Dutch insurance company FBTO is actively warning its users not to post their vacation plans to Twitter, social networks, or even worse: travel blogs!
According to the company criminals are using social networking tools to find possible victims. In the past, these criminals used to check mailboxes (full mailbox = probably away for the week) which houses they could break into. Now they use digital means to find their victims.
Maybe one day these insurance companies will start refusing payout based on what you said on Twitter. If you are stupid enough to announce to the world that you are not home for a week, you are practically inviting burglars over, right? Well, not really but that shouldn’t stop insurance companies from using it as an excuse.
The threat seems real as a simple search reveals. Search for “On vacation next” and you will get lots of results from people openly admitting where they are going to next week.
Lots of potential victims!
Of course you would have to find out where they live next but via their profiles you will easily find their Flickr account where there will be enough geo-tagged photos to find an address. Use Google Streetview to stake out the neighborhood and plan your exit. Empty the house and sell whatever you find on eBay.
It must be good to be a criminal with all these free tools in the age of online transparency!