SCARS™ Insight: Cybercrime Is Big Business! A Continuing Series – Part 1

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SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Insight: CybercrimeCybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks. Is Big Business! A Continuing Series – Part 1

Source: DataQuest

What Drives The Business Of Cybercrime?

Easy access to consumer data, numerous avenues to attack, technology-driven sophisticated tools, and of course the prospect of making easy money continues to fuel the growth of cybercrime

Every day, you get a spam email or message urging you to click a link to update your bank details or run the risk of the account getting closed. Every day, you get messages promising you a fortune left behind by someone who has no inheritor. Every other day, you also get advice from your bank not to fall for such messages, as currently, these are some of the common forms of cybercrime designed to rob you of your hard-earned money and personal details.

Why Such A Spurt In Malicious Cybercrime Activities?

The reason behind a prolific rise in cyber crimes is not hard to guess. Cybercriminals engage in malicious activity for financial gain—at the expense of businesses and consumers. As much as it may appear hard to believe, it is every bit true that cybercriminals make ‘business profits’ now (2019) worth $3.5 trillion a year. According to one study, if cybercriminals were to be a country, it would in the top 30 GDP in the world.

The Drivers Of Cybercrime:

In this digital age, when humans are practically living their lives online, they are also the most vulnerable to digital exploitation. Some of the key drivers of cybercrime include:

  • Easy access to data:
    As more and more people shop online and engage in numerous online services—music, games, movies, social media, and so on—they are sharing personal details while signing up, logging in or making payments. As a result, there is so much personal data strewn all over the internet that it has become a child’s play to collate all of this data and exploit it at whim. That is why there is a spurt in the incidents of data breaches, as cybercriminals can supplement their databases of verified customer details and use all of the data for identity fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. and many other crimes.
  • Ability to make money quickly:
    While some cybercriminals engage in criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. activities just to prove their might, more often than not the motive is financial gain. They can make easy money just by selling off the collated data on the dark webDark Web This is a sub-level of the internet that normal search engines and everyday browsers cannot access. It’s an encrypted network that contains websites – both legal and illegal – that remain hidden from plain sight. or anyone who may be interested—yes, even competing businesses. Digitization and online commerce have opened up a horizon of opportunities and avenues for monetary exploitation. MalwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. and ransomwareRansomware Ransomware is a type of malware from cryptovirology that threatens to publish the victim's personal data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system so that it is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion. It encrypts the victim's files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. In a properly implemented cryptoviral extortion attack, recovering the files without the decryption key is an intractable problem – and difficult to trace digital currencies such as paysafecard or Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are used for the ransoms, making tracing and prosecuting the perpetrators difficult. Ransomware attacks are typically carried out using a Trojan virus disguised as a legitimate file that the user is tricked into downloading or opening when it arrives as an email attachment. However, one high-profile example, the WannaCry worm, traveled automatically between computers without user interaction. have proven to be popular tools among cybercriminals to force organizations into paying up large sums of money in order to continue running their businesses, but never forget that scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. are a close second in terms of financial gain.
  • Availability of a resource pool:
    Cybercriminals have a resource pool available that they can tap into for any ‘support’ they may need to orchestrate and perpetuate a cyberattack. This full-fledged system supports the business of cybercrime and also reaps benefits. For instance, there are businesses that buy stolen data, criminal tool-kits sellers, outsourced human laborers available for mass attacks or to act as a front for criminal gangsGangs A gang is normally a group or society of associated criminals with a defined leadership and internal organization that identifies with or claims control over a territory or business practice in a community and engages, either individually or collectively, in illegal, and possibly violent, behavior. Online gangs are not limited by territory and may operate side by side with other gangs while engaging in crime online. Some members of criminal gangs are initiated (by going through a process of initiation), or have to prove their loyalty and right to belong by committing certain acts, usually theft or violence, or rituals. Gangs are usually rougher and more visible than scammer cartels, and more often arrested., experts who share their ‘expertise’ with amateur wannabes—the list is rather long.
  • Technology-driven commoditized tools:
    Advancements in technology have provided cybercriminals with commoditized tools which are used to scale the attacks and maximize the financial returns in the shortest possible times. Cybercriminals hide behind the anonymity of the internet and use easily available spoofingSpoofing Spoofing occurs when a caller maliciously transmits false caller ID information to increase the likelihood that you'll answer. Scammers often spoof local numbers, private companies, government agencies and other institutions. It can also apply to pretending to be an email address, or through other media. tools to hide the device or network identity and wipe off their digital footprints to avoid detection.
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FIGHTING CYBERCRIMESCybercrimes Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks.

Every sector – personal or industry that you look at today is trying to catch up with the machinations of the cybercriminals. It takes time and effort to undo the damage cybercriminals inflict on businesses and consumers. Often, businesses do not even come to know for months that their networks are compromised and that someone is moving around stealing data or planting malware or monitoring everyday activities. Consumers can be played for years in scams and other forms of cybercrime and only discover these crimes after it is too late to stop them.

To effectively fight the evolving cyberthreats, everyone must look to erode the financial gains from these activities. We all can consider smart technology-driven solutions that can help gain better visibility into their networks, secure the endpoints, and authenticate every request in real-time. Consumers need to learn how to survive and thrive in the new threat-rich environment of daily life online.

Just like the gangsters of the 1930s we all need to adapt to this crime-infested world and stop assuming someone else is going to save us from ourselves. We have to become the cyberwarriors that save ourselves, our families and friends, and our businesses, but at the same time not let ourselves be seduced by the frauds claiming to be cybersecurity or scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. experts – they are just as bad as the scammers and the cybercriminals – always look for real organizations with real governmental affiliations. Never fall for the “Mob-Rule” of fake or amateur anti-scam groups!

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TAGS: SCARS, Important Article, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, Cybercrime Is Big Business, Big Cybercriminal Business, Financial Advantage of Cybercrime, Cybercriminals, Professional Cybercriminals, Malicious Cybercrime Activities, Fighting Cybercrimes

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SCARS™ Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc.
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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?

It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
  2. U.S. State Police (if you live in the U.S.) – they will take the matter more seriously and provide you with more help than local police
  3. Your National Police or FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. « www.IC3.gov »
  4. The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network on « www.Anyscam.com »

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.


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To learn more about SCARS visit « www.AgainstScams.org »

Please be sure to report all scammers
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