Scams

by Mike Masnick




125 Arrested In Online Scam Crackdown

from the drop-in-the-bucket dept

Well, it appears the Justice Department is trying to show that they really do take online scams seriously. Since October first they've arrested 125 people accused of scamming over $100 million in various online scams, and say that they're still going after many more scammers as well. While this is just a tiny drop in the bucket of online scams, it's nice to see law enforcement at least appear to be taking this issue seriously. Of course, it would be nice to see a few more details, as it appears they may be lumping together all sorts of "computer" crimes into one big basket. The Reuters story has a few more details on some of the crimes people are accused of. It sounds as though they range across the board from auctioning items but not sending them to identity theft phishing scams to spamming to selling copied software. I also wonder how many of these arrests are really getting at the heart of these scams, and how many were just picking up low level scammers who weren't good at hiding their tracks? It makes for good publicity, but since many of the big scams appear to involve organized crime, it's going to take a lot more than catching a few individual scammers to make a real dent in online crime.

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  • identicon
    AMetamorphosis, 20 Nov 2003 @ 1:18pm

    Facts & Figures

    What I always find goofy is how they determine the " value ". $ 125 million dollars of what ?
    This is like when Police boast about a hundred thousand dollar bust when all they did was smack some college student with 3 plants in their dormitory and brag about the " street value ". Market determines value.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2003 @ 3:11pm

      Re: Facts & Figures

      exactly. Like Mitnick apparently caused some kinda millions of dollars in damages.

      If a buddy tells me that the new Offspring album is way better than their other 6, and sends me MP3s, and I think the alsbum sucked and don't intend to buy it, the RIAA still calls that $20 'lost', Forget that my buddy had the foresight to show me what I'd be getting into had I bought that album.

      Similarly, I'm sure that too much of that hugely inflated number is the amount of money that would have been gained if everyone spent like kennedys but nothing close to the numbers here in Real World land. Just because people will buy it when it's cheap stolen goods, idiots think - or want us to think - that that's the total value.

      Of course, anyone who's used MS Office and seen OpenOffice(.org) .. or just even used MS products, I guess, would probably argue that the sticker price is often a bit higher than the real value.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Beck, 20 Nov 2003 @ 4:54pm

        Re: Facts & Figures

        Remember this the next time you see a news release about Microsoft donating thousands of dollars of software to some charitable organization. It may have a retail value in the thousands, but what does it really cost them to send a bunch of CDs to a group that otherwise would not buy them?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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