Facebook Status Update Leads to Robbery


When you are ‘friends’ with people on Facebook that you are not actually friends with, how do you know whether they have good intentions?

A recent segment on CNN discusses the risks that you may be taking while updating your Facebook status. You don’t know who is looking at your private information because it’s truly not private – it’s public. Keri McMullen found this out the hard way after she posted a simple status message that she was going to see a band with her fiancé. It only took the burglars calling the venue to find out what time the show was to let them know when they could break into her home. The burglars showed up 35 minutes after the McMullens left for the concert.

It is that simple. You post a casual message to your “friends” that could turn into a nightmare where, like Keri, you lose upwards of $11,000 in personal property. They were lucky that they had cameras installed in the home and were able to catch the perpetrators on film. After posting pictures of them on her Facebook page (a good use of social networking), another friend recognized the intruders as Keri’s high school classmates.

Keri’s experience shows other Facebook users that, even though you may have known an individual at one time, if you do not interact with them and know their character now, then how can you trust them? Remember you don’t have to be Facebook friends with everyone you have ever spoken to. By keeping your ‘friends’ limited, you are lessening your risk of becoming a victim. No matter what privacy setting you have on your Facebook profile, your posts are public, permanent and exploitable.

John Sileo is an an award-winning author and keynote speaker on identity theft, internet privacy, fraud training & technology defense. John specializes in making security entertaining, so that it works. John is CEO of The Sileo Group, whose clients include the Pentagon, Visa, Homeland Security & Pfizer. John’s body of work includes appearances on 60 Minutes, Rachael Ray, Anderson Cooper & Fox Business. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076.

19 replies
  1. Robert
    Robert says:

    It also said one of her FRIENDS saw their picture, recognized them, and told her who it was. That would tell me they were friends with HER friend, not her, or SHE would have recognized them.

  2. Paul
    Paul says:

    Great article – especially the bit about privacy settings. I find that the current trend of posting a photo from the airport with a cheeky 6am pint or cocktail is very alarming. You may as well raise a glass to the burglar who now knows your home is empty.

  3. Russel Stoner
    Russel Stoner says:

    We used to complain years ago about the government watching our every move and a CCTV camera on every corner. We now freely give away information at the drop of a hat allowing criminals to profit from it. Although as a previous comment stated, criminals are falling for the same trap and boasting about their activities which is very helpful for the police.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Friday night, a woman was burgled shortly after she posted on Facebook saying that she was off to see one of her favourite […]

  2. […] Sileo Group. (2014). Facebook Status Update Leads to Robbery. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from https://sileo.com/facebook-status-update-leads-to-robbery/ […]

  3. yoursocialm8 says:

    […] Sileo Group. (2014). Facebook Status Update Leads to Robbery. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from https://sileo.com/facebook-status-update-leads-to-robbery/ […]

  4. […] check-ins and any sort of revealing social post while you’re away. Burglaries of this nature have happened […]

  5. […] why many people keep quiet. There is evidence that posting about your vacation on social media increases your risk of being robbed, for example. Others simply believe that one’s family life should be very private, not for the […]

  6. […] Sileo, n.d, ‘Facebook status update leads to robbery’, viewed 24 April 2015,<https://sileo.com/facebook-status-update-leads-to-robbery/&gt; […]

  7. […] are traveling, it is extremely tempting to share that excitement on Facebook or Twitter but recent stories have indicated that skilled robbers scour the internet for this information and rob houses when […]

  8. […] easier to break into the house when there are no dogs present or people present. So whenever you post that you are on vacation at a far away place, it is like leaving a bunch of newspapers piling up […]

  9. […] recent Internet story tells the tale of a woman who shared news about going to a concert and came back home only to find […]

  10. […] Make sure your home looks occupied even when is not. The FBI reported that most burglaries happen during daytime from 10am to 3pm when residents are in school or at work. Burglary incidence is also highest during summer months when families are on vacation (and announce them on social media). […]

  11. […] every time you go somewhere, or even when you’re just sitting in your house. I’ve seen articles where someone was robbed because they previously posted their house location in a post and later posted that they’re […]

  12. […] Here is an example of a house being robbed because of a Facebook post: https://sileo.com/facebook-status-update-leads-to-robbery/ […]

  13. […] has the basic philosophy of open, the privacy issue has been the main issue all over the world. Some people have criticized that Facebook Status Update Leads to Robbery. That is just a phenomenon. The basic issue is the privacy of all Facebook […]

  14. […] a hotel or with friends and family, you have now broadcasted that your home is unoccupied, allowing criminals to easily ransack your home and steal not only your own personal belongings, but tools and equipment of the contractors working […]

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