Organised criminal gangs are snapping up domain names, ready to launch rip-off ticket sites for the 2012 Olympic Games. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Janet Williams, the national lead on e-crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said specialist officers are seeing precursor activity they believe is from …
Should'a bought them first
> Organised criminal gangs are snapping up domain names, ready to launch rip-off ticket sites for the 2012 Olympic Games.
So why didn't these anti-e_crime people buy the domains first? Hell they're only a couple of quid a year - so grabbing (say) the first 10,000 most likely targets with the words "london" "2012" or "olympics" in the title would cost less than 1 plod's salary - and I'd guess save the work of many, from having to try and police them after they were released "into the wild".
It sounds like they are well aware of the internet! and have even stumbled across other people using it to sell tickets for other events. It wouldn't have taken much of a leap of the imagination to think one step further and try a bit of e-crime prevention, rather than bleating about it later.
RE: Should'a bought them first
"grabbing (say) the first 10,000 most likely targets" ... because all the ne'er-do-wells would have to do is pick the 10,001st most likely name (and so on) and simply beat the the squatter-coppers on search engine rankings, which I'm sure they're very good at.
@Pete 2 - Police remit?
The question with the proactive solution is, is it within the Police remit?
They are meant to detect and solve crimes, they run a small (but admittedly increasing) number of crime prevention initiatives.
What we have seen is many people worrying about scope creep. Today it's ones with Olympic in the name, tomorrow it's anything that could be used to facilitate crime in the UK. Statistically a significant number of criminal domains have vowels, why not filter all of those through the police? In fact, lets make a register of people permitted to ask for a domain name! Bad guys that do manage to get on there somehow can be struck off, most of them will be prevented in the first place.
Also just imagine if the police had bought up a pile of domains and one of them happened to be one that your business legitimately needed. How many people would scream about police interference in their legitimate business if they had to go through additional paperwork? Would they be asking for compensation for the time it took to go through the extra hoops? Would there be extra bad publicity when somebody used the 10,001 domain name on the list?
Finally don't forget there's the cost of a workshop to come up with the idea, a bunch of admin to get the idea approved, the committee that comes up with the list, yada yada yada.
While an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure it relies on being able to trust the people administering the prevention. The police currently do not have that level of trust (and this from a law abiding person who hasn't even had a speeding ticket)
Same reason blocking IPs to stop spam dosne't work. There are far more domain names than that that are obvious ones. They could not stop even a minor part of them, and at a £3 pounds each that would be £120k without any garentee that would do anything.
Why shut 'em down?
As far as I can see, these bent sites function by proving to stupid greedy people that anything that looks too good to be true almost certainly is.
That's a valuable public service in my book.
If people can make money out of this providing this service they're public spirited entrepreneurs, not crooks.
... don't go. Therefore, no temptation to buy tickets.
Mines the coat with no tickets in any pockets ....
I have 2 tickets to the Opening ceremony if you're interested?
Sat right behind her Maj.
Protecting the gullible
A well designed advert warning of the dangers slapped in the X Factor ad break would probably prevent 90% of the UK public falling for such scams.
"Currently she is also dealing with homicide, kidnap, child abuse, covert policing, corporate intelligence, corporate tasking, fraud, drugs, shootings and Operation Trident, the anti-gun crime initiative."
And what does everybody else in the Met do? Harass tall photographers?
From the photograph, are you sure she isn't Robin Williams in drag?