The term “cyber crime” seems to draw a clear line of separation between crime that’s committed in cyber space and those committed “IRL.” However, as technology becomes ever enmeshed in our lives, cyber crime and IRL crime are becoming one and the same or, at the very least, less distinguishable from the other.
In the article linked above, local business scammers use Google services to show-up in searches with one set of quoted prices. Unsuspecting customers are quoted a low price but are then hit with a much larger bill when the business arrives to do the work.
This is problematic considering how many people depend on Google searches for local businesses to help them with locksmithing, repairs, cleaning, moving, and home security, all of which are listed as common services that use this scam.
From an administrative side, Google is taking a reactive rather than pro-active stance, banning or pushing guilty parties very far down in search results. The article calls on both Google and governmental regulation-makers to do more to prevent scams like this.
This is yet another example of selfish people taking technologies that improve our lives and using it to profit without regard to how it harms other people. Common directions refer us to “safer browsing habits” and “increased awareness” regarding these scams. However, even experts are unable to keep track of every threat, every scam, every exploit both in the professional lives as well as personal ones.
The ideal is clear: a world where people can freely share information in an environment that is safe, collaborative, and well-founded. It seems that we’ve all accepted that the ideal is impossible and that furthermore, using the information and technology available comes with a certain amount of risk.