Online fraud is something that experts still believe to be generally under reported in a lot of countries. There are many reasons for this, but two of the most common are the following:
- People feel ashamed about having been conned online and try to hide the fact in order to save face.
- People do not know where to go when they do decide to report the incident.
But the truth is, no one should be ashamed to speak out if they have been victimized. Online fraud affects more and more people every year. Part of the reason criminals continue to have such success is that those who already know better do not share their experiences. They fail to spread the word and warn others about what they already know.
Getting word out about cyber crime is vital. People armed with knowledge of cyber crime having actually happened are more likely to take warnings on the topic seriously and to be more careful on the Web. They know it could happen to them too, and this is exactly why no one should be ashamed to admit that fraud has been perpetrated on them.
Of course, the hurdle about being unaware of where to turn for reporting online fraud is rather thornier. Not all countries have developed agencies or positions meant for dealing with cybercrime. You can rest assured of this face: it is still crime. In other words, the police are still technically tasked with handling it, so you can always turn to your local police headquarters if you really cannot find an anti-fraud cybercrime unit in your jurisdiction. You can also look up your national trade commission or bureau, as these usually handle fraudulent commercial activity and identity theft issues.
- Could Reporting Online Fraud Benefit the Victim Too?
It may seem as though the reasons for reporting online fraud are primarily to the benefit of other could-be victims. However, rest assured of this: reporting online fraud can sometimes benefit you, the victim, too.
The best reason to report Internet fraud after it has been done on you is to get other people moving to help you. Reports are your way of telling them that something has gone wrong and you need their assistance to possibly stop it or recover your losses. This will not always be possible, of course, but you have to try it to make sure.
The parties you report to should be the ones who not only have authority on the topic but also have some form of legal obligation to assist you with recovery and redress. Credit card companies are tasked with that obligation in several countries if a customer’s credit card has been used for fraudulent purposes, for instance. The police forces have a natural obligation to assist in case of crime. Speaking out about online fraud can help you regain what you lost at the very least.