Internet Hoaxes and Fraud
The Internet has many benifical uses that everyone can use to create an easier and more relaxed life. People can now work in there home over the computer, purchase goods and services and even meet new people. The Internet has taken the vast amount of space that separate people from across the world and connects them through a network of phone lines, cable and DSL modems, and even satellites. Unfortunately, with this great new technology we face a new problem. Internet fraud and hoaxes have become a great and expensive problem in today's high pace world of computers. It also raises the moral and ethical issues involved in the transactions of goods over the net and also who is trustworthy.
There are many types of fraud that can be found on the Internet, the first of which are hoaxes. One might ask what are hoaxes and how can they adversely affect the flow of money on the net. According to the CIAC (Computer Incident Advisory Capability) Internet hoaxes are written with one purpose and that is to send out a message, usually through email, that contains untrue information whether it be information over a virus or a letter trying to invoke sympathy so that the recipients will pass it along to his/her friends, this is sometimes called chain mail or letters. If a person looks at the costs of these hoaxes it may seem insignificant at first glance but when one digs deep it will add up. The reason being is that if everyone receives one of these letters and sends it on, the cost of that one letter adds up as it is passed on down the line. An example of this can be found again on the CIAC website, they state that if everyone spends one minute on each hoax and then discards it the formula would look like this. 50,000,000*1/60 hour*$50/hour=$41.7 million. This figure is just a rough estimate but most people have seen far more than just one hoax letter and in most business the employees may cost the company more than $50/hr if you include the benefits and over head. According to the policenotebook on virus hoaxes, most alerts a person receives on virus are in fact false. Also it states that millions of dollars are lost annually because of the diversion from their work and companies spend more money on virus detection programs. They suggest that before you start taking action to check with someone you trust or check it out yourself to make for sure that it is a real threat. The other types of hoaxes include malicious code (virus and trojan) warning, urban myths, giveaways, inconsequential warnings, sympathy letters and requests to help someone, threat chains, scam chains.
The malicious code warning are very numerous there are many sites that a person can go to research and find out whether or not they have received an actual or fake warning. Some of this sites include the CIAC, Scambusters, and Symantec, this are just a few of the many sites out there. An example of one of these hoaxes comes from the CIAC...