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forensic examiner

Forensic Examiner

The difference between “harassment,” “threats,” and “cyber stalking”

Harassment in the internet context is the continuous interaction with an individual aiming at intimidation, distressing or causing any other form of emotional harm to the person. This type of communication has no genuine intention. Threats on the other hand, are negative warnings concerning a plan to injure someone. Cyber stalking is using the online technology to threaten, aggravate or frighten a person or a group of people. This is only meant to torment a person mentally.

The difference between “cyber stalking” and “cyber bullying”

Cyber bullying is an online crime committed by a minor and the victim also happens to be a minor (kids, pre-teens, or young adults) and cyber stalking is whereby an online crime is committed by grown ups.

Definition of identity theft

It is a type of fraud whereby a person assumes another person’s identity to access that person’s private information, steal from them and get the benefits due to that person. This most common type is whereby a person steals documents containing personal information and uses the information to gain access to their bank account, thus stealing their money.

Common ways thieves can steal a person’s identity.

Skimming: this involves planned strategies to access the victim’s personal information, either by tricking them to provide it or using force.

Computer systems hacking: Personal computer systems contain confidential information about a person and hacking into it may expose much information that can enable one to impersonate the owner. This includes personal identification numbers and passwords.

Stealing information from employer: Employers handle some very confidential information belonging to their employees. An identity thief can therefore steal this information and use it to steal that person’s identity.

E-mail and website scams: these are the messages sent to a person with an aim of stealing their personal information. They usually appear as pop up boxes requesting one to enter their email address, password or credit information.

Social engineering: this is a way in which people are manipulated or enticed to provide hackers with their private information. “It is a polite way of stealing since it does not involve violence” (Henderson, 2000). The victim makes the decision which will later on be used by the thieves against them. A good example of this is pre-texting where “a person lies about his or her identity to access another person’s privileged information” (Dixon, 2005).

Explain what is meant by the term 4-1-9 scam and provide an example.

4-1-9 scam is a form of higher-level fee scams, which solicit millions of money from individuals. These crimes occur mostly in Nigeria, making it a “419 capital of the world” (Knetzger, 2008). Criminals carrying out this fraud use counterfeit checks. They target mostly businesses men offering them very attractive offers in monetary terms. The introduction of wire money transfer services brought a new awakening in this crime, since it does not involve face-to-face interactions with the criminal.

A good example of this crime is whereby the criminal sends an email message to the victim informing them that they have won a huge amount of money. The victim gives out their bank information, which is used to commit a fraud, and then he is held liable for the crime. These messages mostly originate from Nigeria.



Dixon, N., & Queensland. (2005). Identity fraud. Brisbane: Queensland Parliamentary Library, Research Publications and Resources Section.

Henderson, L. (2000). Crimes of persuasion: schemes, scams, frauds: how con artists will steal your savings and inheritance through telemarketing fraud, investment schemes and consumer scams. Azilda, ON: Coyote ridge publication.

Knetzger, M., & Muraski, J. (2008). Investigating high-tech crime. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall.


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