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Advances in technology bring advances in crime

Source: Excite.com News

Posted on June 4, 2000

      The Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) has been created by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in conjunction with the US Department of Justice and US National White Collar Crime Center.

      The IFCC was established to aid in the fight against the growing problem of fraud occurring over the Internet, said Special Agent in Charge of the Salt Lake City Division, Don M. Johnson.

      The web site provides a way for Internet fraud victims around the country to report online frauds, he said. "The Internet Fraud Complaint Center allows consumers who suspect Internet fraud to share that information with law enforcement quickly and efficiently," said Attorney General Janet Reno.

      "Our ability to work with private citizens and industry is extremely important to our efforts to fight Internet crime, and the IFCC is major step forward in that fight," reported the FBI Salt Lake City Division.

      The greatest benefits of the site is that it is accessible around the world, said Salt Lake Division Special Agent, Bill Matthews.

      Information comes into a central location and is then logged, analyzed, grouped and sorted. Through this centralized process the FBI is able to compile information geographically and send it to the appropriate office, he said.

      Patterns of fraud will be easily identifiable with the central system, Matthews said.

      The FBI has not cited any specific case that has fueled the creation the IFCC site, but said that a great increase in the number of complaints have been arriving from across the world. Salt Lake City financial consultant Doug Alder was stung by Internet fraud in March.

      Alder ordered a DVD player through eBay, an online auction service, and sent a $1,000 cashiers check to a Texas individual. The item never came, and the supposed sellers address was a post office box.

      "I started to trust people too much," Alder said.

      An escrow service is a safer way to conduct online business, Alder said.

      He said not to put too much trust in people and use caution when conducting any online business.

      "Prevention is a lot better than a loss," Alder said. The FBI will play a large roll in Internet crime prevention through their new IFCC site, he said.

      "If I would have used it, my situation wouldn't have turned out the way is did," Alder said.

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