’ wellbeing, relationships, and careers. Targets might be in the dark about who is behind it or perhaps they suspect someone but have no proof. Either way, social media investigations offer certainty and actionable insight to stop harassment.

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Why do I need a social media investigator?

So, you have doubts that someone you met on an online dating site is who they claim to be? Maybe you figured out that someone scammed, stalked, or harassed from the anonymity of a fake account? But how do you find out for sure who is behind it, and importantly, make them stop? If you report it to the relevant platform, they might shut down the account, but they won’t release information about who is behind it to you. The police can only assist in criminal matters and usually require an IP address or other evidence to act upon. Finally, your lawyer can only help if they know who to actually send a cease-and-desist letter to! Luckily, you have come to the right place. Cybertrace offers social media investigations to help you find out who is behind fake accounts.

Our tried and tested premium investigative products empower you to act. Most importantly, our reports provide the ammunition needed to stop accounts, profiles, and pages from scamming, stalking, and harassing you. Depending on the investigation, they might confirm the exact identity and/or IP address of the perpetrator. Even when that is not possible, our meticulous reports provide actionable intelligence to take to the police or your lawyer in 98% of all cases. Our clients have used these successfully to initiate police investigations, confront perpetrators directly or as evidence in court cases. Whatever path of action you decide to go down, Cybertrace’s social media investigation gives you the first vital step: premium intelligence.

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How does Cybertrace’s social media investigation work? What outcomes can I expect?

As a leader in the field of social media investigation, Cybertrace uses a combination of technical investigative techniques to find out who is behind fake social media accounts. This includes comparing published content and writing styles used by the fake profile to any individuals identified as potential suspects. Cybertrace has also developed its own highly specialised tools with the capability to deploy through various social media platforms to extract user information, such as an IP address. No other investigators use these devices and the social engineering our investigators deploy to trap stalkers, harassers, and scammers. Instead, they remain one of Cybertrace’s leading tools to find out who is behind fake social media accounts. As our Google Reviews attest, our clients value the outcomes we provide.

Great, I’m in. What’s the first step?

Over the past few years, Cybertrace’s social media investigations have certainly turned up the goods for our clients. We have successfully uncovered numerous scammers’, stalkers’, and harassers’ personal information and IP addresses. Subsequently, our clients have taken this information to their lawyers, the police, and the courts to get justice. Contact us today to stop scammers, stalkers, and harassers, and reclaim your reputation, sanity, and peace of mind!

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