Burglars Monitoring Posts on Popular Social Sites to Identify Victims
01/02/2015 – NORTHBROOK, Ill. – Matt and Shannon, a young 20-something couple, were living their lives like many people do: Graduating from college, getting married, moving into their first home, taking vacations …and proudly sharing every aspect of these events across social media. What Matt and Shannon did not realize was that by posting details about vacations and business trips while they were not at home, as well as photos of the belongings in their new home, they were exposing themselves to theft and burglary and potentially contributing to the more than $16 billion lost in property crimes each year.
Thankfully, their social media sharing habits did not cause them to become victims of a burglary, but instead, the inspiration for Allstate Insurance Company’s launch of Project Aware Share which educates consumers about sharing safely and emphasizes the importance of having the right home protection.
“We were surprised to find out that our social media habits were opening us up to be potentially targeted by burglars,” Shannon said. “We were even more surprised that our habits inspired an advertising campaign. Being part of this project has helped educate us about the potential risks of oversharing on social media. Partnering with Allstate to raise awareness about the importance of safe sharing practices makes complete sense; we’ve learned a lot and had fun along the way. Moving forward we will continue to share, but we will make sure our privacy settings are properly set. It could not have worked out any better for Matt and me.”
More and more burglars are turning to social media to find their next target. Recently, a small study of convicted burglars revealed that seventy-eight percent of robbers use social media to do just that. Thirty-five percent of Americans ages 18-34 socially share their location, while one-in-five people still do not use privacy settings on social media.
“With the advent of more social networks and more people using them, sharing online–including personal information–has increased dramatically,” said Sanjay Gupta, executive vice president of marketing, innovation and corporate relations, at Allstate Insurance Company. “As our world and technology change, so do people’s vulnerabilities. Allstate saw an important opportunity to educate consumers about safe sharing practices so they can enjoy the benefits of social media but also better protect themselves and their property.”
Allstate’s Project Aware Share features a chronologically-unveiled series of Mayhem ads that portray mayhem in a most creative and unusual way during the broadcast of the 2015 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate® Sugar Bowl®. In the ads, Mayhem lets himself into a home left vacant by a couple, inspired by Matt and Shannon, who posted on social media that they are out of town attending the Allstate® Sugar Bowl® in New Orleans.
Mayhem then puts many of the couple’s household items for sale at bargain mayhem pricing on www.MayhemSale.com, which went live during the broadcast of the Allstate® Sugar Bowl® . Items for sale were replicas of Matt and Shannon’s real-life possessions, including their flat screen television, appliances and other belongings, and all but one item, the “family car,” were purchased quickly by consumers. Those who follow Mayhem on Twitter and checked back after the game on www.MayhemSale.com were the first to know when the car was for sale at the bargain price of $200.
“Mayhem helps us highlight relevant vulnerabilities that consumers may or may not realize they face. With many people traveling over the holidays—and posting their whereabouts online—the timing was perfect for this message,” Gupta said. “Part of helping people live a good life every day is keeping them educated about and protected from potential modern-day risks, like oversharing on social media.”
Consumers looking for tips about safe sharing on social media and information on protecting your property can find helpful resources at www.allstate.com/AwareShare. The site includes access to tools like Allstate’s Digital Locker, a digital application that assists consumers with cataloging belongings and corresponding values in case of loss. Also available are links to privacy guidelines on social media sites.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life’s uncertainties through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and Allstate Financial business segment. Allstate is widely known through the slogan “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®.” The Allstate brand’s network of small businesses offers auto, home, life and retirement products and services to customers in the United States and Canada. In 2013, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners gave $29 million to support local communities. Allstate employees and agency owners donated 200,000 hours of service across the country.
SOURCE: Allstate Corporation