If you’re a burglar, and you are tired of staking out homes only to be stymied as you break in because the owner is still there, have I got an application for you!
Stop staking out houses and start staking out the new site, Please Rob Me. Instead of watching to see if there is activity in a house, you can locate users in your area who are mindlessly using Foursquare to broadcast their location to everyone on Twitter. Picking a mark is easy! Enter your area and look for someone who is eating a meal, attending a sports event, in the middle of a pub-crawl, or doing any number of other activities which might give you enough time to pull a major heist.
Once you’ve chosen your mark, click on their Twitter profile and get their real name. Look up their real name in the phone book or online, and then head on over to the ‘house of easy pickin’s’. That’s all there is to it! And if you bring along your smartphone, you can even adjust the thoroughness of your burglary as you track their progressive tweets and Foursquare check-ins. It couldn’t be easier!
Of course there is always the chance that someone might not live alone, but hey — there are ways to figure that out, too!
How much would you pay for this kind of knowledge and this kind of access? $50? $100? $500?
How about FREE … and you can get it right here.
In all seriousness, we do put an awful lot of information out on the internet, and I am just as guilty as anyone. I enjoy using Foursquare and Twitter, and both post to my Facebook, LinkedIn and Plaxo Pulse pages. That’s potentially thousands of people who not only know where I am when I am posting my location, it’s also thousands who know where I am NOT … which is at my home.
The Please Rob Me site was created to “raise some awareness on this issue and have people think about how they use services like Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz etc” — and I am glad that they did it. Seeing an up to the second time line of when people’s homes are empty has certainly reminded me that just because something is fun doesn’t mean it is necessarily the smart or right thing to do.
The danger is publicly telling people where you are. This is because it leaves one place you’re definitely not… home. So here we are; on one end we’re leaving lights on when we’re going on a holiday, and on the other we’re telling everybody on the internet we’re not home. It gets even worse if you have “friends” who want to colonize your house. That means they have to enter your address, to tell everyone where they are. Your address.. on the internet.. Now you know what to do when people reach for their phone as soon as they enter your home. That’s right, slap them across the face.