Social Medial investigations are dynamic – the tools we rely on are constantly changing. Today your favorite investigative tool works great, tomorrow it is no longer available.

Take Facebook for example. The Graph search was terminated last year and current workarounds are very limited. Another example is This was a great site to use for investigations; however, that domain has now been seized by the U.S. government.


Social Media Username, also known as Media Handle

A social media handle is a public username that represents people on social media sites.

The public distinction is important, as usernames exist on other sites where they don't serve the same purpose. For example, when you sign into your bank's website, you have to provide your username and password to log in.

A social media handle or username can be someone’s real name, a chosen pseudonym or nickname. When you know your targets username, the following five tools will help you identify their online social media accounts and activity.


Where to Begin

Your client has hired you and you want to begin your search to locate the target’s username.

Here are the steps to take:

  1. Log into your Delvepoint account and first run a full background report on your target.
  2. Next, run a Social Media Search and Basic Email Search on Delvepoint.
  3. Delvepoint’s database will return leads including Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts connected to your target.
  4. Armed with your target’s online accounts, extract the username and utilize the username search sites discussed below.

Examples of Usernames:

  1. From Facebook page capture the entire URL address of your target:
    1. For example, here is a public Facebook profile, Astro Naut:
    2. The user name is CLCAstroNaut. The username is the portion of the Facebook address that you will use for your searches.
  2. From the Instagram page select the entire URL address of your target:
    1. For example, here is a very public Instagram account for Doug the Pug dog:
    2. The user name is itsdougthepug. The is the portion of the Instagram address that you will use for your searches.
  3. From the Twitter page select the entire URL address of your target:
    1. For example, here is a very public Twitter account for the Mars Rover:
    2. The username is marscuriosity. This is the portion of the Twitter address that you will use for your searches.


Tools – Old and New

Knowem – (

Let’s take at a tool that has been around for a while, Knowem.

If you have your targets username simply enter it into this site and Knowem will search 500 popular social networks to determine if that specific username has been taken. If you get a hit, you can check that site to see if it belongs to your target.


Facebook – (

Assuming you have your target’s username, simply log into Facebook and add your target's username to the Facebook search. For example:


NameVine – (

This interesting site allows you to search a handful of the most popular networks.

Type in your target’s username and hit enter. A list of results will appear. If the username is taken a red box will indicate the username is in use.” Click the VIEW link and you will be redirected to the site.

There are two pages linked to this username, however sometimes just because a link is found that does not mean this is definitely your subject, therefore check all the links available.


Namch_k – (

This is a great site for investigators. Again, just enter your target’s username in the search bar at the top of Namechk's website.


UserSearch – (

This site also gives you options to search by email, phone, crypto-users, forum and username. This site scans 45 popular websites containing hundreds of millions of users.


Bonus Material

All of the examples in this tutorial were selected because they are public domain. These examples are for training purposes only.

Now that you have some new tools you can advance your investigative skills. Remember to always begin your search with Delvepoint so you can get up-to-date data on your target.


Michael Morelli is a leader and educator in the PI industry and board-certified expert in cyber investigations. For more information about social media skip tracing training and reports, contact Michael at 918-645-4024 or visit