Reporting Fraud

Not all Internet fraud is created equal. Some seem trivial and easy to identify as scams; others are more elaborate and seem more legitimate. Similarly, when it comes to accessing sensitive data through illegally hacking computer systems (i.e. computer fraud, as defined by the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984) can be done clumsily, but it can also be done masterfully, with greater success and less of a chance of being detected. If you (or someone you know) have already been a victim of Internet fraud or computer fraud, and you don’t know who to turn to, or how to report fraud, the following links will be useful to you.

A comprehensive website on all kinds of cybercrime has been created by the U. S. Justice Department to help raise awareness and keep Internet users informed about the dangers of such crime. Another useful resource is the website of the National White Collar Crime Center, or NW3C. The FBI also has a special site dedicated to providing important and up-to-date information about online scams. These two have also collaborated in creating the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) an easy-to-use site to report Internet fraud to the authorities with only a few clicks.

These websites are generally the most up-to-date and authoritative on the issue of Internet and computer crime, and they provide relevant information about different methods, things that Internet users should look out for, and offer timely warnings of new trends in Internet crime. You should also be mindful that none of these institutions ever send out any unsolicited emails; some scams actually assume the identity of law enforcement to try to get users’ personal information for fraudulent purposes.