If you regularly conduct open source intelligence searches you’ll have undoubtedly searched a mobile phone number and come across Gumtree listings that are no longer available. These ads can be found in the NetWatch Gumtree dataset which includes over 400 million records spanning the last 8 years.
Some might expect there not to be much value within historic classified ads data, but they would be very wrong. The classified ads search is delivering intelligence for our police clients on a daily basis and proving to be an extremely valuable alternative intelligence source. So what can you expect to find?
Many ads are uploaded from a smart phone and pinned with a GPS location, meaning that we can deliver ads that have been uploaded from a certain place. With this we can show all the locations that a user has posted from over the last 8 years, enabling you to locate associated addresses you weren’t aware of, or to link people to possible or known associates.
The dataset contains a huge volume of phone numbers. This means that your intelligence team can either search on a known phone number to go directly to the posts for a person of interest, or locate alternative phone numbers for a subject that you can then search across other systems.
With all the ads including a short description, it is often here that we find the most valuable information. People often tell interesting stories relating to their listings, about why the items are being sold, where they come from and more – you’ll be amazed what you can find here and what it can do for your investigation.
All of the images posted with an ad can be seen on the NetWatch classified ads search, even if the post is 5 years old. These can have value if you are interested in a specific item – perhaps a high value electronics item that an insurance claim has been made on. However, they often deliver even more value through what can be seen in the background, views from windows can be used to Geolocate the image, reflections can be used to ID suspects, and interiors of homes can be used to confirm addresses.
Most classified ads include a contact name – making it easy to fully attribute a listing to a real world identity. However, many people share accounts with their partners, so its possible to use the tool to link people and confirm they are associated. This can also be done by confirming differing accounts have posted from the same location.
The tool delivers much more than this and provides a valuable intelligence source that simply isn’t available elsewhere. As such we find that it has the power to unlock investigations that are at a dead end, and frequently find key evidence for our cases.
It’s easy to search the Classifed Ads data on a case by cases basis by requesting a NetWatch OSINT ToolSuite account. Through ToolSuite you can search via our dashboard, and easily navigate the results on the platform.
For higher volumes or to integrate the classified ads search into your processes we have an API connection. Contact us via email@example.com to request the documentation and set up a trial.
Finally, its worth noting that where appropriate NetWatch will include this data in the investigations we undertake, one of the many differentiators that set our OSINT investigations above our competitors. We would always recommend that for the most complete OSINT research that you speak to us.
All the data included in our classified ads dataset has been posted to the internet publicly. However, we take our data protection obligations seriously, and as such all clients must go through our vetting process and demonstrate a valid use case to access the data.
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