Hoping to become a leader in using innovative law-enforcement techniques to target cyber-criminals, the state of California has launched an eCrime Unit to identify and prosecute identity theft crimes, cyber crimes, and other crimes involving the use of technology.
The department will be staffed with 20 attorneys and investigators to protect California consumers and businesses.
The following are just some examples of where the new department will focus its efforts:
- Identity theft. The Internet provides new ways for criminals to steal personal information and identities whether through email phishing scams or trolling the Internet for personal information about others.
- Fraud committed using the Internet. This includes scams perpetrated via email and on Internet auction websites.
- Theft of computer components or services. Burglary and robbery of computers or other electronic devices by highly organized gangs at manufacturing sites, storage facilities, and retail stores.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, California has the most identity theft complaints of any state and third highest per capita. Every year, more than one million Californians are victims of identity theft, and total losses exceeded $46 million last year, according to California’s Office of the Attorney General.