Hi Jennifer - how are you?...My old pal Jennifer Perry, who used to be PR manager for Commodore in the late 1980s/early 1990s - and was pretty good at the job back then - has just helped to launch the E-Victims Web site, the first site dedicated to helping victims of online crime.
Located at www.e-victims.org, the E-Victims Organisation aims to offer free advice for those people who have had problems when buying online.
“Scammers target more expensive items, the hotter the better because people are more likely to take risks to get the latest thing - especially if it is a great price,” said Perry, who is communications director for the new organisation.
According to Perry, the iPhone is a classic example of a product that is being offered to scam punters on the Net. Some adverts, she says, offer the iPhone in different colours, which is a bit odd, as the mobile is currently only available in black.
“The Internet is now a multi-billion pound industry with almost 38 million Internet users in the UK" said, adding that that amount of potential revenue attracts both petty and organised criminals.
“The professionals plan, employ experts, and invest in their scams,” she explained, adding that they also use some of the most innovative direct-mail techniques.
“They probably get a better response rate than a top London Ad agency. Their Web sites look as convincing as your favourite online shop, or perhaps worse - it looks identical,” she said.
Interestingly, the E-Victims Organisation is not billing itself as a reporting site, but an independent service offering specialist advice on what to do when something has gone wrong with online shopping.
In addition, where appropriate, it also recommends which agency they should contact.
Plans call for a variety of new advice covering a wide range of topics including fraud, malware, scams, bullying, sexual harassment, data theft and much more to be added as the year progresses.
“Anyone can use the service for free and anonymously, we don’t ask for any personal details,” said Perry.
“However, we do gather statistics and analyse the sources of complaints because it gives us insight into the volume, trends and threats facing consumers” she added…