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Online Investigations Case Study

Unmasking and Identifying Online Predators

Infiltrating a criminal network using the power of digital personas


A Specialised Unit for Virtual Investigations, a division of the State Police, came across a complex and distressing case involving online pedophilia. Despite numerous reports and growing concerns, the traditional methods of investigation proved insufficient to track down and identify the perpetrators involved in these heinous crimes.

The Challenge

The SUVI unit, relying primarily on conventional methods such as physical surveillance and basic internet monitoring, faced significant challenges.

These techniques proved ineffective in infiltrating closed online social media groups where most illicit activities were suspected to occur. The lack of advanced digital tools made difficult the identification of suspects and left digital trails unexplored, failing the investigation.

The Solution

To address these challenges, the SUVI unit implemented the Intellectus platform, particularly leveraging its Virtual ID module, Target Profiler, and Case Management modules. The process involved the following steps:

Virtual Personas

The analysts created digital personas that realistically mimicked potential targets of online predators. These personas were used to infiltrate various instant messaging groups and social media platforms.

Gathering Intelligence

These personas were used to gain access to collect intelligence from online groups and forums suspected of illegal activities. Analysts monitored communications,  and interactions.

Profiling Suspects

Individuals exhibiting predatory behaviour were identified and profiled. This allowed for the aggregation and analysis of their digital footprints, social connections, and behavioural patterns.

Case Management

Analysts organised the gathered intelligence into cases and folder, managing different aspects of the investigation, and coordinating efforts across other units within the agency.

Link Analysis

By analysing the connections between various profiles and using WebInt features to link phone numbers, the team could pinpoint potential real world locations of the offenders.

Getting Results

The operation was a success. The Virtual IDs managed to engage with several suspects, leading to the identification of key individuals involved in these networks. The integration of data from different modules provided a comprehensive view of the suspects’ activities, both online and offline.

The operation led to the arrest of multiple individuals involved in the distribution of illegal content and the exploitation of minors. Digital evidence gathered through the Intellectus platform was crucial in these arrests and subsequent prosecutions.


The successful resolution of this case highlighted the necessity and effectiveness of advanced digital tools in modern law enforcement, especially for crimes perpetrated in the online world.

Intellectus’ capabilities helped in creating believable digital personas, coupled with sophisticated data analysis and case management, proved indispensable in addressing the challenges of online investigations.

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