Cyber scam is similar to the real life scam, however there is one difference; the cybercriminals use a totally different medium in their path to achieve their goal to deceive others. The cybercriminals can be the hackers, insiders, fraudsters, or the stalkers. The various mediums that are majorly used by the cybercriminals to deceive others are the electronic mail, chat rooms, social networking sites, bulletin boards, newsgroups, and list servs. The number of cyber scams has increased in the recent years due to the easy availability of internet in every corner of the world. The fraudsters can operate in any part of the world, and they are mainly motived by greed. The internet permits the criminals to communicate with a majority of audience who can be possible victims, and communicate with them in a way that is difficult to locate, and also interact with the other criminals. This paper examines some of the major cyber criminals and how they operated to achieve their objectives.
Cyber Scams: Cyber Criminals
There are numerous cyber-crimes committed since the time internet spread rapidly, and due to availability of internet everywhere the crimes are increasing every day. These cyber criminals use the information technology skills and styles in order to commit their alleged crimes. The internet clearly provides a new conduit for criminal and harmful behavior (Wall, 2007).
Vladislav Anatolieviech Horohorin, scandalously known as BadB on the internet, was one of the most wanted cybercriminal till he was caught in 2010 while boarding a flight. He is one of the founders of the CarderPlanet, a forum that is known as the most developed organization of virtual monetary criminals, which has helped to move millions of stolen credit card numbers, stole accounts from PayPal, and identity theft from eBay. The information was sold to anyone across the globe for a few dollars on a large scare. He is considered to be the best creative sellers of stolen credit card data (dumps). Horohorin, used the online name BadB, to market the available stolen credit card information through the web forums like CarderPlanet, and carder.su, and he engaged the purchasers to create accounts at dumps.name. Horohorin apparently got the buyers to deposit their dumps.name account, and the online currency services like Webmoney helped in the funds transfer. The purchaser would later access the forum and select the desired dump. He has been ordered detained pending trial in District of Columbia.
Kevin Mitnick was the most wanted disreputable hacker in the late 1980’s. He has a history of hacking into the computer systems owned by Pacific Bell, Digital Equipment Co. (DEC), Santa Cruz Operation, the University of Southern California, and a few other organizations. At a very young age he outwitted the punch card system used in bus systems to get free rides, thus began his journey into hacking. He was charged, convicted and sentenced to 12 months prison when he hacked the DEC computer systems and copied their software. He was also good at stealing passwords, modify the networks and read private emails. He became well known as America’s Most Wanted Computer Outlaw. Mitnick currently owns a computer security consultancy called Mitnick Security Consulting LLC.
Shaileshkumar P. Jain, an internet entrepreneur of Innovative Marketing, Inc., and Byte Hosting Internet Services offered spyware and malware that never worked on the user’s systems. He along with his co-conspirators Bjorn Daniel Sundin and James Reno, set up several advertisement agencies on unnamed websites. The company used to place malware laced ads on the websites, and when the user clicks on those ads, they were presented with a message that their computer contains dangerous malware and other virus and it could be cleaned only if they purchased the software that was priced from $30 - $70. Many users were tricked into this scam and as a result these international criminals made a fortune in tune of more than $100 million by selling the fake anti-virus software.
Olaniyi Victor Makinde, an internet super fraudster wass the most wanted international cybercriminal. His modus operandi was to create fake identities on dating sites and chat with the Americans. Depending on the sex of the opposite gender, he would present himself as a male or a female. He would con as an American woman looking a husband, and vice versa and also download some picture from the internet and send it to his victim to gain the confidence of the victim. Many people have fallen for his antics and lost a huge amount of money. He has been arrested and charged for the fraud in September 2011.
As stated by Mackey, Levan, (2011), cybercrime does pose some real dangers to individuals, economics and society as a whole. Many of these actual threats posed by cyber-crime run parallel to threats of traditional crime.
Wall, David.S., (2007). Cybercrime: The Transformation of Crime in the Information Age. Polity Press, Malden, MA USA.
Mackey, David A., Levan, Kristine., (2011). Crime Prevention. Jones & Bartlett Learning; 1st edition.