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Why aren't cybercrimes easy to prosecute?

Cybercrimes are interesting, because while they may also involve crimes that take place in the real world, they primarily take place online. Someone may hack into your email and get your credit card numbers before using them to make a purchase online, or someone might steal your identity and make a real estate purchase before you know you've been a victim of fraud at all.

The reason that people who are accused of cybercrimes don't always get prosecuted is that it's very difficult to prove who committed a crime. While it may be easy to link a specific computer to a crime, that's not necessarily enough to link an individual to it. Additionally, it's easy to make it seem like one person committed a crime by rerouting the investigators to different ISPs, essentially throwing the investigation off the tracks of the actual perpetrators.

Another thing that works in favor of those who commit crimes is that most cybercrimes aren't reported. For example, if you have your credit card used fraudulently, the credit card company may simply refund you. You may never pursue a claim or try to get charges placed against the person who committed the crime.

One of the worst issues with cybercrimes is the potential for innocent people to get caught up in them. You may pass on an email that ends up stealing someone's personal information or log into an account not realizing it's not yours. Cybercrimes are relatively new to law, so if you're accused of one, be prepared to defend yourself carefully.

Source: CSO, "Why it's so hard to prosecute cyber criminals," Roger A. Grimes, accessed Feb. 28, 2018

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