Electronic communication has developed significantly in recent years. You can now conduct research from your laptop or smartphone instead of visiting a library. You can learn about the news as it is happening instead of waiting for the next day’s newspaper. You can communicate verbally and visually with others anywhere in the world.
How have these advancements made it easier for white-collar criminals to commit fraud? Put yourself in the role of a swindler and describe how these advancements can assist you. Do these advances in electronic communication also help law enforcement fight white-collar crime? Do you perceive any Fourth Amendment issues related to the use of electronic communications, such as e-mail, text messages, and so on?
If you have had an e-mail account for any length of time, you have probably been contacted by a banker, attorney, or member of the royal family from Nigeria. It’s a good thing they have found you, since they have millions of dollars that must be sent out of the country, and they have chosen you because they know they can trust you. Does this sound familiar?
Using e-mails you have received or Internet sources, find an example of an attempt to commit fraud or steal your personal data. Describe the e-mail and identify what crime is being attempted. How are you able to identify the e-mail as fraud or an attempt at identity theft?
Week 5 Discussion: Electronic communication
As Chief Justice Earl Warren puts it “the fantastic advances in the field of electronic communication constitute a great danger to the privacy of the individual.” This statement perfectly encapsulates the dual effect, technology has had on our lives. Technology has both expanded and shrunk the world. The far-off location of a delinquent makes it easy for them to commit electronic fraud but makes it harder for law officials to track them down. All of this is because of the manner in which technology has taken over the world. Electronic technology might be the fastest-progressing phenomenon in the world. A century ago there was no concept of personal computers, and now people are literally living their lives through them (Jain, 2021, p.40).
Undoubtedly, it has made the functioning of White Collar Crimes extremely easy. The lack of physical nearness, but the capability this form of media has of facilitating a façade of intimacy, makes it extremely easy to commit the crime. As a swindler, Electronic media and its advantages are a goldmine of opportunities. Using a VPN enables swindlers to hide their exact location, and fend off law authorities. Making it appear as if one belongs to a first-world country adds an elite touch, which comes in handy while duping several victims. In this manner, digital footprints can also be avoided. Voice modulation software also helps in hiding the real features of the criminal. The best manner of facilitating fraud through electronic media is through emails (Payne, 2018, p.16). Though the frequency of email frauds has now considerably reduced, at the advent of the popularity of electronic media, these types of frauds were rampant. Emails were sent to prospective victims with alluring information. The information usually related is that the receiver has won a lottery or most conventionally that they are long-lost members of a Nigerian Royal Family. All these emails came with a promise of financial benefits. Initially, the victims had to provide information in order for the fraud to be perpetrated, but later as the technology advanced, the scheme did not even require that. Since most people nowadays save information on their personal computers, the moment the victims click on the link provided in the emails, the perpetrators received all the information. Using this information the victims are drained of money from their accounts in a matter of minutes so that they cannot begin a counteraction.
These advancements do help law enforcement agencies. Now, most countries have a Cyber Crime Unit Cell that helps law officials to track and combat these crimes. Recently authorities have tightened their hold on various modes of social media, as many perpetrators grab their victims through this form. Various soft wares have been created to sort through multiple VPNs and find the real locations. Electronic companies are also attaching tracking mechanisms so that if the machinery is used in fraudulent activities, the criminals can be tracked through the machinery. In many ways, this issue of progress has become a cat-and-mouse game, between the law authorities and criminals. Both of them are accumulating progressive features to better themselves in comparison to others (Rorie, 2019, p.50).
The original intention of the Fourth Amendment was to proclaim the idea that ‘each man’s home is his castle’. Thus, by its basic principle media forms like emails and messages, should protect privacy under the Fourth Amendment. The provisions of the amendment expect the email to not have any links that hamper the privacy rights of the receivers.
The email scams that are the most popular in my inbox are a lottery. The email specifies that I have received 1 million dollars in the lottery. In such scams, attention to detail can help the victims. If the receiver’s name is not in the, to section, that surely means that it is a phishing attempt. In a phishing attempt, the email is sent to hundreds of recipients, in the hope of catching a few. A simple internet search about the lottery can reveal its authenticity. The best way to save ourselves from such a scam is by following the principle that, one cannot win a lottery they haven’t entered.
Jain, S. (2021). Offences Under White Collar Crime With Special Reference of Security Laws. Available at SSRN 3863061.
Payne, B. K. (2018). White-collar cybercrime: white-collar crime, cybercrime, or both. Criminology, Crim. Just. L & Soc’y, 19, 16.
Rorie, M. L. (2019). The handbook of white-collar crime. John Wiley & Sons.