Over the past couple of weeks there has been a rash of new Facebook profiles with people trying to connect with triathletes. They had been targeting various triathlon groups punting out friend requests. Two of our team had requests this week from a couple of these new threats. The stranger profiles offer freebies and profile for willing volunteers prepared to connect. The triathlon closed groups have now started posting warnings on these individuals so they are unlikely to see much more success through that route but it is unlikely to deter them for long. Suspicious? We were. The profiles don’t have much history and don’t appear to be connected to any formal company that could give them any credibility.
So what is the deal with these rogue triathlon befriending punters? Our concern is that this could be a co-ordinated effort to steal bikes by getting into your Facebook profile looking at your Strava / Garmin / MayMyRide profiles to understand where your home address and work out from your pictures what spec of kit you have worth stealing. Nasty stuff and something that we have been conscious of at Trivelo bikes where our site asks you for your profile on strava and mapmyride to prove your credentials. We only share the summary of your profile, not the name or your address or your ride history because our objective is to make buying used bikes safer not helping some unsavoury types use our site to find where you live and nick you bike. The thinking with Trivelo is to bring the buyer as much confidence as possible that our bikes for sale haven’t just been nabbed from a garage and when you meet the seller you can have a meaningful chat about their bike history and their cycling club experience. So definitely not helping crooks out with data to steal your bikes.
So our advice is stay safe and only accept friend invitations from people you know or from companies with a track record you can check out for yourself. If you know differently about any of these guys and they are genuine let us know and post a comment so you can share your experience with our growing community.
About the author – Billy is the founder of Trivelo Bikes and also a big fan of social media where it is used in the right way.