Cybercrime: How it affects you

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho (AFNS) -- Cybercrime is the fastest growing and most dynamic area of crime. Ever-increasing reliance on cyber technology is allowing criminals to operate with virtual impunity across a range of criminal activities and jurisdictions.

Although the types of crimes are not necessarily new (theft, fraud, extortion, drug proliferation and sex-based exploitation), the technology provides criminals an unprecedented range of targets, increased operational capabilities and a reduced risk of capture and prosecution.

In 2013, cybercriminals defrauded the U.S. public to the tune of more than $780 million through a variety of online scams ranging in a level of complexity from simple fraud schemes to complex hacking scams, according to the 2013 Internet Crime Report, FBI. In the past few years, there have been numerous online scams where criminals have either directly targeted military personnel or used actual and fictitious information about U.S. military members to defraud the public. These scams range in forms and all are designed to extort information or money from innocent victims by exploiting the public's trust in the U.S. military.

Online scammers use U.S. military members' information, whether real or fake, for three reasons: 1 – credibility; 2 – plausibility; and 3 -- emotional appeal. Appearing attractive to a victim's emotional response the criminal generates trust and loyalty in order to increase credibility once the scam is suggested. The military ties also give criminals a credible reason to solicit money from victims that would normally make such a request seem suspicious. Two of the most common online scenarios are sale scams and the Nigerian Letter scams.

Online sale scams: The scam begins by offering online goods well below their market price, most frequently carried out on an online sale site. Most of such scams involve vehicle sales and generally take the following pattern: a scammer advertises a vehicle for sale at a price almost too good to be true and describes the vehicle in broad terms. The potential victim answers the ad and is soon contacted by the scammer, claiming to be a member with a U.S. military unit that's being deployed abroad. The scammer uses this "deployment" to explain the devalued sales price of the vehicle and they will be unable to test drive it. Often, the scammer insists the transaction take place quickly and requests the potential victim wire the money or transfer funds via the purchase of a money card and then providing the code to the scammer.

Advance-fee online fraud scam or Nigerian Letter scams: Seeks to defraud potential victims by promising big profits in exchange for help moving large sums of money. Claiming to be a government official, business person or the surviving spouse of a former government leader, the criminals offer to transfer millions of dollars into victim's bank account in exchange for a small fee. The scammer really wants the victim's bank account information in order to transfer money out of their account.

Air Force personnel appear to be at risk to online impersonation because of the perceived reputability and integrity of service members by the general public. Criminals looking to impersonate service members can find an abundance of personal information from official websites, news articles and social networking sites. Air Force members should be aware their personal information can be exploited by online imposters and must remain vigilant to protect and minimize their Internet footprint.


Facebook Twitter
.@SchrieverAFB #Airman found his creative passion at the bottom of a fruit bowl. https://t.co/SeSTzAmLA3 https://t.co/gB5FhNRmBc
Oregon #AirNationalGuardsmen become first #Airmen to compete in the @USArmy's Best Warrior Competition.… https://t.co/Nj4pObitF9
The #AirForce has work to do! @GenDaveGoldfein outlines what's needed to prepare for #MultidomainOperations. https://t.co/KMuzyvPzMI
.@HollomanAFB & its co-located units will realign from @USAF_ACC to @AETCommand, effective Oct. 1.… https://t.co/UkCYJQoZzn
Identical twins share near-identical military careers as #USAF security forces #Airmen. https://t.co/odHGdsgsOe https://t.co/2DUsDK6CIR
Thousands of #Airmen have found support through our Exceptional Family Member Program, which allows them to proceed… https://t.co/OVSsRLN6F7
Hear @GenDaveGoldfein expound on what it takes to modernize #AirForce squadrons for future missions. https://t.co/a6F0tRfMxU
If you aren't taking advantage of #FollowFriday by following @Creech_AFB you are missing out on the famed "Hunters"… https://t.co/omTO945zAf
May we never forget, National #POWMIA Recognition Day. https://t.co/Oyu82RbIRO
RT @HQ_AFMC: Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the @usairforce Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, was one of the featured speake…
#ICYMI, Ms. Brie Larson, star of the upcoming feature film "Captain Marvel," joined #Airmen from across the NCR and… https://t.co/6lxYK3l85A
“Our dogs are definitely not pets; they are #MilitaryWorkingDogs – assets to the #USAF…The trust these teams have i… https://t.co/PVPq9Up5iN
#USAF optometry clinics keep #Airmen's eyes healthy so they can keep their sights set on the mission.… https://t.co/siyO4osHjr
First female chaplain from the #171ARW completes Leadership Development Institute training, develops the first… https://t.co/oFFpYZf9Mg
.@USAFReserve #Airmen @45thSpaceWing put their lives on temporary hold to respond to the aftermath of… https://t.co/m0yaqqUEaV
#ICYMI, @HAFB took a different approach to #cosplay at #FanX18 by teaming up with the Utah Engineers Council to pre… https://t.co/RChVGaP8rN
RT @USAFHealth: #TBT Flight Nurse Captain Shirley A. Armstrong hands a cup of fruit juice to a patient in a C-141 Starlifter during a medic…
Rapid global mobility is the mantra of the #816EAS and #ICYMI #Airmen continued to live it by shuttling cargo and l… https://t.co/5VI4R4wFQa
.@AETCommand officials announced the second iteration of Pilot Training Next https://t.co/qB5YwQSLip