all crime that once was committed in
person, by mail, or over the telephone
can be committed virtually over the Internet.
That statement made by the Internet Crime
Complaint Center (IC3) may seem matter-of-fact,
but can really be such an inevitable
piece of reality if you spend any substantial
amount of time online. Whether you are
social networking, bill paying, emailing,
shopping or running a business online,
you run the risk of an upsetting setback
in your life. Granted, there are many
virus protection and security packages
for purchase that help tremendously,
but along with all the latest and greatest
come the constant advancement of technology.
what do you do if you become a victim
of internet crime? Did you
know that there is a website for victims
of cyber crime that is geared toward
filing complaints? This site is the
Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) www.IC3.gov and
it was designed to help address all
types of cyber crime through their
complaint system. Their job is to receive,
develop and refer criminal complaints
to law enforcement agencies for investigation
and prosecution of cyber crimes. They
also provide analytical support for
cyber crime investigations and prosecutions. ¹
IC3 is a partnership between the Federal
Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the National
White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and
the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The
IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime
a convenient and easy-to-use reporting
mechanism that alerts authorities of
suspected criminal or civil violations. (www.IC3.gov)
Just as much as technology changes, and
of course, add the direction of our economy,
you just know that there will be new
trends and twists in what is already
an ever climbing crime avenue.
a recent report from IC3 (March 27,
2012), seems that a few of these
new “twists and trends” are
in fraudulent utility bill e-mail and
fraud targeting our trusty Better Business
Bureau (BBB). Can you believe it -
our Better Business Bureau?
The report states that IC3 has received
over 40 complaints since May 2011 reporting
receipt of an unsolicited e-mail purportedly
from a specified utility company. The
email stated the recipient had a new
bill which needed to be paid, and the
bill was attached to the e-mail. The
recipient was instructed to click on
the attachment to view their bill.
The attachment contained a zip file
with a computer virus. The email concluded
by stating the recipient received the
e-mail message, because he/she receives
e-bills from this utility company.
Many of the recipients are located
in areas of the United States that
do not use this utility company as
their electric provider.
IC3 also has received several complaints
from businesses regarding
an e-mail, purportedly from the BBB,
which states the BBB has received a
complaint from a customer regarding
their business. The recipient is asked
to review the complaint attached to
the e-mail and respond to the BBB.
The file attached to the e-mail contains
a virus. In one complaint received
by the IC3, a business claimed their
computer was infected with a virus
after opening the attachment in the
e-mail they received. As a result,
the business lost nearly $100.000 when
fraudsters successfully wired money
from the company’s bank account
after the virus enabled them to capture
passwords and other important banking
information. The BBB posted the following
alert on December 7, 2011. http://www.bbb.org/us/article/alert-malicious-complaint-email-claiming-its-from-bbb-30916
has suggestions for you! – What
you should look for:
asked for personal financial
information such as bank account
information or credit card
numbers via the telephone or
high-pressure sales tactics so
as not to give you time to think
about the information you are providing.
told you have won a foreign lottery
asked to help transfer funds out
of a foreign country for a share
of the money.
offered help in repairing credit
scores for an advanced fee.
receiving a counterfeit casher’s
check or money orders for more
than the cost of the item you are
asks you to remain vigilant:
time to research any offers you
receive over the internet or telephone.
not deposit any checks that are
supposed winnings from a lottery
or sweepstakes, especially if you
did not enter one.
not provide your sensitive, personal,
or financial information unless
you know whom you are dealing
friends and family or a trusted
advisor before making any major
you also might want to make note
of to arm yourself against cyber
Crime Complaint Center - www.IC3.gov
Useful Links for your
reference and protection:
Bureau of Investigation
Learn about the FBI’s mission and what to do if you
are a victim of Mass Marketing Fraud.
The BBB provides objective, unbiased, information on businesses.
of Retired Persons
A nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps
people 50 and over.
A collaborative effort to educate consumers about Internet
Provides practical tips from the federal government and the
technology regarding Internet fraud, computer security, and
Revenue Service (IRS)
Allows consumers to verify charitable organizations in an
effort to avoid charity fraud.