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Stopping Scams Against the Layperson

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By: sproutx2125

August 6, 2018

My current career provides me with the opportunity to speak with many people who have become victims of scammers. These scammers utilize Internet technology to gain access to a victim's computer and lock it from the victim. These victims are then forced into paying money or sending gift cards to unlock their computers.Many times, the person I am meeting with seems like the same person as the last but with a different name. There appears to be a certain type of demographic for selecting a victim that a scammer targets: immigrant, elderly, or someone who doesn't typically know much about computers. I have sat and listened to these victims tell me their stories of how they got scammed, and the inner computer person in me is screaming "WHY?" What would make you think these people are legitimate? I have called some of these scammers (criminals) back and spoke to them on the phone. To hear them speak about the situation or use their charismatic skills is funny. Sometimes, I don't think they even know what they are doing. When you challenge them on their tactics, they become defensive and lose their composure.Every time I speak with one of these victims, I try and educate them on steps to take to help minimize fraud and mitigate monetary loss, and I reassure them that I don't think they are "stupid." While going over the options and steps to get back some type of security for these victims, I can't help but think that there has to be a better way. There must be a better way of securing personal information easily. That way, each person would be will able to use it, think about it, and ultimately stop a fraudulent transaction before it even starts.I am currently, as quickly as possible, completing my Computer Science BS degree in software engineering/cybersecurity to help come up with this easier way. We need to be able to not only help secure people's identities but also prevent and prosecute these criminals for the crimes they are committing. The problem is how, and I plan to be at the forefront of this solution.Sprout
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