Criminal justice universities are more likely now to have programs that address cybercrime than ever before. Cybercrime has been one of the fastest growing crimes reported in the United States since 2000, ranging from computer hacking to identity theft. However from the year 2009 to 2010, it has been reduced significantly due to the actions of cybercrime efforts and agencies committed to the reporting and penalizations of the perpetrators. It is the criminal justice university and those that prepare lawyers that train the specialists who can decipher and track these crimes across state and national boundaries.
The 2010 Internet Crime Report, created by the FBI/National White Collar Crime Center’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), revealed the trend since it opened in 2000 as the source for reporting internet fraud and crimes. Unfortunately, these numbers only reflect the crimes actually reported. Many more go unreported and unprosecuted.
- In the year 2000, they received 16,838 complaints
- In the year 2005, they received 231,493 complaints
- In the year 2010, they received 303,809 complaints
- The highest complaint year was 2009 with 336,655 complaints
Unfortunately, it is generally in the wake of disasters that many people become the victim of a cybercrime and the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami is no exception. The 8.9-magnitude earthquake that spawned a tsunami and obliterated many towns and provinces in Japan shook the entire world. Instantly, humanitarian efforts were called in to help alleviate the need of the Japanese residents.
But just as quickly, scammers set up camp. Usually in the form of false organizations and donation nonprofits that pose as an organization dedicated to the Japanese relief effort. Internet fraudsters generally set up phony websites and then pump them full of optimized keywords so that they rank among the top in search results. The masterminds behind these crimes have figured out the algorithms of search engines and use it to their advantage and to the consumer’s disadvantage. This tactic is commonly known as “black hat search engine optimization.”
It is the responsibility of different specialized units and organizations to track and expose these crimes. Criminal justice universities often have key components in this or if not, students will do cross majors or double majors with information technology and internet security components.