1 November 2010 0 Comments

Italian Woman Victim of Virtual Robbery in Facebook Game

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Burglary is a seriously overlooked issue for Facebook users. How many times have you seen a friend’s status advertise that he’ll be gone to Cancun for the week? This is practically an open-house invitation for thieves, and yet we continue to miss this fact and go on with our social ways . . . This caught up with Italian woman Paolo Letizia last week, except that her losses were all virtual. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be comforting her too much.

Picture 7 Italian Woman Victim of Virtual Robbery in Facebook Gamecredit

“I don’t think it matters that the flat only exists in Facebook,” she says. “It is real to me and I have suffered a real loss.”

The most surprising part is that police in Italy seem to be coming down on her side . . . The social Game Pet Society from developer Playfish allows users to select a “petling” and then furnish their pet’s home with items bought in real cash from the game’s online store. Letizia had spent about $140 on virtual items like clothing and furniture, and now all of that is gone.

Picture 8 Italian Woman Victim of Virtual Robbery in Facebook Gamecredit

I’m all for justice here, but for the hacking burglar’s sake, let’s hope he or she is making the most of these virtual goods while the time lasts, because “aggravated entry” into email and Facebook is a crime with penalties of up to five years in prison.

As for Paolo Letizia, she’s left with a barren digital flat that’s populated with a lonely blue cat, the only thing left behind by the thief.

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