Youth arrested for virtual theft

Dutch youth arrested for theft of virtual items in online world

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By  Mark Sutton Published  November 15, 2007

A Dutch youth has been arrested for suspected theft of virtual items in the online Habbo Hotel website.

According to a BBC news report, the 17 year old was arrested by police on suspicion of stealing 4,000 euros of virtual furniture from within the game.

The suspect is believed to have set up spoof sites to steal passwords and account data from other Habbo users, and then logged into the victim's accounts and moved the virtual furniture from their ‘rooms' to his own.

While concern has been growing over theft of virtual items in online worlds, this is believed to be one of the first arrests for ‘virtual' theft outside of China.

Habbo Hotel is a growing network of virtual worlds which are intended to provide safe social networking for teenagers, with constant supervision by adult moderators, although the site is currently blocked in the UAE. Users can spend real cash to buy upgrades and services, including additional furniture for their virtual rooms.

Sulake, the Finnish company that runs Habbo, reports over 6 million regular users of the Habbo network each month.

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