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A Comprehensive Look at Fraud Identification and Prevention by James R. Youngblood

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255
Chapter 12
Internet, Computer,
and E- mail Fraud
12.1 Introduction
e personal computer and the office intranet system are the main targets for a
wide variety of frauds, many of which were discussed in the previous eleven chap-
ters. e actual individual computers and office computer systems are targeted in
an effort to access both personal and business information. In an effort to protect
the personal and business information housed in the various computer systems,
protection measures can be put into place to prevent unauthorized access.
Firewalls can be established to prevent outside access to an internal business
computer system. Employees can be educated on the necessity to practice computer
security measures and the importance of protecting and changing individual log- in
information. Individuals can also practice personal computer protection by install-
ing antivirus and antimalware
1
software. For both personal and company comput-
ers, the tools are available to prevent a majority of fraudulent activity that initiates
with unauthorized computer access.
No matter the prevention measures employed by a business operation or the
software installed on a personal computer, the overall computer protection process
still comes down to the actions of the individual.
For those individuals who target computer systems in an effort to commit
various types of computer- related fraud, their goal is to create opportunities in
the mind of the individual that place the person or business on the path of least
resistance. No matter the prevention measures in place to prevent unauthorized
256A Comprehensive Look at Fraud Identification and Prevention
access to personal and business computer systems, it all comes down to altering the
thought process of the individual operator.
12.2 Spamming
Gone are the good old days when spam was a harmless can of processed meat.
An Internet search using the keyword “spam” will reveal discussion of the canned
meat product as well as a reference to unwanted e- mail. In the world of technology,
spam is basically unsolicited and mostly unwanted e- mail. A majority of the spam
generated is harmless advertising and will most likely wind up in the spam folder of
an individuals e- mail account. Based on the company an individual uses for their
e- mail service, there are varying levels of spam filter settings.
Many users can manually set the spam filter settings provided by the e- mail
service provider. Spam filter settings usually range from “do not use a spam filter”
to an “extremely high spam filter.” E- mail recipients can choose to have all e- mails
posted in their inbox or select varying settings for spam filtering. e higher the
spam filter setting selected, the user runs the risk of having desired e- mails sent to
the spam folder.
E- mail users who have selected a high level or any level of spam filter setting can
still access their spam folder and see the sender information and the e- mail subject
line. e more e- mails in the spam folder that remain unopened, the greater the
deviation the user has taken off the path of least resistance.
e goal of an individual sending spam e- mail for malicious purposes is to have
the recipient open the e- mail message and click on the link provided. To have the
recipient open the unsolicited e- mail and follow the instructions provided, there
has to be an attraction. Typically, the attraction described in the unsolicited e- mail
is an offer to the recipient that falls in line with the adage that it is “too good to
be true.”
Contained in the malicious links are varying forms of unwanted software that
can be used to access personal and business information contained within the com-
puter system. e malicious software could also be used for outright vicious intents,
with the focus on causing damage to the computer’s operating systems.
No matter the intent of the malicious software attached to various forms of
unsolicited spam- type e- mails, the goal of the computer user is to avoid the tempta-
tion level generated in the subject line of the e- mail.
12.3 Unsubscribing from Spam E- mails
E- mails sent from legitimate operations offer the recipient the option of clicking on
the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the message. By clicking on the unsubscribe

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