«I’ve heard of and experienced an Internet address where it’s a casino online. They say they’ll give you cash prizes if you win so many chips. I’ve won the chips… I ask for the prize. And it’s nowhere to be seen. I wrote several times to them. No messages were replied. I lost $200 to them so far, and I know others have lost worse.»
No this isn’t a made up story. This a real actual account of a new epidemic that currently sweeping the nation. It is a new form of identity theft called internet fraud. Now there are more ways to lose your identity then a stolen wallet or checkbook, try a stolen bank account or even waking up to realize that you’ve lost your pension plan. But what the most scary thing about it all is that it could be happening to you or me even right now without any of us suspecting a thing. And where is it happening? Under the one thing that we as Americans rely on so much, the internet! What makes this so shocking is that the internet is constructed around the one entity that protects the rights of Americans, the government. Which leads to the posed question: Has the government really made the Internet a safe place?
The answer to that question comes with a yes and a no. No, because according to the 4th Amendment, the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. So what has the government actually done to rectify this problem? One law developed for online identity theft is The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 (18 U.S.C. 1028) what this act basically does is makes identity theft a Federal crime with penalties up to 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. It establishes that the person whose identity was stolen is a true victim. Previously, only the credit grantors who suffered monetary losses were considered victims. This legislation enables the Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies to combat this crime. It allows for the identity theft victim to seek restitution if there is a conviction. It also establishes the Federal Trade Commission as a central agency to act as a clearinghouse for complaints, (against credit reporting agencies and credit grantors) referrals, and resources for assistance for victims of identity theft.
So why still is internet fraud and identity theft sweeping the nation more and more everyday? Even with the government doing every thing in its constitutional power to stop this epidemic with The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act you have to realize that this Act is only effective if they catch the perpetrator. We all know establishing that something is a crime doesn’t prevent the crime from taking place, if it did then we would be in a perfect world. If anything unfortunately, it makes the crime more fluent. Let’s face it, people don’t like to be told what they can’t do. As a child, you knew not to touch the stove but yet even after being told you still touched it and got burned. Even as adults, look at prohibition in the 1930′s, alcohol was up at an all time high and it was illegal.
And in this last the problem, crime is unpreventable no matter where you are or what you
do. Crime is everywhere around us everyday just like bacteria. And the way to deal with it is to just live at your own risk. So has the government made the internet a safe place? No because there is no such thing as a safe place. r, Stephen. «Identity Theft and the Internet.»