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SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
8/14/18 6:06 p.m.

Asking for a friend, etc...

What’s out there these days on a budget?  GPS trackers, spy cams, mics, motion detectors, WiFi signal detectors, cell phone trackers...

What is available to an amateur that might show a person’s whereabouts at particular times?

Maybe legal...

Things that would be hard for a tech savvy  person to notice or stop. 

Mostly curious. My knowledge base mostly ends at the in-flight Hammacher Schlemmer catalogs. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/14/18 6:27 p.m.

This is going to be a great thread.

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/14/18 6:33 p.m.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Reader
8/14/18 6:38 p.m.

I would like to know how good of a security camera you need  to get a good enough picture to ID the bad guy ( Prowler , thief , Fuller brush man etc )

most of the cheap cameras will show you someone was there , but they would never be good enough to go to court with.......

Maybe good enough for the Facial recognition  website :)  like they have in China !

mtn
mtn MegaDork
8/14/18 6:38 p.m.

A gps tracker that we could stick in my bosses backpack would be great. Guy is all over the country all the time, and it'd be nice to know which office he's in at any given time to know if we should or shouldn't call.

RevRico
RevRico UberDork
8/14/18 6:41 p.m.

Just call your local FBI field office and tell them you're a ranking member of some Podunk police department. They'll give you all kind of spy gear. 

secretariata
secretariata SuperDork
8/14/18 6:49 p.m.
RevRico said:

Just call your local FBI field office and tell them you're a ranking member of some Podunk police department. They'll give you all kind of spy gear. 

I don't think that is the same kind of "giving" that was intended... laugh

Wally
Wally MegaDork
8/14/18 6:49 p.m.

I made a periscope from a milk carton 

https://m.wikihow.com/Make-a-Periscope

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
8/14/18 7:01 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

This is going to be a great thread.

I thought you guys would like it!!  Haha!

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/14/18 7:03 p.m.

Vodka martinis are cheap.

You need a car. Something very fast... Audi S8? Something that can... Shove a little bit.

Also, get nitrous.

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/14/18 7:18 p.m.

I think it really comes down to putting yourself in someone else's shoes.

For example, say I want to know where someone is at pretty much all times. 

So, how does that person communicate? If they are a Facebook or tweeter, then they probably have done my work for me. If they are an introvert who is home all the time, can I go make friends with the old people who live on the same block?

Maybe they have a dog, that means they have to be at home at least twice a day, or have a friend who has access to the house. I could casually run into someone that works in the same office (perhaps when everyone is leaving at 5), and make up a gossip story about the target; hey, do you know the guy with short black hair who drives that blue car?!? He just bumped my car and drove off!! Now you know a lot about where the target works and may have made some friends with the targets coworkers. Once you know home and work schedules, you can start filling in the rest. Etc.

The tech could help, but I think the real skills are they same as they have always been. (Observe, listen, outsmart). 

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/14/18 7:27 p.m.

I also think you could be pretty successful using the phone. Call anyone and everyone, and just ask for info. Most will not give you much but some will talk your ear off.

 

 

Wally
Wally MegaDork
8/14/18 7:41 p.m.

In reply to Robbie :

With repos we’d try a mom or ex, tell them the person in question had won a prize and you needed to contact them. Moms will happily sell you out for a big screen tv, an ex girlfriend will drive me to your house to see your car get snatched.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
8/14/18 7:45 p.m.
Wally said:

In reply to Robbie :

With repos we’d try a mom or ex, tell them the person in question had won a prize and you needed to contact them. Moms will happily sell you out for a big screen tv, an ex girlfriend will drive me to your house to see your car get snatched.

I always thought that Skip Tracing would be one hell of an enjoyable career. 

Wally
Wally MegaDork
8/14/18 8:01 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

It was. I would help out a guy who was an evil genius. This was pre-internet where everyone shared they whereabouts and his guy had a kinda of covers, a number of phone lines, and really enjoyed difficult recoveries.  I would tag along when he needed a second body for a skit or drive away. It’s amazing the lengths people will go to keeping something only to lose it to a remarkably simple goof.  

kazoospec
kazoospec UltraDork
8/14/18 8:18 p.m.

Spy van.  

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/14/18 8:33 p.m.

In reply to SVreX :

GPS trackers for trailers are getting common enough that I expect it’s your cheapest route for tracking a vehicle. Getting it placed on someone else’s vehicle unknowingly would be the difficult part I believe. 

phaze1todd
phaze1todd Dork
8/14/18 8:38 p.m.

Shomer-Tec has always been one of my favs.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/14/18 8:40 p.m.

So, I don't actually know any specific spy gear, but I know that GPS is one-way. You can't talk to it, you can only listen. So a GPS tracker is going to have to be either recovered at some point so you can learn where it's been, or it's going to have to broadcast either occasionally or continuously. 

Which makes me think that there's a very common product out there that's perfect for the job. Get an old iPhone and set it up with a new Apple ID. Then you can use Find My Iphone to find out exactly where it is via another phone or a web interface any time you want. If you know where your...target...is going to be and there's wifi, you don't even need a cell contract. Heck, in that case it can be just about any Apple device. Obsolete iPhones are cheap, $30 for a 4S. If it gets discovered, you can wipe it remotely.

Pretty easy to stop once it's found, of course.

A similar alternative is a pet tracker. This one will not only allow you to ping the location, but you can also geofence it so it'll alert you when your, umm, "pet" leaves the "yard". 

pres589
pres589 PowerDork
8/14/18 8:51 p.m.

There's always the Pentax Nocta, they show up on eBay now and then. 

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/14/18 9:11 p.m.

The problem with the apple stuff is the battery ... It might not last long.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Reader
8/14/18 9:14 p.m.

a similar alternative is a pet tracker. This one will not only allow you to ping the location, but you can also geofence it so it'll alert you when your, umm, "pet" leaves the "yard". 

you need to figure out how to get power to pet tracker  or old iPhone , 

solar panel on the roof of a  trailer ,  but not on a car !

you need to weigh what the info is worth VS  what will happen if you get found out  !

rustybugkiller
rustybugkiller HalfDork
8/14/18 10:08 p.m.
Wally said:

In reply to Robbie :

With repos we’d try a mom or ex, tell them the person in question had won a prize and you needed to contact them. Moms will happily sell you out for a big screen tv, an ex girlfriend will drive me to your house to see your car get snatched.

As a former Repo guy, that’s  actually illegal.  

 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/14/18 10:35 p.m.

In reply to rustybugkiller :

You think that's going to stop a New Yorker?

Suprf1y
Suprf1y UltimaDork
8/14/18 11:38 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

So, I don't actually know any specific spy gear, but I know that GPS is one-way. You can't talk to it, you can only listen. So a GPS tracker is going to have to be either recovered at some point so you can learn where it's been, or it's going to have to broadcast either occasionally or continuously. 

My buddy bought a tracker (ebay I think) to put in his girlfriends car and he could check her location live online as well as a history of where she'd been. it wasn't expensive either.

They're no longer together.

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