Today, a variety of criminal activities threaten the well being and financial security of online visitors. Yet even if you feel uninformed about many aspects of Internet Technology, some valuable resources exist to assist you in battling Cybercrime. You don’t require a degree in technology to employ these tools effectively. Consider using some of these resources to fight back against spam, the theft of personal data, and other unwelcome digital scams:
Dealing With Spam
No one enjoys discovering spam emails clogging an in-box. If you’ve encountered this problem, don’t ignore it. First, make sure you send spam emails to your “Spam” folder for immediate disposal. Never answer these types of unsolicited communications (some unscrupulous mailers harvest responding email addresses). As your Internet service provider (“ISP”) tracks the contents of the Spam folder, reports concerning the senders should eventually reach the attention of the spammer’s domain registrar. In many cases, spam mailers eventually discover their online access blocked or severely curtailed. If spam problems persist, complain to your ISP and request a partial refund for any paid email accounts; this approach should generate prompt personal assistance in resolving spam issues.
Responding to Identity Theft Crimes
Today, attempts to steal personal data often constitute part of identity theft schemes. Hackers sometimes use this information to scam the Social Security Administration, for example. These thefts may result in significant personal financial losses, too. U.S. residents should report suspected identity thefts to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-438-4338. Alternatively, the agency maintains a comprehensive website at IdentityTheft.gov. It has recently ramped up efforts to prosecute this type of crime. Many other governments also accept reports about suspected identity theft from their citizens.
Report Other Digital Scams
Unfortunately, online visitors sometimes encounter a wide array of scams and extortion schemes when they surf the Internet. If you suspect you have become the victim of a crime, or if you discovered an online crime, report the problem to your local police department. If they don’t possess jurisdiction (or if the crime involves violence against children), discuss the matter with your local FBI field office instead. Visit https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/cac for specific information. You can contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center to report facts about other types of scams and financial extortion schemes encountered online.
Cybercrime: You Can Fight Back!
By reporting spam, identity theft, and other online threats, you’ll help enhance the safety of everyone online. While no single entity polices the Internet, domains which facilitate criminal activities eventually lose credibility. Complaints sometimes result in punitive measures against abusive webmasters. These may include prosecutions, fines, or the loss of online access. Some online criminals eventually receive prison sentences.