1. What explains the possible reluctance on the part of some victims of Internet frauds to report victimization?
Internet fraud is one of the fastest growing internet crimes in the world. Statistics shows that the number of computers crimes has continued to increase and the statistics may be higher considering that most of these crimes are not reported. Internet fraud has not been considered a serious crime for different reasons one being that most people are reluctant to report cyber crimes (Bhaskar, 2006). Most people do not report internet frauds because they are thought to lead to little monetary loss compared to other crimes. People fail to report internet crimes due to a number of reasons.
One of the reasons why people do not report internet frauds is because they do not know who they can report to. There has not been enough campaign to make the public aware of the criminality of internet frauds and hence most people are not even aware that they can report it to law enforcement authorities. Internet frauds are perceived to be crimes because there is not physical evidence that victims can show how the crime has been committed. This implies that people have difficulties believing that law enforcement authorities can handle these crimes competitively like other crimes (Axlerod & Jay, 2009). Most victims of cyber frauds therefore stay quite not knowing who they are supposed to report to.
Another reason why people fail to report these crimes is that they feel embarrassed to report them. Internet frauds are mostly scams, a trap that most people are likely to fell victims to. They sometimes promise them huge monetary gains and this entices victims. When they realize that they have been scammed, victims will feel embarrassed. They don’t see the need to report the crime because they will appear foolish. In most cases, nobody wants to appear foolish to other people and this makes most victim die with the bitterness of fraud (Aldestein, 2006). They are ashamed that they were easily tricked and when the scam involves reward for huge amount of money, they will appear to be lazy people who want to get money they have not worked for, rather than appearing to be ambitious. This means that is the shame, embarrassment and fear of condemnation that is likely to make most victims not to report these crimes.
For other victims, they feel that it is not worth to report the crime because the amount of money that was involved in the crime is too small and insignificant. In most cases, internet frauds may require their victim to pay small amount of money like fifty dollars to purchase something only to find that their purchase has not been delivered. This implies that individuals will find fifty dollars an insignificant amount of monetary loss to be reported (Buchhoz, 2004). This amount may not have any impact on their financial states and hence they are not likely to report it. However, adding together the number of victims and the small amount of money that they have lost will give a huge figure and likely to have far reaching negative impact on e-commerce beyond the monetary value.
In addition, most people feel that even if they report the incidence to the authority, nothing will be done to address the issue considering that they cannot even point their assailants in the first place (Bhaskar, 2006). This is a crime that takes place virtually and because victims do not physically know the identity of their assailants, they think it will be difficult for the authorities to catch up with them. Considering how the authorities handle other physical crimes, individuals have that pessimism towards effectiveness of the authorities and they feel that it will just add to the statistics of report crimes but nothing no action taken. This is perhaps the most prevalent reason why individuals are not likely to report the crime. They just cannot comprehend the mechanism that can be used by the authorities to catchy up with their assailants.
2. What are the specific steps necessary to obtain digital evidence? What are the challenges to protect this type of data?
Locating evidence on computers constitute one of the most important modern form of gathering crime evidence. It is estimated that more than 70 percent of data stored on computers is not reduced to printed form and hence retrieving and preserving this information is very important in prosecution. According to Feldman (2010) there are ten steps that are involved in computer-based discovery:
First, it is important to gain a search warrant before entering into a premise to search for any evidence. This will also include a preservation of evidence letter sent to all parties informing them of information to be discovered and preserved.
Second, make definitions, instructions and specific questions about digital data that will be followed in the discovery process
Third, take a deposition for staff or form of custodial deposition from the information systems department. This should include questions on specific hardware and software and how data is used and stored
Third, collect all backup tapes. Routine data backups are stored in high capacity tapes and are created on daily or weekly bases
Fourth, the focus should be on the core of the data storage and computer operations. At this step, it is important to collect CD-ROMs, Zip drives, and all other removable media since they have important clue. All media with files created should be examined (Berghel, 2003).
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