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Teen arrested over theft in Virtual Hotel

Crime doesn't pay, especially in the real world. A 17 year old (opens in new tab)individual in the Netherlands has been arrested following the stealing of virtual objcts in a popular Finnish social networking site called (opens in new tab) Habbo Hotel.

The site, which has six million unique visitors out of a pool of 80 million (opens in new tab) registered members, is a popular virtual destination for teenagers with 75000 new registrations everyday.

The teenager was part of a real life gang which conned victims into providing them with their login and passwords.

They would then, like on Ebay, impersonate the genuine person and start scamming registered users.

Police states that the items, pieces of virtual furniture which have been "stolen" were worth around GBP 2800.

The authorities did not provide with more information over what kind of furniture was stolen and how many items were involved.

As the Guardian (opens in new tab) and BBC report (opens in new tab), Virtual theft is a global and growing issue - especially in Asia.

People are known to have died or have lost real money because of what is essentially a few nice graphic 2D icons and a few codes in a database.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.