Cyber Crime

April 1st, 2011 by admin

cyber-crime ts_87576559Cyber crime is a rapidly expanding and a highly profitable new enterprise for criminals, and these facts show just how vast it has become. Every day, 2,000 people become the victim of scam emails; 75 million of these emails are sent out daily. Even worse, 25 percent of all cyber crime cases go unsolved, and those cases that are cracked take about 25 days to do so. Because of these difficulties, over three-quarters of Americans believe that most Internet criminals won’t be caught and tried, and only two percent believe that cyber crime will cease to be a problem during their lifetime.

While about 65 percent of the world’s population has been victimized in cyberspace, the proportion of American victims is much higher, at 73 percent. Perhaps this is due to the fact that two-thirds of cyber criminals are American. Ten percent are from the UK, and around seven percent are from Nigeria, home of the original scam email. Brazilians are much more victimized, however, with over 80 percent of people having fallen prey to hackers or scammers.

The average cyber crime costs each person $128. Broken down by crime, these amounts expand drastically:

• Debit and credit card fraud costs $223, on average.
• Auction fraud averages to $610.

• Computer fraud averages to $1,000.
• Scam emails like Nigerian scams cost about $1,650.

The most common cyber crimes include malware and viruses, online scamming, phishing (password theft), social network hacking, credit card fraud, and sexual predation. The top reported crimes are a bit different: non-delivery of a purchased item, auction fraud, credit card fraud, Nigerian letter scams, and computer fraud.

Many crimes involve stealing information from accounts where passwords are cracked; one-third of computer users use the same password for every site, and 62 percent don’t change their passwords or use weak passwords that can take just seconds to minutes to crack. Eighty-three percent do not use a separate password for online shopping, facilitating the ease of identity theft.

If you’re interested in the steps law enforcement is taking to combat the newest and fastest-growing area of crime, and would like to do your part to help, a career in criminal justice could be for you! Use the resources provided to look up criminal justice classes or criminal justice programs, or find out how a degree from a criminal justice school can help you get into this important field.

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