Monday, December 04, 2006


Consumers often don’t realize what it takes to run a scam on the internet. The amount of equipment needed is very little and the costs of setting up a scam can be less.

A recent report in the Financial Times commented that Verisign, the internet security company, believes that virtually 100% of all the on-line transactions originating in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are “suspicious”.

Macedonia has in recent years built an advanced internet infrastructure with 100% of the population covered by high speed internet links. In a country like Macedonia a simple PC or a slightly more expensive server can send out hundreds of thousands of phishing scams every day. Junk email by the millions is possible as well as targeted hacking attacks. Needless to say, law enforcement for fraud occurring in the US, but originating in Macedonia is non-existent. These websites often purchase security certificates and https links providing full security. The website transaction may be secure, but the persons operating the websites are completely criminal.

In parts of the former Soviet Union, such as Moldavia, it’s as simple. A generator to provide power, a cheap server, a satellite link, and an unemployed computer scientist are all that is needed to engage in fraud without any recourse to police authorities. In fact in some of these countries the police are providing protection to criminals in their activity.


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