Is Ankit Fadia a fraud

The wondrous world of internet scammers

Spam is harmful, no one doubts it. Email service providers are losing server capacity; "Hotmail", for example, blocks 95 percent of all email traffic as spam on peak days. Banks lose money; Last year, online banking in Germany alone caused damage of almost 70 million euros. Private users lose their patience - and more and more often their money too. One question arises: Who actually benefits from all this damage?

Rob Thomas from "Team Cymru", an American research association dedicated to Internet security, has the answers. "Internet fraudsters are very well organized and have their own underground economy", so the summary of his underground research, which is actually not. Because: "Anyone with a little idea can find these pages. The villains live from the openness of the Internet."

Villains among themselves

The "villains" are more than the usual suspects, that is, computer kids and hackers. With the right software, anyone could, in principle, become an Internet fraud, says Thomas: "You don't have to be a hacker. My grandmother's knowledge is sufficient." Accordingly, everything from petty criminals hoping for easy money to bored teenagers to criminals in the Middle East who target American accounts can be found among Internet fraudsters.

Antiquated notion: The real villains don't fear the public

Their platform is made up of openly accessible chats (IRC networks) in which they sell their stolen information like in a bazaar. Here, the data on offer rushes across the screen like a stock market ticker: In addition to hacked government and corporate pages, these are above all complete data records on accounts and credit cards. If you are interested, you will not pay with money, but exchange it for other information. Or stolen right away: If you brag about your loot for too long, you risk that, for example, of the 40,000 dollars in a stolen account, only 30,000 will be left after you have exchanged it.

Internet fraudsters try to avoid this as much as possible. As in the real world of crime, in the virtual world too, reputation is everything. Therefore, the "villains" maintain a rating system similar to eBay's. But instead of brightly colored stars, they use bones in their nickname - the pirates send their regards.

Users as suffering third parties

Such a sense of self-confidence and the considerable damage that cyber fraudsters are wreaking has not escaped the economy. According to Thomas, companies, especially banks, are already taking countermeasures, but most of them are kept secret. They tend to shift responsibility on to the user. No more online banking contracts that do without the notice that the customer is obliged to take all relevant security measures to prevent fraud. Thomas criticizes this solution at the expense of the user.

It is true that private users lack "awareness" of the dangers of the Internet: "If you pull 50,000 euros from the machine in a lousy area, you won't get two steps far. It's the same on the Internet." However, the companies are also to blame for this. You would have suggested to customers that a PC is a tool like any other - just switch it on and use it. "But that's exactly what he's not."