08.10.2003 Feature Article

Internet Fraud: A Challenge To Web Security.

Internet Fraud: A Challenge To Web Security.
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Feature by Philip J. Forson

Accra, Oct. 10, GNA - One of the factors that has enhanced Globalization is the Internet. Indeed, Marshall Mcluhan, a communication scholar predicted more than three decades ago that the world would turn into a Global Village. His prediction has been realized through the World Wide Web (WWW) and the Internet.

But the question that needs to be addressed is whether the millions of people who visit the net everyday are using the Internet legitimately or lawfully.

Among the problems associated with the www, is the Internet fraud. What is Internet fraud? It is any type of fraudulent scheme that uses one or more components of the Internet such as chat room, e-mail, message boards or web sites to present fraudulent solicitation and transactions. Also, to transmit the proceeds of fraudulent deals to financial institutions for saving or to others connected to the scheme. The reason why people engage in Internet fraud is the unique capabilities of the Internet. For example, sending an e-mail message worldwide in seconds or posting web sites information that can be access worldwide to carry out various kinds of fraudulent schemes more quickly than what was possible with many of such schemes in the past.

Again, in the case of e-commerce, online criminals use schemes that look as much as possible like the goods and services that the vast majority of legitimate e-commerce merchants offer. This process has caused a lot of harm to customers and investors, and also, it undermines customer confidence in legitimate e-commerce and the Internet.

The types of fraud on the Internet that law enforcement and regulatory authorities as well as consumer organization have to take a critical look at, is the credit card fraud schemes. This is using an unlawfully acquired credit card number to order goods and services.

Investment schemes online are another fraud when dramatic prices increase in traded stock or stocks of companies are inflated to a substantial profit before the stock prices fall back to its usual low level. Any other buyers of the stock who are unaware of the falsity of information become victims of the scheme once the price falls.

Another type of Internet fraud is identity theft or fraud. This is the wrongfully obtaining and using of someone's personal data in some way that involves fraud and deception typically for economic gains. Internet fraud, to some people is a lucrative business, which needs research, money and time to succeed. But the success of these online criminals is at the expense of hard working individuals and organizations that loose millions of their finances through various fraud schemes on the Internet.

As a Global effort to track down these criminals, there must be a co-ordinated analysis and investigation as part of the comprehensive approach to combat the fraud.

Justice Departments around the world should prosecute these online criminals, whether as individuals or groups to combat this WHITE-COLLAR-CRIMES. 07 OCT. 03

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