Reverse Phone Lookup May Help Reduce Online Crime Stats

Nowadays, we are seeing signs of the ailing economy taking tolls wherever we look. The impact of a wide spectrum of escalating online scams is now significant enough to be worrisome. Recent statistical updates for 2008 confirm a whopping 33% increase in Internet-based crime: 275,000 complaints, as compared to the previous year's 207,000. These incidents resulted in total monetary losses of approximately $265 million, or $25 million more than in 2007. The most common cases include nonpayment and non-delivery, as well as auction and credit card fraud.

How do we come to find out these numbers? They are issued by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC), the result of a partnership between the FBI and a Washington, DC-based nonprofit group that monitors web-based fraud and white-collar crime. The ICCC forwards complaints to various law enforcement agencies for further investigation.

So get this: based on the ICCC data, men are much more likely to fall prey to web-based scams than women; they appear to have lost $1.69 for every dollar lost by women. Finally some proof that women make savvier consumers who are harder to fool. We all know how reluctant men tend to be to ask for directions; perhaps they are a little too self-assured to do a little preliminary research, because surely noone would dare to fool them!

Oh, let me stop. Obviously women fail to exercise precaution as well. Besides, the ICCC report appears to only focus on financial rip-offs. Let's not forget the rise in the online sex-related crimes, typically affecting women of all ages. It's enough for us to know that MySpace and Facebook are riddled with sex offenders, and women are none too savvy when falling for that ruse.

The truth is, of course, that both men and women are equally susceptible to fraud and other not-so-white-collar crimes, just somewhat different kinds. Besides, another unfortunate effect of the poor economy is that people tend to cut corners and lose a lot more by trying to save a few pennies. Whether we are too cocky, ignorant or poor, most of us don't do enough research before engaging in any online transaction. With all the new precautionary methods technology offers us, we can't afford not to use them; our adversaries do.

Take reverse phone lookup, for instance: it's a godsend. Never socialize or do business online without knowing whom you are dealing with and how to contact them in case you need to. You must take just a few extra moments to learn more about a company's or person's reputation. Running a quick, inexpensive reverse phone lookup to get this information can actually make the difference between a satisfied customer and a disgruntled statistic. Not to mention all the millions that will stay in our collective pockets.