You might remember this incident from last year: Until they were caught, three robbers in New Hampshire checked Facebook status updates and managed to get away with $200,000 worth of stolen goods after breaking into 50 homes.
As social media use increases, it's not surprising that criminals are taking advantage of all this social data too. However, the latest report from Credit Sesame shows how social media is becoming an integral tool for robbers to plan their next target.
According to a report, the firm Credit Sesame interviewed 50 ex-burglars in England and discovered 80 percent of the robbers used Facebook, Twitter, Google Street view, and Foursquare.
The report found that:
- Last year, twice as many robberies occurred during the day than at night!
- 78 percent check Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare for potential places.
- 74 percent use Google Street View to check out the property before they rob the home, eliminating the need for an physical drive-by.
- 80 percent admit their first attempt usually ends in failure.
- 78 say that a home alarm would have made them think twice.
- It only takes 2 minutes for a robber to break into a house. And it takes 10 minutes, on average, for a home robbery to occur.
Social media users may like to brag about where they are and what they are doing, but it seems, crooks are guilty of revealing too much information too.
At least, police are beginning to use social media to fight crime. For instance, the NYPD formed a social media unit to catch criminals. And a sheriff in Broward County is crowd sourcing the effort, using his 10,000 Facebook fans to solve crimes.
Infographic via Credit Sesame