Technological advancements have always been a boon and a bane for human kind. There are always some people who misuse and exploit technology and create serious problems for the rest of the population. One such invention is the computer that has become an integral part of each person's life in the recent years.
There is a growing dependence on the computers not only by the common man but also by almost all commercial and professional agencies. It is widely used by the security and intelligence forces as well as research centers. The widespread use of this device has also led to a wider misuse and abuse of the facility. The invention of computers and the continuous up gradation of the same has opened new avenues to scamsters and fraudulent people. The abuse of computer and the related electronic media has led to the emergence of a gamut of crimes that have very peculiar features.
Definition of Cyber Scams and Crimes:
Cyber scams can be effectively defined as "unlawful acts wherein the equipment transforming the information be it a computer or a mobile is either a tool or target or both." It can also be referred as "A crime in which the perpetrator develops a scheme using one or more elements of the internet to deprive a person of property or any interest, estate, or right by a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by providing misleading information or by concealment of information."
Cyber crime refers to any crime that involves a computer and a network. More precisely it refers to the criminal exploitation of the internet. Another definition of cyber crime refers to it thus; "Online theft of credit card number, expiration date, and other information for criminal use is cyber fraud." It can be also defined as any type of intentional deception that involves the internet. This can include the frauds and scams that occur in the chat rooms, message boards, and fake web sites and also through emails. It usually occurs in the form of deceitful solicitations and fraudulent transactions.
Significance of Cyber Crime:
Cyber scams are emerging as a real threat to the users and have become high-profile in their nature. They can be encompass all aspects of the individual's life and include unlawful acts like hacking, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, child pornography as well. These crimes have a lasting effect on the victims, especially so if identification or personal information about finances is involved. At times it becomes really difficult to prove the identity of a specific perpetrator of the crime which can impact negatively on the user.
Types of Computer Crimes or Scams:
There are a host of illegal activities that come under the purview of computer crime but more broadly, it can be divided in to two classifications: Crimes that directly target computer networks or devices and secondly, scams facilitated by computer networks targeting any user that is independent of the perpetrator of the scam.
Most scams are done through e-mails. This method is very effective as the user is enticed to provide critical information like usernames, passwords, credit card information or other types of vital information. There are still other methods of cyber frauds which are on the internet itself. To escape from such scams one needs to follow some basic things and pay attention to preventive measures like:
- Never send money to people who have contacted you on e-mail or for that matter on the internet itself ;
- Never disclose your identity and vital financial information to strangers;
- Never reply to links from organizations of which you are not a member of;
- Never reply or click on to the link that declares that you are the winner for some kind of lottery or competition which you had never been a part of