25 July 2019
Internet Scams are the trending business for 21st century criminals. Technology has made life easier in a good and bad way in that millions of money is lost through internet scams. Business leaders, IT security experts, and other parties are yet to fully understand the precise crimes perpetrated through the internet. They are yet to develop a concrete results that can reduce the occurrence of such incidences in the future as e-commerce evolves into sophistication (Yip and Maurice 2018).
There is need to understand how a person manages to provide sensitive information, willingly, to strangers over the phone or internet. What is the psychology behind it? (Yip and Maurice 219). There is a need to understand the psychological relating to internet frauds. (Muscanell et al, 390).
According to the FBI, internet fraud refers to the manipulation of internet software or services to defraud or take advantages of victims. The most common methods used in the internet scams are business e-mail compromises (BCI) where the legitimate mail for a business entity is social-engineered to perform transactions.
Other forms include data breach, service denial (interrupted access of authorized personnel to a system network). Email compromise (EAC) which targets public emails, malware and scareware, publishing and spoon fling (faked e-document and disseminated as legitimate entity or individuals in order to vital information like password, CVV codes and account number) and ransomware (targets weakness on the individual and systems where sensitive information is encrypted to deny corporate access till solicited funds are paid).
Instances of scams frequently reported usually revolve around credit and debit cards, business card fraud, fraudulent auctions, pyramid schemes, and the Nigerian letter. Business fraud is the dishonest activities that are illegally perpetrated to solicit finances from victims. Some forms of business frauds include charity frauds, internet auction, merchandise non-delivery, failure to pay funds for services rendered, overpayment schemes and reshipping. The FBI cybercrimes department received 351,936 cases billion exceeding $2.7 billion losses. The leading cases were about non-payment and non-delivery for those dealing with BEC, extortion, and breach of personal data. Top three scams according to FBI in 2018 were romance frauds and business to commerce online payment or delivery. BEC cases for 2018 were 20,373 with reports on account compromise taking center stage and the adjusted losses were over $1.2 billion. Recovery Asset Team within FBI worked on the recovery of $257,096,992 equivalent to 75% recovery rate.
Further FBI reports indicate that the internet crime complain center received 11,000 cases of tech fraud criminals posed as technical service providers and eventually defrauded customers. The numbers are for 2017 and the lost amounts approx. to over $15 million and equivalent of 86% increase compared to 2016. Security over cybercrimes, the FBI created the victims specialists-Internet Crime (VSIC) whose purpose is to contact the victims of such crimes, provide intervention mechanisms, assess the needs and refers the victims to the appropriate resources. As a result, the FBI managed to accomplish the following in 2018 arrests, convictions, asset forfeitures, financial restitution and indictment.
How do the mastermind manipulate a victims psychology? Trails reveal an initial contract with victims through channels such as telephone (the victim is told that their device is compromised with a virus or is transmitting errors), search engines (sometimes criminals pay to have their fraudulent support companies pop-up in search engine especially on top searches), pop-up messages (the message shows over the screen and the victims are prompted to click because their computer is compromised). Once the victims call the members that accompany these alerts or calls, they are convinced to provide sensitive data which results in loss pf frauds (Anupriya, al, 2018).
Most of the fake technical service providers will remotely access the victims device and lie about malware and license that have explained after which payment is requested before the issue is resolved. In other instances, a client may have received services but later the client is contracted with fake refunds scheme. The criminal accesses the victims device informing that the service provided had defects which need to be corrected yet it is just a scams. Currently, the most prevalent scams trend under regarding defrauded victims as the criminals pretend to be law enforcement agents, virtual currency, use of victims information and accounts to commit other frauds (Anupriya et al, 2018).
There are possible solutions that have been provided should a person be involved in an internet scam. Most of these internet scams if not all reply upon the victims consent and compliance, therefore, the best solution is to create awareness for people to differentiate fake from real. Legitimate service providers not to initiate solicitation to customers. Client Should be wary of open sources number in search engines, have ad-blocking softwares to reduce pop-ups, do not act on impulse and decipher real and fraudulent communication (Chiluwa 900). Furthermore, people should resist the temptation to share confidential information or provide remote access to unauthorized entries and all devices should contain updated software and antivirus. Should an individual get a locked screen situation, it is advisable to shut the device and avoid contracting the numbers that pop-up, should one be a victim, they are advised to contact the financial providers is so that their account information is secured =, change password and look out for suspicious account activities (Anupriya, 2018).
Internet scam is revolutionary for criminals after physical security-enhanced over the years. Many people fail victim daily and the documented losses are just a fraction of the real pictures. Internet scams are in multiple forms and they are complex for cyber security agencies to provide a precise solution. This is because, there is no physical force and in, most cases, the victims willingly provide access to their confidential information and this can only be some form of hypnotism (Muscanell et al,389). Unless the security teams decode the psychology of the human mind, it will be difficult to catch up with morphing forms of internet scams. Technology is advancing at a fast pace and this has no provide a leeway for tech frauds to solicit unsuspecting victims. It is evident that awareness on internet scams is very minimal and the crime has not received the needed attention from the authorities. This is worrying because criminals are no longer on the streets waiting to knock victim out in dark alleys, with the analysis made in this text, the proposal seeks to explore further cases from victims and existing records so that further statics are barred. Internet scams are on the rise and the needed attention will only be made possible if the correct statistics on the gravity of the situation are provided.
Anupriya, k., et al. E-shopping scam identification using learning. 2018 International conference on soft-computing and Network Security (ICSNS). IEEE, 2018
Chiluwa, Innocent. Congratulation, Your Email Account Has Won your Euro 1,000,000: Analyzing the distance structure of scam emails. The Palgrave handbook of deceptive communication. Palgrave Macmillan, Chan, 2019. 817-912
Federal bureau of investigation public service announcement, 2018.
Nicole L., Rosanna E. Guadagno, and Shannon Murphy, Weapons of influence misused: A social influence analysis of why people fall prey to internet scams. Social and Personality Psychology compass 8.7 (2014): 388-389
Yip, Jeremy A., and Maurice E. Schweize r. Trust Promoted unethical behavior: Excerssive trust, opportunities exploitation, and strategic exploitation. Current Opinion in Psychology 6 (2015): 216-220