PLA Radio Episode #27 – Foursquare Stalking
The internet's latest social media craze is known as Foursquare. Foursquare is an application designed for most smart phones and can be downloaded at foursquare.com. Whenever you arrive at a bar or restaurant or store, you press a button on your phone and you're "checked in" to that location. Why would you do this? We don't know, but apparently billions of people all over the world are really into broadcasting their locations to the public. Just look at all these check-ins below:
By going to search.twitter.com, you can type in 4sq.com and you'll get a list of everyone on the planet that is currently checking in to someplace. You can even modify your search to include only local businesses. This is great for creepy stalkers who want to keep tabs on random pretty girls. A creepy stalker could jump in his car and speed to the pub for a chance to meet the girl of his dreams. Everywhere she goes.
Another use for Foursquare is for burglars to know when houses are empty. If @sexygirl535 is out having fun with her friends at a bar, then she's not home, right? So quick, drive over there and break into her house! You know she doesn't have roommates because she constantly tweets about how it sucks to live alone. A website called Please Rob Me has been set up for just this purpose.
And then there's the PLA's favorite pasttime - making prank calls to people. Foursquare is the perfect tool for this. In that search box up there, you click on the Twitter username which probably gives you the name of the person checking in. Then you click on the link in their post and you'll have the phone number of the business they're at. Now you can call the business, ask for that person and say something crazy to them. They're almost always surprised that anyone could know that they're there. It rarely occurs to them that just minutes ago they transmitted their location to the entire world. Listen to these:
|I'm From The Future! Gil gets a call from himself in the future, warning him of dire consequences if he buys Tylenol. Gil doesn't believe himself.|
|Red Cross Telemarketing Shaggy gets a telemarketing call from the Red Cross while eating at Royal Thai Cuisine.|
|Stalker warning for Nicole Nicole is getting a pedicure when she gets a call from a Foursquare representative, warning her not to post her location to the public.|
|Please Leave Blockbuster tells Sabrina that she's no longer welcome in their stores. She posted a series of tweets after this calls which went like this: "Just had the dumbest prank played on me thx to foursquare! Guy called Blockbuster, asked for me, told me he was from Corp. & that I wasn't.....welcome there, and how to leave the store! I was so frickin' pissed that someone had the nerve to call the store and do that shit!.....I hung up on the tool and told the Blockbuster staff, who were very apologetic. Just a reminder to be careful on foursquare updates! Seriously though! If that had been real, I would have been SO insulted! Just beware of any weird calls if you check-in on foursquare!"|
|Roy the Internet Stalker Carlie is surprised to get a call from an internet stalker and decides on the phone not to use Foursquare anymore.|
Want to hear some more of the phone calls we've made to these people? Visit the PLA Forum's latest discussion board, called Let's Stalk People! You can listen to calls we've made, post your own calls, and find out how these people responded on their Twitter accounts. You'll see links to hilarious Twitter and Facebook threads like this one:
Foursquare type applications are becoming more popular every day. Yelp.com and loopt.com have a similar service that lets you check in to places you're visiting. A site called blippy.com lets people transmit what they're purchasing on their credit cards in real time which could allow someone to know where they're shopping at. You may notice other similar services showing up in your friends twitter and facebook feeds. When you see a friend check in on Foursquare, it is your duty to prank call them at that place.
The PLA is constantly raising awareness to the security and privacy issues of Foursquare by prank calling as many users as we can. Many users immediately stop using Foursquare after our calls. This is a public service to them since a simple prank call is harmless compared to what could happen to them. Help join the cause by pranking Foursquare users for the greater good! Don't let the rapists and burglars get to them before we do!
Join us in the Let's Stalk People! message board.
Listen to our Foursquare stalking podcast where we discuss Foursquare and play our stalking calls.
Visit www.phonelosers.org/stalker to hear even more stalking calls and view the responses of people we stalk.