People said it would happen with Foursquare, it may have already happened with Twitter, and now the trend has continued on Facebook: Burglars in Nashua, New Hampshire looked at updates from Facebook to figure out when one target wasn’t at home.
These particular burglars performed more than 50 burglaries but they didn’t use Facebook Places, and they may have only targeted one person by looking at his Facebook page. But it goes to show that you should be careful even if you’re using Facebook’s privacy settings to make your updates viewable only to friends.
We’ve heard speculation that burglars would use Facebook status updates to target people in the past, but this time it looks like it’s not just talk. So let this be a warning: Be careful what you include in your social media updates.
Local Police said “We’ve been in contact with the Nashua police, and they confirmed that they while they have an ongoing investigation and have already made a number of arrests, the only Facebook link was that one of those arrested had a Facebook friend who posted about leaving town in the near future (which is why they believe that home was targeted) and it had nothing to do with Facebook Places. The police confirmed that the other burglaries had nothing to do with Facebook altogether.”
- Don’t Get Robbed: Burglars Use Facebook to Pick Targets (mashable.com)
- Facebook Washes Hands Off New Hampshire Heists (globalthoughtz.com)
- Try To Avoid Friending Potential Burglars on Facebook (blogs.forbes.com)
- Burglars used social network status updates to select victims (go.theregister.com)
- Thieves Target Homes Based on Facebook Updates (escapistmagazine.com)