How Robbers Did Their Dirty Deeds Before Foursquare

foursquare logoStan Schroeder writing on Mashable:

There’s a very easy way to find out if someone is home or not: you phone their fixed phone number. If no one answers, chances are the house is empty. If you really want to make sure, you can simply check if the lights are on.

And yes, robbers actually used these tactics to rob people’s house for ages; this is why, ahead of summer vacations, you’ll see advice in magazines to have a friend periodically visit your house, turn the lights on and generally create the impression the house is not abandoned.

Faced with criticism that their service is helping robbers find empty houses, the folks at Foursquare point out that there are other ways of finding out someone’s location: a cleverly designed Twitter or Facebook search will do the trick just as well….

[continues at Mashable]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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  • Word Eater

    The problem with the calling the phone number trick is that I don't answer the phone unless I recognize the phone number on Caller ID.

    I also have a tendency to leave all the external lights off to be kinder to the critters that live in my neighborhood.

    I guess I better keep my gun under my pillow or strapped on at all times.

  • zobop republic

    Buy timers for your lights and appliances to create the impression that someone is home. That kind of technology has been around for years.

  • wombat247

    It's just too bad that nobody who's dumb enough to blare their vacation plans on facebook or twitter has anything worth stealing in the first place.

  • Anonymous

    Just watch Home Alone. Kevin McCallister shows you all you need to know.

  • chonus

    Just watch Home Alone. Kevin McCallister shows you all you need to know.