Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Internet crimes and identity theft on the rise

Crime doesn't pay, but for some criminals, the internet has proven to be a lucrative way to scam individuals out of their money. With information available at your fingertips, it's easy to see how those looking for ways to cheat others out of money, find the internet full of opportunities. What criminals don't count on, is that more people are becoming aware of these internet crimes and will usually be wary of the "too good to be true" scams.

Identity theft is a fast growing crime and according to the Federal Trade Commission, 18 to 29-year-olds account for almost 30 percent of all identity theft complaints. An identity theft is classified as when someone uses your personal identification information, like your Social Security number or credit card number without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. Scams refer to bogus internet auctions, to the infamous Nigerian advance fee fraud schemes and seem to focus in on the elderly or those who are easily swayed.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, California ranks third in the nation for identity theft and more than 8.6 million households in the United States experienced some form of identity theft in 2010, with approximately $13.3 billion in personal financial losses.

While criminals may focus on internet crimes, so is law enforcement. Seminars are available throughout many communities to help educate people so that they understand the risks of our technology-laden world. These educational opportunities also tell people what they should do if they become a victim of an internet crime.

Source: Big Bear Valley news, "Protect Your Identity," April 4, 2012

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