May 21 I posted a FLOG called Cyberinsecurity. I had written it May 9, but held it back while reading the Internet. Unfortunately I haven’t finished the Internet, but found enough new information that gave me confidence to share it with you. Along the way I found this quote: “The FBI’s top cyber expert says ‘We’re not winning the cyber-crime battle.’” And I decided to join the FBI Cyber Security Unit, but I had to be 26 to 36 years old. Apparently they don’t think 76 years of experience is all that important (not equal opportunity employers). So I went back to the Net and found a non-profit organization called the CFA (Consumer Federation of America) which had a good website, a Washington, DC office and was doing something proactive about cyber-crime. I called and talked to a very nice woman and sent her an email asking for ideas on how to fight back. I’m awaiting her response.
On our hunch that many of the victims of cyber-crime are too old for the FBI, Mean Eileen, Editing Queen, found a very good article at the AARP, an organization which loves people who are at least 14 years over 36 (www.aarp.org). Whatever your age, visit the site and search cyber-crime if for invaluable cyber-crime combatant resources.
I sent the AARP article to several friends yesterday, then this morning I hit the website jackpot: Take a look at www.IC3.gov and www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com (be sure to hover your mouse over these links first J).
What I have discovered is that all of us who use a computer have to become better educated and more vigilant. We are too often inadvertently assisting cyber-perps who are stealing millions of dollars each year to say nothing of costs of the collateral damage (ask anyone who has had their identity stolen).
The easiest action we can take to put the brakes on internet crime is to put the word out on the scam du jour. I recently received a “confirmation” from American Airlines for my purchase of a plane ticket which had a convenient link to click if I had any questions. Knowing I hadn’t purchased a plane ticket, I hovered my mouse pointer over the link in the email (the actual address where the link is pointing is revealed in the lower left corner of your browser window) and discovered the link was not pointed to American Airlines. I didn’t further investigate – I just deleted the email.
Another thing we can all do is talk to the people in our lives who might fit a demographic targeted by criminals – especially non-computer savvy friends and family members.
Being informed and aware will help all of us avoid falling victim to internet scams;
- Auction Fraud
- Counterfeit Cashier's Check
- Credit Card Fraud
- Debt Elimination
- Employment/Business Opportunities
- Escrow Services Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Internet Extortion
- Investment Fraud
- Nigerian Letter or "419"
- Third Party Receiver of Funds
By the way while I was writing this FLOG, CNN’s Situation Room announced a Chinese cyber-hack of the blueprints for the new Australian Spy Agency. Immediately followed by news of a Federal Reserve six billion dollar cyber-attack on Liberty Reserve Money Laundering operations which they described as “like Pay Pal for criminals.”