Facebook honeytrap used in Belgian hypermart blag
Fake lady lure saw boss snatched, safe pillaged
Belgian crooks used a Facebook relationship lure to trick a hypermarket manager into a trap, kidnapping him and obtaining keys to the store's safe before making good their escape.
Local police have put out an appeal for information about the apparently well-planned blag on Thursday, five months after an audacious scam that relied on the power of social networking. The unnamed store manager was lured into a trap via a fraudulent Facebook friend request in early February. A friendship was struck up and the man was invited to have cosy dinner by "Katrien Van Loo", presumably to further the new friendship.
But when he arrived at an Antwerp apartment for dinner on 15 February, the store manager found only an empty building, where he was overpowered by two unidentified men. He was gagged, blindfolded and forced to hand over the keys to his apartment.
One of the assailants went back to his apartment and recovered keys for the Carrefour Express store where the man worked while the other stayed with their victim. These store keys were passed on to a third accomplice, who used the keys to enter the store and rob its safe prior to making his escape with an unspecified sum of money. Both the second and third suspects were captured on CCTV footage.
The whole incident is a salutary reminder that criminals can pose as anyone online. If you do arrange to meet someone that you only know from Facebook, do it in a public place and avoid going alone.
Rik Ferguson, a security consultant at Trend Micro, who tipped us off about the kidnap/supermarket blag, has posted more safety tips for dealing with friend requests from strangers in a blog post here. ®
Rob wrote : - "desperate people will ignore all common sense. In this case a single man thought he might be in for a night of food and sex"
You have to be desperate to go on a date? Don't tell me you are one of those people who say that you should only meet people that you have already met before. My mother gave me useless advice like that - sounded like Catch 22 to me.
Millions of people meet first over the internet these days. In fact it is a mystery to me how else a couple would meet each other - or how they used to before the internet. Ask older couples how they met and they wave their arms and say "Oh, it just happened" - great advice that.
Just because you hear of a car crash somewhere does not mean you should not drive; it just means be careful, so yes it is best to meet a blind date in a public place. But take someone else with you???? Sounds like the Spanish interpreter in that Blackadder episode.
You can give as much good advice and guidelines until your blue in the face but desperate people will ignore all common sense. In this case a single man thought he might be in for a night of food and sex.... at what point will common sense intervene in this senario... answers on a postcard too P.O. Box Bleedin Obvious
Nightclub honeytrap used in Belgian hypermart blag!
Crooks used a "nightclub relationship lure" to trick a hypermarket manager into a trap, kidnapping him and obtaining keys to the store's safe before making good their escape.
Amazingly, no social networking software was needed for this heist.
Police are totally stumped on how the perps managed to obtain the requisite "facetime" to make good their sophisticated scheme.
Politicians were not long in denouncing the increasing prevalence and brazeness of software-less heists. "Something must be done and we are actively working on a legislative proposal for next week", minister Jim Y. Mommony declared during a hastily assembled press conference. Several QUANGOs have already expressed their interest in taking this issue up.