The £800,000 burglary at the Hale home of Love Islander and influencer, Molly-Mae Hague, and her boxer boyfriend, Tommy Fury, should serve as a warning to all high-net-worth homeowners.
The 22-year-old influencer and creative director of a leading fashion brand, whose party the couple were attending in London, when burgled, now says she has “learnt her lesson” and will be more careful what she now shares online.
Having highlighted their ownership of items such as Cartier bracelets and Hermes and Louis Vuitton clothing, as well as offering online insights into their schedule, the burglars had every opportunity to understand the haul available and the best time to strike. Therein lies a dilemma for an influencer, typically paid to showcase brand items, holidays and trips to events and eateries. However, for most individuals using social media, there are ways to avoid alerting burglars to what we own, where we are at any given moment and our travels.
The best advice for anyone is to not openly reveal what your home contains or what your latest purchases may be, even if that is a brand-new car that is your pride and joy, or a stunning piece of jewellery. Similarly, do not highlight that you are away from home by posting social media photos of your holiday or pictures of the restaurant at which you have just arrived.
It pays to understand that burglars trawl social media posts, to build a picture of what individuals possess that is worth stealing and what their movements are. Posting on social media is a perfect signpost for interested, but unwanted parties. If you feel the need to share holiday snaps, only do it once you have returned and are ‘reflecting’ on your travels.
Some people may feel they are being careful with regard to their movements, without realising that their posts are appearing alongside GPS-enabled ‘tracking’ technology that identifies from where, geographically, the social media posts are being uploaded. Smartphone pictures are tagged with metadata that software can read. Social media platforms can even show your followers that you are on board a plane, travelling to a foreign destination, you can disable location services for these apps via your smartphone.
Applying restrictions on who can see our posts, via your privacy settings, is also advisable, so that only friends and family can view what you post. Checking on what other members of your family, particularly children, are posting and who is able to view those posts, is something else to do, to maintain your privacy and prevent criminals knowing all about you. Be cautious also, if you get a friend request from someone to whom you are already connected. A fake account may have been set up in their name as a means to fish for information.
Not allowing potential burglars to ‘tour’ your home is vital. A common criminal tactic is to use Google Street View to determine possible entry and exit routes around your property
For help with other means of reducing your risks and other measures, such as enhanced security, speak to a broker experienced in handling high-net-worth risks. If you need to find such a broker to assist you, please get in touch.