The year 2000 has arrived and computer technology is becoming more crucial to all people. The Internet is also becoming more of a problem. Many programs and ideas have been or are being developed that are meant to help our society. However, some flaws evolve from these new developments. The Internet is advancing rapidly; with that, so is the amount of Internet fraud. With the advent of the Internet, our country has become wired to the world. This explosive growth of technology has brought us a new way of communicating and receiving information (Brody 410). That has also created a whole new meaning for one s ability to remain anonymous. Control and regulation over the content of the Internet belongs to no none and because of this, defrauding people has become a relatively easy practice for unethical entrepreneurs. Just about anyone can create a website for this very purpose. Actions may be taken to help prevent these problems, but they will never be able to stop them completely.
There is a new crime front for police officers to patrol, but they will not be able to get there in their patrol cars (Huskey A5). The Internet has become the latest hangout for con artists. The Internet is crawling with scamming scum. ( FTC Consumer Alert ). Scam artists will find your every weakness and use it against you. Usually this results in a huge loss of money. Do not trust everything you see on-line. The Internet is the latest and greatest technology and outweighs any other information system currently available to us.
The amount of Internet fraud reported this year was six times as much as it was last year. The number of consumers complaining that they were defrauded on-line went from 1,280 in 1997 to 7,752 in 1998, according to an online fraud reporting system created by the national Consumers League (Hendre A4). Online officials are trying to make scamming online more difficult by creating a twenty-four hour online Internet fraud-detecting group. By adding this new service, the creators are hoping to decrease the amount of Internet fraud that can be found online.
There are many different types of fraud on the Internet. Each year, the National Fraud Information Center reports the Top Ten List of most common frauds (Internet Scambusters). The top five Internet scams reported by the National Fraud Information Center for 1999 were credit card fraud, carding, advance fee loans, sweepstakes, and work-at-home scams. When a person is affected by a credit card scam, they are billed for online services or products that they never ordered. Some of these scams include fake companies and web sites. The second scam on the top five scams for 1999 was carding. Carding occurs when stolen property is advertised and sold at an extremely low price. The third scam, advance fee loans, is when companies offer empty promises for loans, which require payment of fees in advance. The loans are never received and the fees are lost forever. The next scam on the list is sweepstakes. Sweepstakes are phony prize awards offered through unsolicited email that require payment of fees first, but the prizes never appear (Internet Scambusters). The final scam on the list is the work-at-home scam. These scams tell the buyer that they can work at home, usually stuffing envelopes, and make easy money. New York is the most popular state for Internet Fraud (Internet Scambusters).
An online user must be cautious and aware of his or her actions online. The FTC urges you to investigate Internet-related business opportunities as carefully as you would check out any business opportunity (FTC Consumer Alert). The best thing not to do when looking for a job is to look online. When a person searches for a job online, they can be easily scammed, considering they never have actual contact with the other party. When you are shopping online, be suspicious of any item that is being sold for much less than normal. This usually means that the ad is a scam. Offers like this that make outrageous claims might not be reputable and should be immediately reported to the Internet authorities to avoid possible credit card fraud.
Overall, there are many scams on the Internet. Scams affect people of all ages. When people are taken in by an Internet scam, they usually do not find out until they have lost a large sum of money or are billed with an outrageous price for something they did not purchase or receive. By the time the person catches on to the fact that they have been scammed, it is already too late and their money is nowhere to be found. The Internet is trying the best they can to put a stop to scamming, but Internet users can help too by looking into online offers before they apply or buy. Everyone must learn to be Internet smart, be alert, cautious, and report anything that seems mischievous. With the help of everyone, the scamming can be put to an end once and for all.