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Many different online scams that our readers should be aware of and various online resources for helpful information and advice

Online scams
First published 09-07-2011
We have reported many different online scams that our readers should be aware of and referred our readers to various online resources where they can get helpful information and advice on how to avoid the growing number of online scam artists who nowadays, seem to be lining up to take our money.
One such website is www.getsafeonline.org which is a free public service from the UK Government which brings together help and information from various bodies from within the public and private sectors, and is there to help individuals and micro-businesses use the internet safely.
Looking at their website recently, I notice that they are issuing warnings about online ticket scammers who have been selling non-existent tickets to music concerts.
It seems that the organised crime gangs know exactly when run their fake campaigns, timing them to coincide with the release of official tickets to music concerts which sometimes, sell out in minutes. The average music fan usually, has little if any chance to obtain an official ticket, and is the perfect target for the gangs who are selling fake tickets to the concerts.
They have their work cut out because the scammers are able to build and deploy very professional-looking fake websites that usually, look very much like the original, and offer online booking and payment facilities that mimic the facilities that are offered on the real websites.
The question that I always ask and the thing that amazes me about this type of online scam is how the gangs are able to use the online payment facilities of the major credit card companies and other popular online payment systems such as Paypal. ? Why is the vetting procedure for who they offer their payment facilities to, not more stringent ?
Anyway, the reason that I mention this is that it is all well and good to offer the general public help and advice and to warn them about the various online scams, but is anyone doing anything to stop these type
of scams coming to the internet in the first place and secondly, is anyone doing anything to prosecute the perpetrators of these frauds ?
Well, it seems that, and not before time, there is going to be an internationally co-ordinated effort to stop and prosecute the people who are running this type of scam on the internet.
In London, on Tuesday, the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) - www.icspa.org was launched. Under the chairmanship of David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary, the (ICSPA) is being touted as a global not-for-profit organisation established to channel funding, expertise and assistance directly to assist international law enforcement agencies.
On their website, (ICSPA) say, "We are a business-led organisation comprising large national and multi-national companies who recognise the need to provide additional resourcing and support to law enforcement officers around the world, in their fight against cybercrime."
At the moment, the (ICSPA) is being funded by annual membership fees from member companies, such as McAfee and Trend Micro, but they also tell us that they will seek to obtain resources and support from the Governments and Institutions who have an interest in keeping the internet safe.
An immediate partnership has been formed with the European Law Enforcement Agency (Europol) who (ICSPA) members plan to work with across the EUís 27 member countries and strategic alliances have also been formed with international partners in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
At this point, I am sure that the cynics amongst our readers will be shaking their heads and hoping that this doesn't turn out to be just another expensive quango and that the (ICSPA) does have an effect on the amount of fraud that is perpetrated by internet criminals

.....here's hoping !
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