For years, deceptive people in California and throughout the nation have been able to gain access to peoples’ private information through the internet. These cybercriminals steal personal financial information, medical data and other crucial details simply by hacking into a software system or performing some other act of internet fraud. In an attempt to stop this criminal activity from happening, the United States government created the Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3. Not only does this agency help to detect and intercept internet crimes, but it focuses on prosecuting and preventing internet misconduct.
In addition to engaging in these tasks, IC3 also performs the following:
- Follows up with complaints regarding internet crimes.
- Attempts to recover any lost or stolen property.
- Coordinates with law enforcement officers in various parts of the country.
- Prosecutes cybercriminals through legal action.
- Stays updated on how cybercrimes work and attempts to prevent them using various methods.
The government agency also investigates cybercrimes by obtaining information, gathering evidence and conducting interviews.
Surprisingly enough, many internet crimes go undetected and unreported to officials. The victim may feel threatened and choose not to report the crime, or the criminal activity may simply go unnoticed. That is why the scope of the problem is hard to quantify. According to an article published by the FBI, identity theft is one of the most common types of internet fraud. Copyright infringement, drug trafficking, prostitution and sports betting are also problematic.
In addition to the IC3, the federal government has various task forces, field support agencies and cyber action teams that are focused on protecting the country and its citizens from internet criminals.