Is FourSquare a burglar's new best friend?

Is FourSquare a burglar’s new best friend?




Several months ago, I wrote about how social networking sites has made online scamming much easier. It seems the benefits have gone beyond the internet and is actually now visiting homes and parking lots.

A recent report showed over 50 homes were hit by burglars for the month of August. And that’s just for the town of Nashua in New Hampshire alone.

Apparently, the burglars were using social networking sites like Facebook to scout for homes to target (that’s how effective Facebook Places is).


 

The combination of Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare could be enough to profile you — FB profile photos for identification (most probably a photo of your car as well), Twitter updates for current activity and FourSquare to identify location.

Facebook Places isn’t available in the Philippines but I’m seeing a growing number of people (including me) using FourSquare to broadcast their locations to the public. Couple that with some harmless comments on Twitter or FB Status and you’re all set to be robbed.

The target doesn’t need to be your home or apartment. It could actually be you or your car. They could be waiting for you at the parking lot, stage the car-jack and take you along to the nearest ATM. This isn’t an unlikely scenario at all — I’ve heard of many victims that went thru this same exact M.O and the culprits didn’t have Facebook or FourSquare as accessory to the crime then.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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15 Responses

  1. paolody says:

    @abeolandres yup! Akyat Bahay Gang — 4square Edition…. Stand Alone Complex.

  2. Jhay says:

    That’s why I had that feature where people can include me in wherever they check in on Facebook places disabled. And I didn’t sign up for foursquare.

    I value my privacy that much.

  3. frenchy says:

    Foursquare is stalkers favorite application as well. Like @jhayrocas, I also didn’t sign up for this.

  4. nerbie says:

    I signed up with foursquare a month ago but I haven’t really use it since most of my buddies are not yet there.

    But isn’t it that even before these social networking sites came out bad guys were already around? the way I see it there are always a good side and a bad side. If we can only use the positive benefits these social networking sites give us, I think its okay. Ingat nga lang not to reveal everything.

  5. Arvee says:

    Akyat Bahay 2.0 on the loose.

  6. islacom says:

    Buhayin and Friendster hehe Joke

  7. Joal says:

    you have an option on foursquare if you you want your friends to see it on facebook and twitter.. so its always gonna be your choice if you wanna publish your current location. the good thing with foursquare is it allows me to get some tips of the places nearby and earn points even if i did not publish my current location.

  8. Faust says:

    I suggest to be vigilant at all times.

  9. Teknisyan says:

    They read the status messages and other information that gives that culprit a clue if your home or not. With the recent release of Facebook faces, this makes SNS (particularly facebook places) the perfect tool for burglars and thieves.

    http://www.teknisyan.net/2010/09/how-to-disable-facebook-places.html

  10. chl says:

    You want to know the scary thing. I actually been to Nashua, N.H – its a small town smaller than Subic Bay where everyone knows everyone. 50 hits. Malaysia which has one of the highest car-theft and burglary in the world, this is going to major issue.

  11. Ligrev says:

    I stopped using fsq after I’ve read the reports of growing break-ins abroad. It would only take a short time for local bandits to learn the system and apply the same here.

  12. Justine says:

    I sign up for this app but barely use it. haha. :)

  13. Hi, just doing some browsing for my New Hampshire 4g website. Amazing the amount of information on the web. Not what I was looking for, but cool site. Cya later.

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