True Crime

Woman Uses Webcam to Watch Possible Laptop Thieves Deal Drugs, Watch Porn

Ms. Scallan. (Photo via Oonagh Scallan)

When Oonagh Scallan’s laptop was stolen from her car in an Oregon parking lot, she never thought she’d be spying on its possible thieves, let alone help police arrest a potentially dangerous wanted criminal.

But Ms. Scallan, a medical student in London, Ontario, had equipped her laptop with Prey, an anti-theft software that lets users track their devices in the event that they’re taken. As soon as her computer’s captors used the laptop to access the Internet, Prey sent Ms. Scallan screenshots of what they were doing on her computer, along with webcam photos of their faces. Ms. Scallan would later pass this information along to police. Read More

True Crime

68% of People Would Put Themselves in Danger To Find a Stolen Phone, Survey Says

Prime theft target. (Wikimedia Commons)

If you thought the idea of tracking down an iPhone thief with a hammer was total lunacy, know this: in a new survey, nearly 70 percent of people said they’d willingly put themselves in danger to recover their stolen phone.

The stats come from Phone Theft in America, a report released today by mobile security company Lookout. Conducted in March 2014, the comprehensive survey measures things like where, when and how phones are most likely to be nabbed, and how much money theft victims would hypothetically pay to retrieve all the data on their stolen device. Read More

True Crime

Guard Your Pockets: U.S. Smartphone Thefts Doubled Last Year

Thieves want this. (Getty)

Thieves must be catching on about the addictive wonders of Candy Crush, because U.S. smartphone theft doubled from 2012 to 2013, Consumer Reports says.

Based on a survey of adult Internet users in the U.S., Consumer Reports estimates that about 3.1 million Americans were victims of smartphone theft in 2013 — nearly double the number they projected in 2012 (1.6 million). They also estimate that 1.4 million smartphones were lost and never recovered in 2013. Read More