E-Victims group says police ignoring e-fraud victims

The E-Victims Organisation, which was set up around six months ago to publicise and assist victims of online fraud, says that the police and other organisations are still not treating victims properly.

According to Jennifer Perry, the organisation's communications director, it is still almost impossible to get help from the police.

eBay e-victims, she says, are told to report their problems to eBay.

Credit card victims, meanwhile, are told to report their problems to their credit card company. Victims that used debit cards, wire transfers or cheques, are also told they have simply lost their money.

And this, says Perry, only covers the victims of e-fraud.

Victims who receive computer attacks, counterfeit goods, obscene material or who are being sexually harassed, intimidated or defamed, she says, find it virtually impossible to report the incident to any authority.

The problem stems from the fact that police tell victims that it is online crime and they don't have the expertise, time money or people to investigate it.

This, says Perry, leaves victims feeling victimised all over again - except this time by their own police and government. The e-victims issue can be devastating as, according to Perry, when ID theft is used for criminal activity it can cause utter devastation.

One victim, she says, whose credit card was used for downloading child porn, was arrested, lost his job, reputation and friends.

"When you're mugged or burgled the police are there to help. E-victims should be treated with same respect. E-crime is not a virtual crime and a victim of a crime should be able to report it to the police," she said....