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Crime and wrongdoing between one person to another, or one person to a place or thing, will always be a deterrent to a peaceful society. However, with the passage of time and the introduction of more and more means of technology, crime has evolved to not only encompass crimes that are committed face-to-face, but digitally through the use of electronics…
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Download file to see previous pages Online dating sites, for example, post personal information about individuals that may be used to garner a love interest. Households pay their credit card bills and manage their funds and finances online. School-aged children, once able to play with their friends only by advance arrangement and/or face-to-face contact now enjoy forms of communication such as online gaming, texting, and chatting in a virtual reality, to say nothing of social media websites such as Facebook or MySpace. However, the fact that the internet is a nameless, faceless cache of information with no feelings on the issue of privacy or confidentiality may well be the undoing of society as a whole. In the 1995 movie The Net, the leading character, a computer programmer, worked from home, mainly online, and had few friends outside of her home. Upon leaving for her first vacation in six years, she found herself entangled in a scheme that saw her entire life and even her very identity erased. She quickly found that she had been replaced by a stranger that was living her life, with her name. In one scene, a man even sits in a car with a portable computer and uploads false information into her police record to keep her on the run and trusting no one. Though in 1995 this movie was nothing more than a wonderful work of fiction that garnered praise from moviegoers and critics, in 2011, the reality of such things occurring is all too familiar. With more and more information being transferred from paper copies to digital media, almost anything is possible; whether information is true or not is another story altogether. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), 336,355 complaints were received in the year 2009, up 22.3% from 2008 (Limbach). The main complaint was online fraud, with persons or even entire families being scammed out of thousands of dollars. For example, one woman in California paid a company who represented themselves as a mortgage company called “Loan Modifications of America” a total of $3995 to modify the mortgage loan on her home (Limbach). The company turned out not to exist at all, and there is no one to go to that will give her money back, at least not as soon as it is needed. Now she is out almost four thousand dollars, due to someone else that desired to have money without doing an honest eight hours of work for it. Another wonderful yet disturbing facet of the internet and cyber-worlds is that it has brought the country closer together in terms of merchandise. Sites such as EBay offer online auctions across the country and even internationally for merchandise to be bought and sold to the highest bidder. In 2010, the IC3 reported that out of the top ten internet crimes, non-delivery of payment or merchandise ranked number one among them, with 14.4% of the complaints (Internet Crime Complaint Center 9-15). Though millions of users write online about positive experiences with EBay, and to be sure EBay is not the only site that lists products for sale, this is of little help or comfort to those that have been scammed and cheated out of their hard-earned money. It does not help, also, that auction fraud, as it is known, has been the leading complaint in cyber crimes, with 71.2% of all referrals being auction fraud since 2004 (Internet Crime C ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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