July 31, 2010
In today’s technological age, all it takes is one slip up — and sometimes not even that — to fall victim to Internet crimes. These crimes are time-consuming and potentially very costly. Vigilance and common sense are necessary to avoid these pitfalls.
Last week, the Craig Police Department issued a news release that warned local residents about scams that had recently surfaced.
The first was an Internet scam involving amazon.com users, and the second was an attempted con on people using solicitor phone calls under the guise of tech support.
On its own, there was nothing remarkable about the police department's news release — throughout the year, police make it a frequent practice to issue such reminders to the general public.
However, sometimes the routine or the norm goes underappreciated.
The Editorial Board is thankful for the police department's practice and its attention to informing people about the new and potentially disastrous frontier for theft and crime — the Internet.
One board member even remarked that he received an email falsely touting amazon.com that sought to defraud him of personal and financial information.
Armed with good sense to begin with, and partnered with the police department's warning, he was able to avoid a potentially costly and time-consuming situation that Internet crimes often represent.
The news release and the board member's brush with the scam prompted the board's discussion on Internet crime and the need for local residents to be aware of such activity and vigilant of it.
For all its' benefits to society, and they are countless, the Internet has been nothing short of a willing accomplice for people possessed by low morals, no work ethic and a technological talent for stealing from honest, hardworking people.
And yes, it's also true that the marks for these cons could easily avoid such situations by being just a little more savvy about the real purpose behind scams that are obvious to some, and innocuous to others.
Nonetheless, all it takes is one slip up — and sometimes not even that much — for scammers to loot every legitimate asset people have worked hard to acquire. A small window is all these Internet con artists need to crawl into your life and wreak financial and sometimes even emotional havoc.
Avoid this as best you can.
Be careful about who and what you respond to online, especially when it's unsolicited. Be mindful about using your debit and credit cards, and keep constant watch of your account information, bank statements and credit scores.
The sad truth is that none of us are completely safe or immune from Internet crimes and identity theft, but we can certainly be more wise about the choices we make, and who we choose and trust to exchange information with.