Recession Leads to More Cyber-Scams

Experts and law-enforcement officials who track Internet crime say cyber-scams have intensified in the past six months, as fraudsters take advantage of economic confusion and anxiety to target both consumers and businesses.

Cyber-scams have been a problem since the Internet's conception. But with the economic recession, the number of scams is on the rise. 

Experts and law-enforcement officials who track Internet crime say scams have intensified in the past six months, as fraudsters take advantage of economic confusion and anxiety to target both consumers and businesses.

Thieves are sending out phony emails and putting up fake websites pretending to be banks, mortgage-service providers or even government agencies. Cellphones and Internet-based phone services have also been used to seek out victims. The object: to drain customer accounts of money or to gain information for identity theft.

Though most are thwarted by computer-security defenses, such as spam filters and fraud-detection systems, that still leaves potentially millions of victims.

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center confirms a increase in cyber-attacks. In its most recent Internet Crime Report, the FBI said it received 207,000 complaints about crimes perpetrated over the Internet in 2007, the latest year for which data are available, amounting to nearly $240 million in reported losses, or $40 million more than a year earlier. Organized groups in the United States and elsewhere are behind many of the crimes, experts say.

Source:  Yahoo Finance,  Cyber-Scams on the Uptick in Downturn

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