Burglars used social network status updates to select victims
I'm away from home PleaseRobMe.com
US police reckon a band of burglars used social network status updates to select victims.
The alleged thieves carried out an estimated 50 burglaries in and around Nashua, New Hampshire, after gaining intelligence on properties that had been left vacant from status updates on social networking sites, such as Facebook.
The case substantiates concerns that users of location-based services such as 4Square and Facebook Places are giving away too much information. The risk that letting world+dog know that net users were away from home, eloquently highlighted by the PleaseRobMe.com mash-up of status updates from 4Square, now has a real-world example.
The New Hampshire burglars had stolen a specific type of firework during a series of home invasions last month. An alert off-duty cop is credited with breaking the case after he heard fireworks and investigated, discovering packaging that matched fireworks stolen in one of the burglaries. Warrants were obtained on the basis of this evidence leading to the arrest of three suspects and the recovery of between $100,000 and $200,000 in stolen property, including cash, electronic goods and ammunition, TV station WMUR 9 in New Hampshire reports.
The investigation remains ongoing and police hope to make further arrests. Police reckon the use of social networks by crooks to search for victims is unlikely to be isolated.
"Be careful of what you post on these social networking sites," said Capt. Ron Dickerson of Nashua police. "We know for a fact that some of these players, some of these criminals, were looking on these sites and identifying their targets through these social networking sites." ®
The best home security advice on burglary prevention I'm familiar with comes from Malcolm X, who went to prison for burglary before becoming an often controversial but unarguably charismatic African American civil rights leader.
He said homeowners should leave their bathroom light on at night if they wanted to give the impression they were at home. A bathroom light is the only light in a house that can be on at any time and for any length of time.
Old enough, but younger than you by the sounds of it.
I have two kids, thanks for asking.
My eldest is in on FB most nights and is very aware of net safety, the consequences of divulging too much info online, correctly applying security settings, and I'm on their friends list so can see status updates anyway. So 'Guess so'.
Such are the the benefits of a little bit of education, having bright kids and actually giving a crap what they're doing when they're online.
Cant blame the criminals for taking advantage...
Of people so terminally thick as to post their whereabouts to all and sundry?
This reminds me of the BA check-in guy
I remember years ago, I think it was at Gatwick, a BA check-in counter man used to figure out whose houses were worth a visit whilst his customer passengers were away on vacation.
When will people learn putting information on public notice boards, such as Facebook, make them vulnerable to many comprising uses the day employers looking for background information, or nosy neighbours wanting to know the latest gossip and, obviously, be ever vigilant criminal community.
Remember the old maxim, " Talk is dangerous"? Still good today.