According to the Star Online report on 17 January 2011, there were over 400 crimes involving Facebook reported to the authorities in 2010. Well, it’s no surprise really when you check out the following stats:
- Almost 10 million FB users in Malaysia. That’s close to 40% of the population, and growing! Where there are people, there are conmen.
- 18 to 24 year olds make up the majority of Malaysian FB users. Young, restless, yearn for acceptance/recognition and easily influenced.
- Malaysians have among the highest number of Friends in FB, an average of 233. How many people that you’ve never met are your “Friends” ?
- Most Malaysians have low privacy settings, which mean conmen can lift addresses, phone numbers and photographs.
- A total average of 9 hours logged in on FB per week. How many of us spent 9 hours with any of our real friends last week?
Now, when you look at the 400 crimes figure, it seems too insignificant right? I mean 10 million users and only 400 people got conned. It makes you wonder how many crimes went unreported.
From identity thefts, fraud and harassment to recruiting drug mules and gang members, Facebook is sure becoming a bit of a nuisance. For now the problems seem petty… for example:
A headmaster in Malacca was apparently looking for a homosexual partner via a FB page he never created. Haha… classic!
But things will get serious when conmen adapt to the online landscape and become more sophisticated in their methods. Like when you return home from a weekend escapade to find your house robbed just because you posted “off to Phuket, 3 days of bliss!” on Facebook.
Not so funny now isn’t it?