As cybercrime explodes and cops must ferret out digital evidence to bust bad guys, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is plotting a statewide assault on computer crooks, reports the Boston Herald. She sees the effort, which will require major increases in manpower and money, as a central initiative as the top state law enforcement officer. From 2004 to 2006, the number of financial crimes committed on the Internet more than doubled, with the number of complaints by Massachusetts residents jump from 1,331 to 3,430, says the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Although child pornography and child enticement on the Web get many headlines, old-fashioned schemes to fleece people by soundrels using new-tech tricks are the wave of the future, Coakley said. Police in Massachusetts last year conducted 13,184 investigations with a cyber component. The most common investigations dealt with fraud, which netted 4,484 reports, followed by 1,892 reports of criminal threatening and 1,641 reports of forgery. Cyber components surfaced in some 205 violent crime investigations, among them homicides, rapes, and assaults. Online enticement of minors and child pornography, the survey results indicate, prompted far fewer investigations, with 624 cases being opened in 2006.