Those who have been victimized know all too well the pain and suffering associated with the actions of criminals that work hard to take what is not theirs. No longer is the word "hacker" synonymous with young children looking for a new challenge, but rather grownup adults who seek to steal as much money as possible, or to steal critical data in order to blackmail or gain some political or business advantage.
This reminds me of a situation I encountered many years ago where my grandson received a $1,200 check in the mail for two small mobile speakers he had advertised on Craigslist for $100. The letter, neatly typed out on a blank piece of paper, instructed him to cash the check, take an extra $100 and to wire them the balance of the cash. What these kinds of scammers are looking for are greedy fools willing to do this no matter if it's right or not. In a word, people who ask no questions but are quite willing to participate in a crime they don't know anything about.
I told him not to send the speakers, but rather to give me the check, which I took to the local FBI office. I met with one of the agents who told me to keep the check, to report it to the IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center) and they would take care of it. He confided that this portion of the agency was very busy and he doubted anything would come out of the complaint as it's happening all the time and there is so much of it that the FBI probably wouldn't follow through. He was correct as far as I can tell because I was never contacted and never asked for the check.
One thing is for sure, I did not allow my grandson to cash it.
Here we are, almost 15 years later, and the fish that the FBI has to fry is even more shocking.
In 2013, the IC3 received 262,813 consumer complaints with an adjusted dollar loss of $781,841,611, which is a 48.8 percent increase in reported losses since 2012 ($581,441,110). The IC3 continues its efforts to inform the general public about online scams by publishing public service announcements and providing tips for Internet consumers. (click here)
Today, @ESC_LLC presents two informative cyber security videos, the one on International hacking and a discussion regarding those who are in the fight and what made them decide to enter the cyber security industry.
Here they are.
If you or the company or organization you work for have been victimized through an Internet scam or hacking situation, you can report it to the FBI's IC3 group. To do that, Click Here.
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Allan B. Colombo
ESC Director of Social Media and Web Assets
Senior Design Specialist with TpromoCom of Columbus, Ohio.