Deviants of the Internet Essay

Submitted By D_ROC72
Words: 1701
Pages: 7

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines fraud in three ways; a crime of using dishonest methods to take something valuable from another person, a person who pretends to be what he or she is not in order to trick people and a copy of something that is meant to look like the real thing in order to trick people. Combine all three definitions, the internet, a few good hackers and one has a recipe for the worst thieves on the planet today. The internet is an amazing source of information, a place where people can blog about whatever they want, have hours of entertainment and a dangerous pit of scams that will empty ones bank account. According to CBS news, in 2008 internet fraud hit a new high of $240 million lost to internet crimes. Anything from checking cashing, disaster relief, online dating, car buying to the famous Nigerian 419 scam. The internet started out as a safe place where one could escape to read about anything; now, one can barely log on the internet without feeling harassed by an anti-virus pop up screaming for a software update. The world is used to the standard drug dealer/user, thief, and even murder deviants but now we are dealing with whole new norm of deviants. These new deviants are not petty thieves anymore, by using the kindness, vulnerability and generosity of victims to manipulate money from them. The world's new type of deviants are coming from a society that encourages this type of behavior. Today, there are thousands of scams on the internet that anyone, even a veteran internet user, can fall victim to. Ryan Dube stated that the two largest internet scams of all time were, the Nigerian 419 scam and the phishing email or pop-up scam. As of 2010, the Nigerian 419 scam has cost victims around the world $32 million. The Nigerian 419 scam is basically a very elaborate email (that originates from Nigeria) describing a situation where the email author possessed a large sum of money but unless they could do a transfer from their country to a bank in the United States, it was going to be taken away. In this scam one would receive an email with details explaining how assistance with the money transfer would receive a percentage of the transferred amount, which they would reveal was in the hundreds of thousands if not millions. Then, after the thief received the bank information, the victim ended up with a disappointing, if not life changing and empty bank account.

The next scam is the Phishing scam. According to www.Phishing.org, there are over 1 billion phishing emails sent out each day and Consumer Reports reported in 2009 Phishing scams cost victims almost $500 million. These are the pop-ups or emails that tells one about a new life changing product that one can get for free as a long as one pays for the shipping and handling fees. One might actually receive the product but once their bank information is released, they will keep charging it until one calls to cancel the “free trial” (Ash Grant 2010). Both of these examples require people to run these scams and prey on people that think they might have a chance at a better life. The victims think they have an opportunity to help a person in a dire situation, while at the same time, making easy money for themselves. Or that they will receive a free product to help their health, but instead they get tricked out of money. These new age deviants are conforming to the society they are from by committing what we consider crimes but in their would it is an accepted social norm. Deviance is described as a behavior, thought, feeling or action that violates the appropriate or inappropriate standards of conduct or expectations of a social group in society (Schaefer 2012). Generally speaking Deviants are people who go out of their way to break rules and social expectations, also known as norms. But in this case the norm of scamming money from kindhearted victims, in the society the deviants are from, is an accepted behavior. From…