Now a days, using social media sites like Facebook, twitter or some other similar web portals become an integral part for updating our lives within friends and or relatives. Whatever we do, wherever we go, whatever we buy or intended to buy all goes at public domain and it is very easy to find out almost everything about your family, your relatives, your close friends even about your children, where do they go for education etc.

It has become routine with many of us and we really do not think a DARK side of such information sharing which goes directly to public domain and even goes to our SO CALLED FACEBOOK friends about whom we barely know, because we tends to accept as many as new friends without even knowing if these are REAL ONE or may be a group of a criminals.

Forensic Audit - ROBBERY THEFT

There are many situations where we go for such Forensic investigations and try to find a link from where the confidential information would have leaked or FRAUDSTER would have stalked the VICTIM, hence it is very essential to understand how VICTIM might use today’s technology to execute a crime and would be able to target its VICTIM as per its own convenience.

Many crimes which are happening using FACEBOOK information and even it is uses to trace back the location of VICTIM to ensure that CRIME would take place in the absence of VICTIM easily. Robbery/ theft would be planned based on the searches over FACEBOOK account of millions and as per the location preference which a FRAUSTER would like to have.

twitter facebook together exchange of information Social Media

Some Trends about ROBBERY/ THEFT using Facebook or other social medial information- 

Every sixth cybercrime in India committed through social media: NIA (2015)

Some Facts:

Every sixth cybercrime in India is committed through social media, Alok Mittal, the chief of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said.

In comparison, theft and robbery, which account for the highest incidences of crime in India, show an annual growth of 17-18%.

“The number of cybercrime cases reported across India in 2014 was a little more than 9,600, a mere fraction of the estimated three lakh theft cases (that year). But the concern is an annual growth of 70% for the last three years,”

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/every-sixth-cybercrime-in-india-committed-through-social-media-nia/story-KscgnwjcTZ0pzVeVaOiN6M.html

According to a report, the firm Credit Sesame interviewed 50 ex-burglars in England and discovered 80 percent of the robbers used Facebook, Twitter, Google Street view, and Foursquare (2011)

Source: http://www.zdnet.com/article/infographic-80-of-robbers-check-twitter-facebook-google-street-view/ 

Some Burglars Using Social Media to Find Targets, I-Team Survey Shows

Several thieves said they had used social media to case targets for break-ins when responding to a survey the I-Team sent to 500 convicted burglars in New York and New Jersey. More than 10 percent of those 57 respondents said they’ve logged on to find targets and good times to strike. Sarah Wallace has more insight from one imprisoned thief. (Published Monday, Aug. 22, 2016)

Source: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Investigations-I-Team-Social-Media-Use-Survey-New-York-New-Jersey-390938211.html#ixzz4iFwiy1aL

Why it is a reason of worry?

May be the next target of such crime would be you or someone near you. Awareness and avoiding some basic things can prevent this kind of stalking.

The research shows that the crimes related using such social media information are being reported very LESS IN NUMBER comparing to its actual happening because many areas even the people do not know whether it will be considered as a crime. Under the Information technology act 2000, these are one of categorized category of crime and strict punishment which includes imprisonment has been mentioned. 

What are the areas which we should be care about to avoid such crimes?

  • Stop updating your status on any such social media sites every time,
  • Make your location OFF by using setting in your social media account,
  • Do not accept each and every friend request to whom you hardly knows,
  • AVOID updating pictures of yours or your family which could easily provide an idea to any FRAUDSTER about you and your family members,
  • Do not share your work place address and home address on such social media accounts,
  • Never share your family gathering or any forthcoming plans on such accounts,
  • If possible, try to avoid opening location command when your are on your way to avoid trapping into a crime,

This is not an exhaustive list, but it could surely make a difference in a way we do our routine stuff which make ourselves in some unpleasant situations.

Forensic Accountant should be aware about such trends around and one has to think in a way FRAUDSTER thinks to catch them and ensure compliance of law of the land.

Author is a Certified Forensic Auditor and passionate about sharing knowledge/ experiences writing articles. He can be reached at agrawal.anuj@icai.org  or Whatsapp 9634706933

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