Confronting the Internet Con: Assessing Law Enforcement Preparedness to Address Internet Fraud

Ronald Burns, Texas Christian University
Keith Whitworth, Texas Christian University

Despite claims that computer crime will soon be more costly than conventional crime, limited empirical research examines law enforcement's preparedness to address hi-tech crimes. Many suggest that law enforcement agencies are ill-prepared to confront computer crimes, yet very few research efforts have empirically assessed the extent to which law enforcement is capable of confronting such harms. The present research addresses this void in the literature through assessing law enforcement's preparedness to identify, investigate, and enforce crimes involving Internet fraud. Issues surrounding interagency and interstate cooperation are also addressed. Results from surveys distributed to all levels of law enforcement are presented and directions for future law enforcement efforts to address Internet fraud are discussed. Suggestions for further research are offered.

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Updated 05/20/2006