Would you rob a woman, and then ask to be her Facebook friend afterwards?

Riley MullinsIf Riley Allen Mullins really did steal a woman’s iPod, it probably wasn’t a good idea to send her a Facebook friend request the very next day.

According to the media reports, 28-year-old Mullins of Port Orchard, Washington, was charged in Kitsap district court in Kitsap on Friday.

Mullins is charged with second-degree robbery, after a woman was struck on the head from behind while sitting at Bermerton ferry terminal last Tuesday. The victim’s iPod and purse was stolen by the assailant, who escaped on foot.

Although the victim didn’t recognise her assailant, she did tell police that the man who attacked her had a distinctive triangle-shaped tattoo on his neck.

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Imagine her surprise, then, when the following day she received a Facebook friend request from Mullins. Who has a distinctive triangle-shaped tattoo on his neck, which he proudly displays on his Facebook page.

Mullins tattoo

Of course, it’s entirely possible that this is simply an extraordinary coincidence, and the courts will decide that.

Remember kids: things you post up on Facebook might come back to bite you in the bottom some day.

If you are on Facebook, and want to be kept updated with news about security and privacy risks, and tips on how to protect yourself online, join the Graham Cluley Security News Facebook page.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

2 comments on “Would you rob a woman, and then ask to be her Facebook friend afterwards?”

  1. Coyote

    Re: "Remember kids: things you post up on Facebook might come back to bite you in the bottom some day."
    The first two words are most significant of the entire quote (especially as kids do not realise the implications, feel invulnerable to things – including e.g., real life dangers, or indeed what they share, on the Internet or otherwise and their own privacy/security or lack thereof it). But I would rather change Facebook to 'Internet' (even more truthful: everywhere, real life, Internet, everywhere!) – be it email, a website (including a forum, no matter how private you think it is it is NOT nearly as private as you think), IRC, some other IM service, other social media, it really does not matter. I won't even get into _other_ ways you are identified (not referring to IP address, either). Bottom line is this: always be careful. Indeed: once on the Internet good luck with removing all references to it. Even if you can get a search engine to drop it, who is to say that it won't find it in another place? What about mirror/snapshot websites? That is _best_ case scenario. Then realise that if that is best case scenario, it means it could be worse – much more so.

    Edit: For instance, even what I just wrote is here to stay. And if I am a grouch some times (and I have been here… not intentional but it happens and is part of life) then it also is recorded. You think that’s not an issue but it _can_ be! Never believe otherwise.

  2. Pentley

    Remember kids: Don't be an idiot. Oh, wait…you're already on Facebook. OK, then…don't keep on being an idiot.

    Seriously, I have explained the risks of using Facebook to my kids, and they made their own independent decisions not to use it. But then, we've raised them to think rationally…and morally. Their decision to stop being exploited by Zuckerberg was as much influenced by their disdain for his principle-free behavior as by the threat his garbage company poses to their privacy.

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