A Philadelphia resident’s home was broken into by robbers specifically asking for jewelry. A critically-acclaimed actress’ Oscar dress, purportedly sewn with thousands of dollars worth of pearls, is stolen from her hotel room. Millions of dollars’ worth of rare Indian jewels are stolen from an exhibition at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice. What do the three thefts have in common?
All three had received an enormous amount of attention on social media before the thefts occurred.
People always enjoyed showing off their gems and jewelry, but the advent of the social media-driven lifestyle has meant that people are going far beyond enjoying the privilege of owning remarkable assets. They are broadcasting their ownership, as well as where they are wearing them, who they are with, when they are away from home, and more information that is providing potential thieves with all the incentive and information they need to engage in luxury item crime.
Perhaps the best known example of this dynamic befell reality start Kim Kardashian, who was heldpup in Paris in 2016 after having posted numerous photos of herself wearing extraordinarily expensive jewelry on Instagram, including her 20-carat diamond engagement ring. When the celebrity was alone in her private hotel room, gunmen terrorized her and took the ring, two Cartier diamond bracelets, diamond earrings, a gold and diamond necklace, and a gold Rolex watch. All told the theft represented $10 million in jewels, and in the aftermath it became clear that the theft was relatively easy to perpetrate. She had posted photos of herself wearing the jewelry constantly during her trip, as well as updates on where she was and where she was going to be. She had even commented on the identity of her personal bodyguard, thus making it clear who he was and allowing the thieves the ability to confirm that he was elsewhere and that she was unprotected.
According to Christopher Hagon, a former Scotland Yard officer who now runs a security consulting firm, “Kardashian was letting the world know what she owns and where was going at virtually every moment. I mean, how much do you hear about Jeff Bezos traveling around? How often do you see pictures of him standing in front of his own jet?” The temptation to report on every new acquisition has been fed by social media and is being blamed for more and more theft involving high value assets. Similarly, many burglary victims are learning after the fact that posting photos of their fabulous vacations gave burglars the all clear sign for breaking into their empty homes.
According to security company ADT, 78% of burglars are now using social media as a resource before pursuing their crimes. Make sure that you are judicious in your use of today’s technology. To make sure that you have the insurance coverage you need in case your valuables are targeted, contact us today to make sure your assets are protected.