RealNews

Local officials deal with growing threat of computer crimes

Reports of computer crimes are on the rise nationwide, according to the Computer Crimes Research Center’s Web site, www.crime-research.org, and northeast Louisiana is not escaping that trend. Internet fraud complaints tripled from 2001 to 2002, the Cybercrime Law Report, available on the center’s Web site, reported this year. Helen King with the Better Business Bureau of Northeast Louisiana said her office takes complaints “at least weekly” from victims of identity theft – a crime that is often committed online. Though King did not have local statistics, she said the practice is not far from becoming an epidemic, prompting the BBB to offer a seminar on identity theft in the last few months. The rise has left local law enforcement agencies searching for ways to deal with perpetrators that could be next door or across the globe, Maj, Royce Toney with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office said. In August, Lt. Evelyn Robinson, then acting as the Monroe Police Department’s interim police chief, called the first meeting of a proposed Computer Crimes Task Force to deal with the growing problem for citizens and law enforcement officers in Ouachita Parish. Full Story

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