Cyber fraud, which is also referred to as Internet fraud, is an escalating problem that has already impacted millions of people. There are many different ways that cyber fraud can be committed, and it can be targeted at individuals or large corporations. Either way, each time someone successfully commits cyber fraud, it causes a ripple effect throughout the Internet community. After all, these crimes expose weaknesses in the very structure of the Internet, and this can make people feel insecure about conducting business online. Additionally, these crimes can cost companies and individuals an exorbitant amount of money, especially when they are forced to increase their level of online security.
Why Cyber Fraud?
Cyber fraud is a crime that is committed by using an Internet connection to gain access to private information. This information can then be used in a wide variety of ways, and the culprit typically profits financially from their crime. As noted by one team of Houston criminal defense lawyers, “Computers have quickly become an integral part of our daily lives, and as computer technology has proliferated, computer crime has also dramatically increased.”
Internet fraud can be difficult to track and prosecute because professional hackers are very skilled at hiding their tracks. Therefore, many people who become the victim of cyber fraud never recover their money or sensitive data that is stolen. After realizing that they have fallen prey to these criminals, people unfortunately end up spending more time and money trying to fix the problem created by their stolen identity. In some extreme cases, people are falsely accused of a crime committed by the very person who stole their identity.
Three Examples Of Common Cyber Fraud
1. Identity Theft – Gaining access to another person’s personal information online can make it easy for a criminal to steal that person’s identity. When that happens, they will be able to open up new lines of credit in the other person’s name, and this enables the cyber criminal to get their hands on expensive merchandise without needing to pay any money for the items. Instead, the person whose identity they stole will end up having their credit ruined, or worse, be accused of theft, when payments are not made.
2. Online Auction Scams – Another form of cyber fraud involves using eBay. Criminals will post an auction for an expensive item, but the winner of the auction will never receive what they have won. This practice became relatively widespread during the earlier days of eBay, and it caused PayPal to put some protective measures in place for buyers. Unfortunately, this does not mean that everyone will get their money back if they happen to fall for a scam auction.
3. Dating Fraud – One of the latest versions of cyber fraud that is becoming extremely common is dating fraud. During this scam, the criminal will pose as someone else on a dating website with the assistance of stolen photographs. The intention is to capture someone’s attention and get them so sucked into the idea of having a relationship with the criminal’s fake persona that they will be willing to assist them financially when they eventually ask for money.
Sadly, this crime has already been successfully committed against thousands of people, and in most cases, the police are unable to determine the true identity of the culprit.Just as sadly, those whose identities were falsely used are now subject to criminal charges.
Cyber fraud causes people to feel less secure when they use the Internet, and this can have a big impact on online retailers. Additionally, becoming the victim of one of these crimes can cause an individual to deal with serious money, credit, and even criminal issues while the incident is under investigation.
If you have any reason to believe that you have been the victim of cyber fraud, it is vital to contact the proper authorities immediately, and you should also contact the three major credit bureaus to report the issue.
Nadine Swayne shares this information to bring light to the ever growing problem of cyber fraud. Johnson, Johnson & Baer, a firm of Houston criminal defense lawyers, can represent you if you have been accused of committing a computer crime, whether justly or not, helping you defend yourself against these damaging charges.