Digital Crime: Identity Theft, Computer Forensics, Online Fraud

Introduction

Digital crime is a kind of crime that involves the use of cyberspace in that the people involved in the crime use the internet when committing the crime. The crimes can either be targeted to either an individual or an organization by the use of modern technology and the use of digitalized items (Bryant, 2008).

Thesis Statement

With reference to the given question, this paper will conduct research on three of the digital crimes in the world. This paper will record the history, main characteristics, and applicable laws that are involved in digital crimes.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a form of digital crime that involves stealing another person’s identity. This basically involves taking up another person’s identity in a bid to have access to some of the resources and benefits that are involved with the other person. Identity theft is a very serious kind of digital crime that is a punishable offense (Hayward, 2004).

According to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), identity theft is the fastest-growing kind of digital theft in the modern world and two out of ten people in the world have had their identities stolen in one way or the other. The two main types if identity theft involved in the world are account takeover and true name theft (Kanellis, 2006). Most of the perpetrators of this crime target the most unsuspecting individuals in that they use their information for their own personal use. This kind of crime has had a serious effect on the economy in that the real owners of these identities are left with huge credit bills that they are supposed to settle after the perpetrators have used huge amounts from their credit cards.

The congress in 1998 passed a law that criminalizes identity theft. In this law, identity theft is a federal crime and the individual who commits such a crime will be charged under the fraud law and also provided for the auction of the property that was used or was to be used in the fraud (Casey, 2011).

Computer forensics

Computer forensics which is otherwise known as cyber forensics is used in storing any kind of data that is used as evidence in a given case. This kind of digital crime involves criminal activities that many involve the theft of data that is stored in the computer forensics laboratories. In this kind of crime, files may also be deleted, damaged by the perpetrators of this crime and as a result evidence that has been collected may be compromised and this may lead to a court case may be interfered severely (Britz, 2009).

The perpetrators of this kind of crime destroy or steal the information from the computers in a bid to derail the court cases that are in the process. These crimes are fueled by the advancement in technology and this has in turn reduced the traditional kinds of digital crimes which include burglary. In this kind of crime, the perpetrators will use the technology e.g. the internet in getting the information they need from the computer forensic laboratories. The government has enacted legislations that acknowledge this kind of crime as a criminal act and it is punishable by the law. Any individual that is found engage or intends to engage in such an act is to face a jail term of two years and or a fine of $50,000 (Anzaldua, 2008).

Online Fraud

Some of most serious crimes that are committed in the modern world are committed through the internet. The perpetrators in this kind of use the internet to commit crimes against unsuspecting internet surfers who are conned by the perpetrators. In addition to that, this kind of crimes has been fueled by the advancement in technology and the continued use of internet as a communication tools in the modern world (McGinley, 2009).

It was found that more than 1 billion people in the world over use the internet on a daily basis as a communication tool or for fun and as a result are very vulnerable when attacked by online fraudsters. Most of the online fraudsters pose as sellers of important items that the online users may need and they in turn want the users to use their credit card to pay for the items. After this has happened, the fraudsters will hack into the computer systems and impersonate the owners of the credit cards and will use their credit cards for their own use.

This crime has had a drastic effect on the economy in that most of the online fraudsters will use huge amounts of money from the credit cards leaving the real owners of the credit cards in huge debts of which some are unable to pay. Online fraud was put a very serious kind of criminal crime. Any individual that is found engaging in this crime will face a sentence of up to six years imprisonment and or fine of $100,000 (Chamley, 2003).

Conclusion

In conclusion, digital crime is among one of the major kinds of crime in the world today. The perpetrators of this kind of crime always use the information acquired for their own benefit. In addition to that, there are many types of digital crime among them identity theft, computer forensics and online fraud among others. On the other hand, this type of crime costs the government billions of dollars in revenue whereby the perpetrators of this crime always leave most the victims in huge debts of which most of them are unable to pay.

References

Anzaldua, R. (2008). Computer Forensics, London, UK: John Wiley and Sons.

Britz, M. (2009). Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime, Oklahoma, OK: Cengage Learning.

Bryant, R. (2008). Investigating Digital Crime, London, UK: John Wiley and Sons.

Casey, E. (2011). Digital Evidence and Computer Crime, Oklahoma, OK: Cengage Learning.

Chamley, H. (2003). Online Fraud and Crime, New York, NY: Sage.

Hayward, C. (2004). Identity Theft, New York, NY: Sage.

Kanellis, P. (2006). Digital crime and forensic science, London, UK: Oxford University Press.

McGinley, T. (2009). Identity Theft: A Reference Handbook, California, CA: California University Press.