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Cyber Crime Fighters: Tales from the Trenches

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Cyber Crime Fighters: Tales from the Trenches


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  • Copyright 2009
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Pages: 336
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-3922-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-3922-3

Cyber Crime Fighters: Tales from the Trenches offers one of the most insightful views of the latest criminal threats to the public: cyber crime. This book provides a good primer on how your personal information can be easily obtained by some of the folks you least want to have it.”

–Maureen Boyle, crime reporter,

The Enterprise of Brockton, MA

“Experts Felicia Donovan and Kristyn Bernier pull no punches in explaining the dangers lurking on the Web, from identity appropriation and theft to using new technology and the Internet to facilitate real-life stalking. Parents especially will be shocked at how easy it is for predators to target and solicit children online.

“By clearly explaining the dangers that lurk online and highlighting practical tips to minimize your risk, the authors have created a book that not only educates but empowers readers to protect themselves.”

–Jennifer Hemmingsen, columnist and former public safety reporter,

The (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) Gazette

Written by leading cyber crime investigators, Cyber Crime Fighters: Tales from the Trenches takes you behind the scenes to reveal the truth behind Internet crime, telling shocking stories that aren’t covered by the media, and showing you exactly how to protect yourself and your children. This is the Internet crime wave as it really looks to law enforcement insiders: the truth about crime on social networks and YouTube, cyber stalking and criminal cyber bullying, online child predators, identity theft, even the latest cell phone crimes. Here are actual cases and actual criminals, presented by investigators who have been recognized by the FBI and the N.H. Department of Justice. These stories are true—and if you want to stay safe, you need to know about them.

     •    Learn how today’s criminals can track your whereabouts, read your emails, and steal your identity

     •    Find out how much of your personal information is already online—and how to keep the rest private

     •    Learn how cyber stalkers really think—and how to protect yourself  from them

     •    Protect your laptop, your iPod, and your precious data from getting stolen

     •    Encounter the “dark side” of Internet dating

     •    Discover the hidden crime wave on today’s specialized social networks

     •    Uncover the cell phone “upskirters” and “downblousers” —and the technicalities that keep them out of jail

     •    Follow cyber crime specialists as they investigate and catch online sexual predators

     •    Get the real truth about phishing, pharming, criminal spam, and online scams

     •    See how investigations really work—and why TV crime shows often get it wrong!

     •    Walk through your own personal, step-by-step, online safety checkup

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

The Tools and Mindset of Cyber Stalkers

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Cyber Stalking     1

High-Tech Stalkers     2

“How I Stalked My Girlfriend”     4

The Victim’s Side     8

Identity Assumption     9

The Wild, Wild Web     10

Sticks and Stones     13

The “Stalker” E-Card     14

Cyber Stalking and the Law     16

Cyber Stalking Facts     17

Lethality Assessment Tools     18

If You Think You Are Being Cyber Stalked     19

Teen/Tech Stalking     21

                Teen Study     21

Online Games–The New Stalker’s Ground     22

Online Gaming and Malware     23

Would You Say It to My Face?      23

National School Board Survey     23

Women as Perpetrators     26

Cyber Stalking Prevention Resources     26

Chapter 2 Two Bedrooms Up, One Bedroom Down–What Someone Can Find Out About You on the Internet     27

Your Digital Footprint      28

The Best Sources to Find Out About People     28

                “Tracking Teresa”      29

                Town and City Websites     29

                Zillow–We Know Your Neighborhood     31

                We Know Your Dog’s Name     31

                Online Memorials     32

                Political Contributions     32

                People Search Sites     33

                Search Your Own Name     33

                The Wayback Machine     34

                Website Registration Records     34

E-Venge     35

                DontDateHimGirl.com     36

Lessons Learned     36

Chapter 3 Cyber Crime Tools You Won’t Believe     37

Wi-Fi Tracking     37

Packet Sniffers     37

Bluetooth Locating     38

What Is an IP Address     38

Anonymizers and Anonymous Remailers     40

Fake Name Generators     42

Fake Caller ID     42

Chapter 4 Upskirting, Downblousing, and Your Right to Privacy in the Cell Phone and Digital Age     47

Upskirting and Downblousing     47

We Fight for Changes in the Law     50

Stickam: Voyeurism or Exhibitionism     51

New Challenges to Voyeurism Law     51

How Prevalent Is Voyeurism?      53

How to Prevent Becoming a Victim of Voyeurism     54

Is a Stranger Watching Your Nanny Cam?      54

The Voyeur’s Backpack     55

Resources     55

Chapter 5 Identity Theft     57

Identity Theft: The Number-One Type of Fraud     57

23,000 Victims Per Day: One Every 3.5 Seconds     58

Cheap Credit Cards     58

Identity Theft Versus Identity Fraud     59

The Long Road to Recovery     60

                The NCIC Identity Theft File     60

                Guilty Until Proven Innocent     61

Types of Identity Theft     61

Delays in Notification     62

Preventing Identity Theft     63

                Monitor Your Accounts     63

                Get Your Free Annual Credit Report (annualcreditreport.com)      63

                Credit Report Tips     64

                Felicia Finds “Rogue” Account     65

                Monitor Your Child’s Credit Report     66

                Tips to Prevent Your Child’s Identity from Being Stolen     66

More Identity-Theft Prevention Tips     67

Shred, Shred, Shred     69

Fraudulent Donations     70

If You Are a Victim of Identity Theft     70

Identity Theft Services     72

                LifeLock Gets Sued     72

                Attorney General Becomes ID Theft Victim     73

Resources     73

Chapter 6 Online Dating–Are You Safe?      75

Can Online Dating Be Made Safer?      77

Criminal History Checks–What Can You Really Find Out?      77

Online Dating Dilemmas     79

Victim Reluctance to Report     82

Lack of Evidence and Empathy     85

Online Dating Safety Tips     87

Chapter 7 We Catch Sexual Predators–What You Don’t See on TV     89

The Dateline Debacle: To Catch a Predator     89

                Perverted Justice and To Catch a Predator in Action     90

                Problems with To Catch a Predator     91

                Does To Catch a Predator Hinder Law Enforcement?      91

                The Good and the Bad     92

                Misdemeanor Versus Felony     101

                Laws Vary from State to State     102

                Lessons Learned     102

Free Babysitting     105

The Internet–A Pedophile’s New Playground     105

12 Million Hits in 72 Hours     106

Male Versus Female Offenders     107

The Cyber Playground     109

Chapter 8 Child Sexual Assault Images–The New View on Child Pornography     111

Fritz Does Federal–Enticement Across State Lines     113

Child Pornography Collectors     113

Sex Offender Websites: Facts Versus Fiction     117

The National Sex Offender Public Registry     122

U.S. Supreme Court Rules CG Kiddie Porn Is Perfectly Legal     124

                Digital Images     126

                Congress Reacts     126

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children     126

                Child Victim Identification Program (CVIP)      127

Operation Avalanche     129

                Landslide Productions     129

How Far Does “Private Fantasy” Go? The Zidel Case     130

                Recent Developments     131

                Supreme Court Overturns Ruling     132

Laws and Loopholes     134

Laptops and Customs Searches     135

                Laptop Search by Customs Is Challenged     135

                Sex Offender Caught at Border      135

A Balancing Act     136

SAFE Act     136

Social Networks and Sex Offenders     137

                Facebook and MySpace Get Tougher on Sex Offenders?      137

                KIDS Bill     138

Child Porn Sites Shut Down?      138

ICAC: The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force     140

The Child Advocacy Center: A Victim-Centered Approach     143

Missouri: 30 Days, 7,000 Computers Trading Kiddie Porn     145

NCMEC Survey     145

Internet Safety Guidelines     146

Resources     146

Chapter 9 Social Networks/Social Nightmares     147

Online Societies     147

More and More Specialized Social Networks     148

They Call It Love, We Call It Pedophilia     149

Suicide “Assistance” Sites–alt.suicide.holiday (ASH)      150

Never Say, “My Child Will Never…”     152

Common Interest Guaranteed     157

Words Can Never Hurt Me?      158

Internet Safety Guidelines     158

Chapter 10 Sexual Deviance Online (Child Sex Rings, Prostitution, Sexual Victimization, and Other Bizarre Stories)      161

The Darker Side of the Online Sex Trade     162

                The Emperor’s Club     164

                The Innocence Lost Initiative     165

                Mayor Blames Craigslist for Child Prostitution     166

                A Nationwide Epidemic–293,000 Children at Risk      168

                Internet Sex and Robbery: “Operation FALCON”      169

Child Sex Rings: The Darkest Side of the Internet     170

The AMBER Alert     172

                How You Can Help–Please Join In     174

Cellular Porn: The Uglier Side of Cell Phones     175

The Danger of Webcams     178

Chapter 11 Phishing, Pharming, Spam, and Scams     179

Phishing     179

                Call to Action–Danger, Danger     180

                Hyperlinks–Hyper Dangerous!      181

                New Twists on Phishing     182

                Charity Phishing Scams     182

                How Do Phishers Make Money?      183

Vishing–Cell Phone Phishing     183

                Recent Trends–Vishing Over Phishing     184

                IC3 Name Used in Fraudulent Phishing Scam     185

Pharming–Fake Websites     185

Spam, Spam, Spam     187

                Where Did Spam Come From?      187

                Who Profits from Spam?     188

                Why Spam Is Dangerous     188

                Spam Vigilantes     190

                Spam Spiders     190

                How to Reduce Spam     190

                New Twist–Death Threats via Spam     191

                Is Spam Illegal?      191

                The CAN-SPAM Act     191

                New Twist–Text Spam on Your Cell Phone     192

                $234 Million Spam Judgment     192

                Report Spam to spam@uce.gov     193

                Yahoo! Sues Unknown Spammers in Lottery Scheme     193

Resources     194

The Nigerian Letter Advance Fee or “419” Scam     194

                Recent Arrests     195

                The “Lottery” Version     195

                How Can They Profit?      196

                Sample Nigerian Letter     197

                Where to Report a Nigerian (419) Advance Fee Letter     198

                The Cyber Crime Melting Pot     198

Data Breaches–When Your Data Is Stolen     198

Verizon Report: 87% of Breaches Were Avoidable     203

                Data Breach Laws     204

                Are Data Breach Laws Ineffective?      205

                Privacy Rights Clearinghouse     205

Online Auction Fraud     206

                Escrow Services     206

                Pay by Credit Card     206

                Learn As Much As You Can About the Seller     207

                Secure Versus Nonsecure Transactions     207

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Is     208

Resources     208

Work-at-Home Scams     209

                How to Spot a Scam     209

                Mystery Shopper Scams     210

                Use Common Sense     211

                Money Mules     211

                The Power of Google–Turn the Tables     211

Social Engineering Scams     212

                400 People Click to Get a Computer Virus     213

Women Versus Men–Who Gets Scammed More?      213

The Easiest Way Not to Get Scammed     213

Chapter 12 Peer-to-Peer Network Dangers     215

P2P Networks     216

                P2P and Music Piracy     216

                Actual Cases     216

                The RIAA Investigation     217

                University Cooperation?      217

                Challenges to the Lawsuit     218

How P2P Works     218

                P2P Dangers     218

                What the Experts Say     218

                Supreme Court Justice’s Data Breached     219

Chapter 13 Crimes on Camera     221

Caught in a Trap     224

Ten Hours of Video Uploaded Every Minute     225

Using a Digital Camera or Cell Phone to Determine Coordinates     229

What You Put Out There, Stays Out There     229

Chapter 14 Computers and Drugs     231

Techie Dealers     231

                Rave Parties     232

                Dust Masks and Glo-Sticks     232

                A Different Dose Each Time     233

                Rave Parties and the World Wide Web     234

                Online Recipes     235

                How Many Colds Can One Man Have?      235

                The Exploding Kitchen     236

                Scam Cannabis–One-Stop Marijuana Shopping     236

                Steroids      237

Drug Dealers Love Technology, Too     238

                Tools of the Drug Dealers     238

                Who’s a Rat?      239

Chapter 15 Who Is Tracking Your Online Activities?      241

You’ve Been Profiled–Data Aggregators     241

                Cookies–Not the Sugar Kind     242

                What Kind of Information Do Cookies Track?      243

                Preventing Cookies     243

                Our Take on Cookies     243

What’s a EULA?      244

                Even Hackers Have EULAs     245

You Need to Know About Bots and Botnets     245

                Commtouch Report: 10 Million Infected Computers     246

                Operation Bot Roast     247

                How They Did It     247

                Trends in Botnet Operations     248

                Is Your Computer Part of a Botnet?      248

                Symptoms of a Bot     248

                If You Think Your Computer Is Part of a Botnet     249

                The “Gift” That Keeps on Giving     249

Chapter 16 Your Online Safety Checkup     251

Keep Your System Updated     251

Install Virus Protection     252

Install Spyware and Malware Detection Programs     253

                Malware City     253

                StopBadware Report     253

Passwords     253

                Creating Strong Passwords     254

                Multiple Accounts, Multiple Passwords?      255

                Password Management Tools     255

                Hacking–The New High School Curriculum     256

Would You Leave Your Door Unlocked? Unsecured Wi-Fi     256

                Piggybacking     257

                Wardriving     258

                Wi-Fi and “Evil Twin” Spoofing     259

                How to Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Connection     259

Protecting Your Cell Phone     261

                Cell Phone Safety Tips     262

Getting Rid of That Old Computer     262

                Deleted Files Are Not Deleted!      262

                Would You Hand Over Your Checkbook?      263

                Secure Wipe Versus Reformat     263

                Assume Whatever You Did on the Computer Is Still There     264

                Electronic Depots     264

How to Recover Your Stolen Laptop     265

                Stolen Laptop Locator Services     265

Lock Your Car, Please!      266

Chapter 17 How We Would Combat Cyber Crime     267

The Victim’s Perspective     268

The Anonymity of the Internet     268

Crimes Are Often Multijurisdictional     268

How We Would Fight Cyber Crime      269

                Recognize That Cyber Crime Is a Business!      269

                Develop Greater Cooperation with Financial Institutions     270

                Change Law Enforcement’s Paradigm of Cyber Crime     270

                Create a Single Reporting Site for Cyber Crime     271

                Collect Better Statistics     271

                Parents Need to Take Control     273

                Develop Partnerships and Share Information     274

                Cops on the Cyber Beat     275

                “Virtual” Policing and Cyber Patrols     275

                The “New” Community     276

                Offer More Education Programs for Parents     276

                Eliminate Territorial Boundaries     277

                Use Police Civilians as Experts     277

                Adopt Tougher and More Consistent Cyber Crime Laws     278

                Standardize Forms     279

                Provide More Training on Cyber Crime to Law Enforcement     279

                Understand the Changing Nature of Cyber Crime     280

Cyber Crime and Cyber Terrorism     280

Appendix A Toys They Don’t Want You to Know About     283

Thumb Drives You Won’t Believe     285

Appendix B CSI Versus Reality     287

List of Cases

GPS for the Ex-Spouse     3

Computer Key Stroke Stalking     5

A Tale of Technological Terror     6

Cops Use GPS, Too     9

An Easy Way to Tarnish a Reputation     10

The Dean Isenberg Case     11

The Amy Boyer Story     12

Teachers–The New Cyber Stalker’s Target     24

Teachers Fight Back: The Erik Trosch Story     24

The Anna Draker Case     26

Felicia Gets Caught Up in a Homicide Investigation     43

Smile for the Hidden Camera     48

The Susan Wilson Story     48

Location, Location, Location     49

Ohio 2008 Voyeurism Case–30 Days in Jail     49

The Florentino Avila Case: Our Firsthand Experience     50

The Brian Presken Case     52

Illegal Use of Legal Name Change     59

The Alicia M. Case     66

The Jeffrey Marsalis Case     76

Jeanette’s Story     81

Genevieve’s Story     83

Date Rape Drugs     85

The Nurse’s Revenge      86

NBC Settles Suicide Lawsuit     91

Our Version of To Catch a Predator     93

The Teacher and His “Student”      103

The Jerry Jones Case–A Triple Threat     106

The Jacob Silva Case     111

The Pumpkin Man     114

The Predator’s Family Heirloom     116

The New Hygiene     116

The Lingerie Connection     117

The Douglas Simmons Case     121

Cop Gets 14 Years for Distributing Kiddie Porn: The John Schenberger Case     123

Priest Gets 4 Years     124

Can You Keep Your Password Private? The Sebastian Boucher Case     133

The “Tara” Series: A Horrific, Yet Bittersweet Success Story     140

Online Suicide Pacts     150

Online Suicides     151

More Online Suicides     151

The Megan Meier Story     152

Make a Difference for Kids: The Rachel Neblett Story     154

Online Murder Plots     154

The Art of Murder: The Taylor Behl Story     155

Blogging About Cannibalism     157

supalover666     165

The Justin Berry Story     167

Brooke Bennett Goes Missing     170

An AMBER Alert with a Happier Ending     173

Another AMBER Alert Success Story     173

The Elizabeth Smart Story     174

A Shocking Story of a Victim, But No Crime     176

Swinging Sex Parties in a Quaint New England Town     177

Man Charged with Child Porn Was Spam Victim     189

The TJ Maxx Data Breach–Largest in History     199

The Hannaford Brothers Data Breach     202

Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Breach     203

Sharing Kiddie Porn     219

The Florida Teen Beating     222

The Beating of an Art Teacher     224


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