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Joined: 14 Oct 2010
Location: Taking my new .38 special to the range
Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:03 am
I subscribe to the Kim Kommando radio website. Kim is an electronics diva. One caller asked the following question.
Someone hacked my dad's email account. They are sending messages to his email contacts posing as my father. The email says my father is stranded in Spain and needs $3,000 by Western Union to get home. Is there any way these scammers can be tracked down? The local sheriff's office says they don't go after cybercrime like this. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you for your help!
-Paul from Jacksonville, FL listens to my national radio show on WOKV 960 AM
I'm really sorry to hear what’s happened to your father. A cry for help from a friend or family member can make us react from emotion. That is exactly what the hacker is hoping.
This type of hacking is happening across many different email services. Whether you use Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, Gmail or another service, you are vulnerable. Either your email account will be compromised or you'll get an email asking for help.
How do the scammers get into an email account? Scammers use specialized programs or hired people to guess passwords. Once they get your email password, they get to work. They send email to your contacts with sob stories that always end with a plea for money.
As you found out, not every state acts on Internet crimes. Many agencies create localized divisions that strictly handle cybercrime. It's also a question of jurisdiction. With many offenses occurring across state and national lines, it's a Federal offense. So, local law enforcement might have no jurisdiction.
In 2009, security software publisher McAfee conducted a survey with Chief Financial Officers worldwide. The global impact of cybercrime was estimated at a whopping one trillion dollars! This includes money scammed and money spent re-securing critical systems.
Now, for people like us recovery from a scam means work. We need to fight to re-establish ourselves online both financially and emotionally. If your email account has been hacked, immediate action is critical. A few things must happen to re-secure your email. Second, you should gather information to report the incident.
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