High-Tech Fraud : Phishing

The systems that give everyone access to a wealth of easily accessible information and commerce also gives tech-savvy criminals an almost endless supply of people to victimize. Police department just cannot keep up with the amount of cyber crime and identity theft going on in the world today. Cybercrime has become an even more profitable industry than drug trafficking and it is incredibly difficult to nail down and prosecute the perpetrators.

It is a constant challenge to law enforcement to keep their tools and technology up to date to try to catch these criminals or attempt to stay ahead of them. If they can catch the people committing the crimes, it is often way too expensive to prosecute them. Say the thief stole $1,000 using a stolen credit card number; it will cost taxpayers around $15,000 to properly investigate and prosecute the criminal. In most of these cases the victim is reimbursed by the issuing bank and the case is basically closed.
One of the most common forms of high-tech fraud today is known as “phishing,” where a criminal sends a fraudulent email which coerces the victim into giving up their personal or financial information over bogus web sites that mimic popular bank or online commerce sites. Some of today’s phishing schemes are so convincing that they can even fool the people who are the most vigilant. Tricking someone into logging into what they believe is their eBay account or PayPal or their bank – saying their account is suspended or something of that nature.

Most of these criminals and this type of victimization can be totally avoided if people would just be a bit more diligent. Take a look at your credit score every so often, shred all sensitive documents that you no longer need, secure your home mailbox with a lock and key, don’t click on links in questionable emails, and other easy steps of this nature. These days it can really pay for people to be just a bit more paranoid.

~TeCHS

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