Thieves Using Craigslist, Facebook & Other Websites

Bikes stolen using social networks and other websitesWe believe that Internet access is an indispensible aspect of our modern lives because of how it connects us better to the people and information we care about.

For people with special interests, online communities of friends and others who share your passions can be especially valuable.

But a story in the Los Angeles Times a couple of days ago is another reminder that you have to be careful what you share online and how you share it.

The Times reported that several people were arrested as part of a bicycle theft group that over the past two years stole almost 200 high-end bicycles worth approximately $250,000.

The arrest was a cautionary tale to Internet and social network users because the thieves evidently targeted victims and planned crimes using Craigslist, Facebook, and other websites for bike enthusiasts.

One victim who was selling an expensive bike on Craigslist set up a time for a potential buyer to come to his house. They buyer never came, but a couple of weeks later the bike was stolen from his home.

When thieves got names of potential victims from encounters on other websites they often then logged into Facebook to find more information and search for additional targets.

We encourage you to keep using the Internet to enhance your life in all the ways you do already, including being active in social networks like Facebook. In fact, we’d love it if you would click over to our EarthLink Facbook page and Like us to stay connected.

We just want to be aware that some kinds of online posts may invite the wrong kind of attention. And when you’re selling something expensive, think twice before you give out your home address or other personal information.

Be safe.