Friday, October 22, 2010

Feature Article


Welcome and thank you so very much for visiting your Choice America Network Feature Article Archives Blog.

October is National CyberSecurity Awareness month and we at Choice America Network encourage everyone to please take time out to stop and think about safely connecting to what has become the fastest growing medium in our world - the Internet - the World Wide Web.

I encourage and hope you visit each website behind this campaign - and learn more about the National Cyber Security Alliance. All of us can most certainly agree that the Internet has and will continually reshape society and culture via the way we communicate on this ever changing Third Rock from the Sun, therefore the Alliance is all about using the internet safely and securely while exposing and combating the dangers we all may unfortunately encounter on-line.

In March of this year, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued it's 2009 Annual Report on Internet Crime. The Report contained current information on fraudulent activity on the Internet.

The following is information released by the IC3 in their Annual Report:

Online crime complaints increased substantially once again last year, according to the report. The IC3 received a total of 336,655 complaints, a 22.3 percent increase from 2008. The total loss linked to online fraud was $559.7 million; this is up from $265 million in 2008.

       Year Complaint:        Received  Dollar Loss:
 2009 336,655              $559.7 million
2008 275,284               $265   million
   2007 206,884              $239.09 million
   2006 207,492               $198.44 million
   2005 231,493               $183.12 million

Although the complaints consisted of a variety of fraud types, advanced fee scams that fraudulently used the FBI's name ranked number one (16.6 percent). Non-delivery of merchandise and/or payment was the second most reported offense (11.9 percent).

The 2009 Annual Report details information related to the volume and scope of complaints, complainant and perpetrator characteristics, geographical data, most frequently reported scams and results of IC3 referrals. The report is posted in its entirety on the IC3 Website.

Law enforcement relies on the corporate sector and citizens to report when they encounter on-line suspicious activity so these schemes can be investigated and criminals can be arrested,” stated Peter Trahon, Section Chief of the FBI's Cyber Division. “Computer users are encouraged to have up-to-date security protection on their devices and evaluate email solicitations they receive with a healthy skepticism—if something seems too good to be true, it likely is.”

NW3C Director Donald Brackman said the report's findings underscore the threat posed by cyber criminals. “The figures contained in this report indicate that criminals are continuing to take full advantage of the anonymity afforded them by the Internet. They are also developing increasingly sophisticated means of defrauding unsuspecting consumers. Internet crime is evolving in ways we couldn't have imagined just five years ago.” But Brackman sounded an optimistic tone about the future. “With the public’s continued support, law enforcement will be better able to track down these perpetrators and bring them to justice.”

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a joint operation between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and the and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). IC3 receives, develops, and refers criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime. The IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism utilized to alert authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local and international level, the IC3 provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet-related crimes.

On your Choice America Network Links page you will find additional resources to help you keep your online activities safe from the criminal elements that inhabit the WWW. But with that said, the safety of the internet still depends on YOU and the actions YOU take. It's your world and your life your are sharing everytime you connect.

We must all help to make our internet a safer and better experience for all and report suspected criminal or civil violations. So spread the word, toot your horn and share this information with your family and friends and together we can make everyone's computing a safer and more enjoyable experience inwhich we all can share.

And as always, it's all about Choice,...and it's all about You.

Be safe both on-line and off and again, it's great to have you on your Choice America Network.


Scott Evans - Publisher - Choice America Network

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