The Year Of The Dot Con

from the criminals-catch-on dept

MSNBC is running a review of 2002, where they point out that this is the year that criminals really figured out the internet. They finally understand how it works, and there’s a good understanding of which scams work. The scams are getting bigger and bolder, as the con artists are advancing their methods much faster than people are catching on to what’s happening. The article includes some standard advice for anyone online to make it less likely they’ll be caught in an online con, but even if you follow all the instructions, nothing is going to stop some of these scams. No matter how carefully you checked your records and kept your information private, the guy sitting at the credit bureau stealing credit reports wasn’t going to be prevented from doin so. While some may overreact and look for ways to restrict the internet, that’s not the answer either. The answer is more open access to the information about us. If you can easily check to see what activity people are doing in your name, you’re more likely to catch on quickly when someone is impersonating you. The problems with identity theft usually occur because people have no idea what happened until it’s too late – and the theif has made off with thousands of dollars. If the likely take is much lower, and much harder to get away with, it becomes a much less enticing crime.

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