ID Theft / Fraud
Internet crime generally falls into the broad categories of fraud (theft) and identity theft. The darkest side of internet crime lies with predators who use the internet to groom and then lure people, especially children, into situations where they become physically and emotionally victimized.
There is no single law enforcement agency that monitors or investigates cybercrime. Because criminals can live anywhere in the world, most law enforcement agencies are limited in the help they can provide. Victims are left to struggle with creditors, the credit bureaus and collection agencies.
- Be extra careful when making online purchases through unknown merchants or auctions. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
- Do not respond to emails that ask you to confirm any personal information. When in doubt, contact the business in question directly.
- If you use a credit or debit card online, make sure the issuing bank covers fraudulent charges made against the card.
- Look for endorsements by the Better Business Bureau and the TRUSTe organization. You can contact these organizations directly to verify if the business you are interested in is a member in good standing.
- Monitor your children when they are on the Internet.
- Never give your personal information to anyone or any business on the internet.
- Use a hardware firewall or at the very least, use a software firewall.
- Use anti-virus software and keep the virus definitions up-to-date.
Read more about resources and support available to theft / fraud victims