Saturday, February 19, 2011

Criminal Friends on Facebook

I'm sitting here watching TruTV's "Dumbest Criminals 25" and the very first dumb criminals robbed a house with a camera - apparently hidden, but maybe not. It captured them stealing around $11,000 worth of electronics and jewelry. When the owners got home they reviewed the footage and instead of giving it to the cops they put it up on Facebook. One of their Facebook friends ID'ed one of the thieves (he had a great full face shot) - who was another of the victims Facebook friends. How did the criminal know the house would be empty? The victim posted a status update saying they would be gone and when they would be back.

I don't know how well the victims knew the thief. I don't know if they were longtime friends or it was just someone whose friend request they'd accepted. Obviously they didn't know him as well as they thought.

Facebook and Twitter are great for keeping up with friends, letting family know what's going on in your life, and seeing what your favorite celebrities publicist wants you to think the celeb is thinking. But it is not a safe haven. There are loop holes and tricks to see members information even if you're not their friend. So even if all of your friends are people you know and trust, you should avoid posting realtime information about your activities. It's not hard for crooks to figure out you're not home, but why make it easier?