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Is anyone watching you?

Remember the old story where a couple get an all expenses paid holiday for having won a lucky draw or something? They return to find their house ransacked.

There was an updated version I saw recently on a program called ‘Hustle’ where the couple got a free show and dinner invite complete with limo service. They were out for 4 hours and come back to an emptied out house.

The moral of the story is ‘If something’s too good to be true, it probably is’.

In the words of marketers this is called ‘cold calling your prospect’. You invite them to something not knowing if they would be interested or not. If they are, you strike.

But what about a world where the prospect says ‘Come strike me’.

Or rather ‘Come rob me’.

This post mentions what seems like a real life incident linked to this site called foursquare.

I am not a user of foursquare, but apparently, it is an application whereby you check in to a location. And you broadcast it to the world. So if you have signed up, you can say. I checked into the Starbucks@Esplanade or Harrys@boat quay or whatever. The outlet concerned has the option of giving away freebies/promotions to people who check in frequently etc.

The flip side of this of course is that people know your location. (assuming you tell the truth. If you are not then the whole four square is pointless to you any way). This could be an invitation to be robbed.

In this post the author talks about getting a call from a stranger at the coffee shop, as he said that he’d checked in there. And proceeded to inform him of a break in at his house.

While the internet opens the doors to free communications, one needs to also be aware of who is watching.

On the one hand there are the brands that are trying to tempt the tweeters or facebookers with targeted offerings, while on the other side are unscrupulous elements out to cheat.

Brands have the tough task of not being lumped with the latter category and need to walk the fine line of erring on the side of privacy.

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