Protecting yourself from being a victim of social media theft

WICHITA, Kan. — Three Wichita men will soon be sentenced in connection with a burglary ring throughout Sedgwick County. The men are being charged with 27 felony counts of burglary, all of which can be credited to social media.

Several people that KSN talked to who declined to be identified said that one of the men, Brian Dwyer, was a family man and a hard working real estate agent.

But Dwyer, his brother Adam and Daniel Maupin have spent months ripping people off using a tool that isn’t commonly used to hurt people; Social media.

Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are common place for many of us to network, but doing things like posting our current location can actually prove to be pretty harmful.

“Burglars use social media all the time to identify homes where no one is around, whether they’re on vacation, when they’re at work, when they’re out to dinner, when they’re at a wedding,” said Gordon Bassham, Executive Director of the Wichita Crime Commission.

That is exactly what these three men did to target their victims.

In one case, the men walked off with close to $40,000 worth of merchandise from a home where the family was on vacation.

Gordon Bassham with the Wichita Crime Commission says in the age of social media it’s best to protect yourself by not making your social media viewable to everybody.

“Unless they limit their contacts to just their friends, anybody out there can know where you are, what you are doing, where you’ve been, what you’ve bought,” said Bassham.

Bassham also suggests making sure your home is properly secured.

“One of the things you can do is have an alarm system on your home, have surveillance cameras inside or outside your home,” said Bassham.

So if someone decides to break into your home, you and police can be notified immediately.

The district attorney is recommending prison time for two of the criminals and probation for the third because he cooperated with law enforcement in solving the cases.

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