Crimes via Electronic Communication
Electronic communication has developed significantly in recent years. You can now conduct research from your laptop or Smart Phone instead of visiting a library. You can learn about news as it is happening instead of waiting for the next day’s newspaper. You can communicate verbally and visually with others anywhere in world.
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How have these advancements made it easier for white-collar criminals to commit fraud? Put yourself in the role of a swindler and describe how these advancements can assist you. Do these advances in electronic communication also help law enforcement fight white-collar crime? Do you perceive any Fourth Amendment issues related to the use of electronic communications, such as e-mail, text messages, and so on?
If you have had an e-mail account for any length of time, you have probably been contacted by a banker, attorney, or member of the royal family from Nigeria. It’s a good thing they have found you, since they have millions of dollars that must be sent out of the country, and they have chosen you because they know they can trust you. Does this sound familiar?
Using e-mails you have received or Internet sources, find an example of an attempt to commit fraud or to steal your personal data. Based on your understanding of the examples, answer the following questions:
- Describe the e-mail and identify what crime is being attempted. How are you able to identify the e-mail as fraud or identity theft?
- Are there any other crimes that are commonly perpetrated through the use of e-mail and Internet communication?