Malicious attacks on the Internet are happening daily to big websites and individual users alike and it is important that everyone who goes online regularly learn the basics of cyber crime reporting. Just like all other crimes, cyber crimes need to be reported to the proper authorities at the appropriate level in order to properly deal with the scope of the crime. To be able to do this, everyone must learn two skills: cyber crime detection and communication information protection. These two skills are critical to cyber crime reporting.
Before effective reporting can be done, the PC user first has to learn how to detect cyber crime. Certain signs indicate the presence of spyware in a PC. Remember that these signs are visible symptoms but as these become manifest, an even more malicious process may be going on internally: keyloggers may be tracking the sites you visit and may steal your personal information.
Here are some symptoms that should make you suspect your computer has been infected:
1. You are getting pop-ups consistently.
2. Automatically loaded toolbars are appearing in your screen
3. You are directed to websites you did not want to go to.
4. Your computer slows down.
5. Your computer crashes.
As a rule there are online sites where cyber crimes can be reported. In the United States, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has a website for people to file criminal complaints. This agency is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). The IC3 is the agency that receives, develops and refers cyber crime complaints.
In terms of cyber crime, identity theft is the epidemic of the 21st century. This crime is committed when a person uses another person’s personal information for their personal gain. There are some urgent steps that must be taken by any individual who is a victim of identity theft.
1. If your credit cards have been compromised, immediately place a fraud alert by contacting your credit card company and informing them of the problem
.2. Close compromised bank accounts immediately over the phone and follow up by mail.
3. Report to the federal trade commission about the identity theft. File your complaint online then print out a copy which would be an ftc affidavit which you can mail to the commission.
4. File a police report with the FTC affidavit, make a copy for your own files and send a copy to the companies where a fraud alert has been sent.
Email accounts can be over burdened with spam mail containing hoaxes, urban legends and false warnings about fraud, child abductions and money requests. In many cases, hoaxes have been known to spread like wildfire through thousands of addresses. These usually start as practical jokes to embarrass people or to drive home an advocacy.
It would be difficult for an individual to report each and every suspected intrusion to government agencies. However, when the incident clearly involves identity theft or any form of fraud, a citizen is well justified in reporting to law enforcement agencies. The only qualification for such complaints is the amount of money involved since the US Attorney’s office cannot act on monetary losses less than a predetermined amount.
Cyber crime reporting can be directed to the following government bodies: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Secret Service, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) , the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).