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Information technology and fraud

Background information

Information technology refers to the use of computers with other telecommunication equipment’s for the purpose of processing data, sharing information, storing the data and retrieving the data when it is required. Information technology is one of the important technologies that have ever been developed by human beings. This is from the fact that information technology has found extensive use in the world. Information technology use has made tasks more easily and is enabling people to achieve things that would have taken more than a week within fraction of seconds. Apparently, this is the reason why information technology is being used in various organizations (Aksoy, & donates 2008, p 34). The following is a summary of the areas where information technology is applied and how it is applied. In the modern world business organizations uses information technology to do their advertisements. Using information technology to do advertisement is more effective because it saves money and reaches a bigger number of individuals within a very short time period. The advertisement made using information technology is mainly through the internet (Aksoy, & donates 2008, p 34).

Banking is the other area where information technology is widely applied. In the banking sector information technology is used to carry out the banking activities such as sending an invoice to someone, conducting transactions and even managing an account. The recent development in the banking error in the use of information technology is the development of mobile banking where individuals can use their mobile phone to do transactions. Through information technology, paperless and countless money has been introduced to the world which is more convenient compared to the traditional form of cash.

Information technology is also applied in communication. The use of information technology for communication is evident in the day to day life. It is hard for a day to end before someone using his or her phone or computer. Communication through the use of information technology has been enhanced by the development of portable computers and the development of smartphones which have the same functionality as computers. This has also been enhanced by the development of social sites such as Facebook, twitter, MySpace, Instagram among many others. These platforms are a clear example of the use of information technology for the purpose of communicating with the world (Bott 2005, p. 90) .

Fraud refers to the misrepresentation of a matter of fact, with the intention of deceiving so that someone acts as one desire. According to Reynolds (2010, p. 45) fraud can be deemed as a trickery with the aim of gaining dishonest advantage mostly financially over another person. Information technology fraud will thus mean any kind of fraud that is achieved through the use of computer or any other information technology components. From this definition, there are various forms of information technology fraud. The most common forms of information technology fraud include: identity theft, website cloning, phishing, malicious software fraud and identity fraud (Reynolds 2010, p. 45).

Research question

Is there a way of reducing the cases of frauds in the world while using information and technology?

The aim of the research

The aim of the research is to identify the various forms of computer frauds and explore the remedies used to counter fraud while using information technology. Through the knowledge of the various measures put into consideration to counter fraud, the research will recommend some techniques that can be put into consideration to minimize the cases of fraud while using information technology. The research will also provide an understanding of the various uses of information technology, its importance and risks associated with it.

Hypothesis

Information technology related fraud can be reduced using various techniques such as policy and technical procedures that can prevent fraudsters from achieving their purpose while using information technology.

Research methodology

To arrive at its conclusion the various world incidents of information technology is revisited analyzed to establish the type of fraud that are dominant while using information technology. The tools that were applied in the research include the administration of questionnaires, the use of interviews. The interviews conducted provided the research with high detail information regarding fraud acts and the various ways that can be taken so as to counter them (Reynolds 2010, p. 30). Conducting various published resources were also essential for the research. This is from the fact that the published information provided the research with a history of such acts and the various measures that are in place to counter the vice. This made it possible to devise ways in which the existing measures can be improved so as to counter information technology fraud completely (Reynolds 2010, p. 30).

Limitation of the research

The limitation of the research is mainly on the approach that was taken to collect information regarding the fraud acts in the world. The approach was qualitative in nature and thus the research was bound to the limitation associated with the qualitative approach of research. Some of the limitations include bias while giving information among the people interviewed. Lack of well documented resources regarding fraud activities, this is from the fact that many people are afraid to tell others that they were victims of fraud due to various reasons.

Literature review

Fraud in using information technology

Information technology fraud refers to the act of obtaining finance by deceiving another party. The most common forms of information technology fraud include: identity theft, website cloning, phishing, malicious software fraud and identity fraud (Reynolds 2010, p. 45).

In information technology, cloning refers to the imitation of other peoples’ websites so that they can be in the form of another website. The purpose of doing this is usually to solicit the user’s information which will be used to benefit the cloners. For instance fraud by cloning may involve a situation where someone clones a merchant website so that when people make their purchases there he or she makes a away with the money. In most instances the people who get into contact with such website are usually of the thought that it is the original website, but only realize when they don’t receive the derivable (Reynolds 2010, p. 45)..

This is a form of information technology whereby a person sends an email to the users with the claim that they are a legitimate business enterprise with the intention of obtaining private information that will be used for various purposes. This information, in most instances is used for identity theft, which is also a form of fraud. The information that is mostly solicited for in such forms of fraud includes credit cards information and bank account. Using the obtained details, the information can be used to access banks and even withdraw money or even take loans by claiming to be the legitimate person. This act is normally referred to as software fraud when spy software is sent to your computer for the purpose of obtaining the already mentioned information (Reynolds 2010, p. 45).

Identity fraud refers to the use of identity that is stolen in criminal activity for the purpose of obtaining goods or services by deceiving another party. The identity details are mostly used in opening bank accounts, obtaining credit cards, loans and state benefits among many others. Before this form of fraud is committed another form of fraud (identity theft), must happen first. Identity theft refers to where an individual obtain most information regarding someone else and uses it to fake to be that individuals (Reynolds 2010, p. 45).

Recent world information technology fraud cases

The Antrim fraud

The Antrim fraud is the fraud that took place in the county of Antrim in Ireland. According to Reynolds (2010, p. 45), the fraud was a major one which resulted in the loss of large sums of money from the Portglenone baneful credit union branch. The individual concerned have never explained how this happens, but the clients were being assured that their money was insured so they had nothing to worry about. This incident clearly shows what fraud can result to, loss of large sums of money. This interfered with the customers trust to the organization (Reynolds 2010, p. 45).

Findings

Risks associated with the use of information technology

Even though information, communication is associated with the various advantages, there are various risks that one exposes themselves to while using information technology systems. Thus, it is advised that while using such system one needs to put into consideration measures that will enable them to a preliminary deal with the risks. Some of the common risks associated with the use of information technology include web jacking, unauthorized access (breach of privacy), information theft, spoofing, hacking, cracking and fraud. The research focuses on fraud as a form of information technology risk (Reynolds 2010,

From the research it is evident that there is little legislation in place to counter information technology fraud. The nature of information technology is what makes it hard for the regulations to be put into place; due to these preventive measures are hard to come with. In Ireland the law that deals with fraud arising from information technology fraud is the fraud act 2006. This law came into place in January 2007 (Gunasekaran, Khalil & Syed 2003, p. 271).

This law has different forms of fraud such as the fraud by failing to disclose information, fraud by representation as well as fraud by abuse of position with the point of view of information technology (Gunasekaran, Khalil & Syed 2003, p. 271).

Measures to counter information technology fraud

Legislation

From the research it is evident that legislation is one of the ways through which information technology fraud is being dealt with. An example of legislation dealing with information technology related fraud is the Ireland act 2006 (Free, legal information, n.d, Para 5). According to this act, someone commits fraud by false representation when an individual dishonestly through the information technology makes a false representation with the intention of benefitting themselves or someone else or put someone else at risk of loss (Free legal information, n.d, Para 5). The fraud under this section also applies to phishing, which involves pretending to be a trustworthy party for the purpose of acquiring confidential information. This section of the laws also applies to another form of information technology fraud referred to as pharming, which is similar to phishing only that with pharming codes are sent to PC to redirect the pc to other website without the user consent (Free legal information, n.d, Para 5).

The fraud act 2006 also is applicable to fraud by abuse of position. This is fraud which is facilitated by a person who has been entrusted with the protection of specific data and information. The act states that when an individual in a position expected to safeguard or not act against the financial interest of another person they dishonestly abuse the position for the intention of making gains for themselves (Free legal information, n.d, Para 4-5). In information technology, this applies in a situation where an employee emails confidential information concerning their employer to competitor for them to benefit or to cause loss to their employers. The act extends to individuals who are able to generate a credit card that seems original and use them for personification someone else in order to take cash in their names (Free legal information, n.d, Para 6-7).

Security measure dealing with fraud

The main security measure applied in the prevention of information technology related fraud is the various step verification. The various steps, verification refers to an authentication process in a system which requires some specific details to be input for someone to access a website. This process is important in safeguarding data stored online as well as the ones stored offline. Another security measure is conducting audits often to understand the functionality of the system and to get to know the activities that were undertaken within a specified period of time. Storage containing confidential information should be physically protected from access by unauthorized persons. (Tomei 2008 119).

Recommendation

Since dealing with fraud is as hard as dealing with other computer related crimes. It is advisable for the user of information technology to be aware of it and always be keen on whom they share their information with. People need to be aware of some of the warning signs that are associated with fraud. This sign includes using high pressure sales tactics unsolicited offers among others. People should also report fraud to the authorities in order to avoid them from spreading (Cappelli, Moore, & Trzeciak 2012, p. 6).

While using the information technology platforms such as the internet it is advisable that the authorization details to confidential information to be kept secrets. This is from the fact that when this information is accessed it makes it possible for identity fraud. People should also be keen while installing software’s to their PC, this will assist in reducing fraud by phishing, where the personal information is taken for personal beneficial functions (Cappelli, Moore, & Trzeciak 2012, p. 6).

Conclusion

From the research it is evident that information technology fraud is a common problem in the modern world. Information communication fraud refers to the fraud that involves the use of information technology system with the intention of benefitting oneself through deception others. IT frauds are of various types and the main ones are phishing, pharming, and identity fraud and identity theft. Dealing with fraud is not easy and this is evident from the Antrim, Ireland case presented in the research. However, various measures have been devised to ensure deal with fraud issues over the internet. One of the ways through which this is dealt with is through legislation and using security measures to information stored online or on stand alone computers.

Reference list

Aksoy, P., & denardis L. 2008. Introduction to information technology in theory. Boston, Mass, Thomson Course Technology.

Bott, F. 2005. Professional Issues in Information Technology. Swindon, British Informatics Society. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=393437.

Cappelli, D., Moore, A., & Trzeciak, R. (2012). The CERT guide to insider threats: How to prevent, detect, and respond to information technology crimes (theft, sabotage, fraud). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley.

Free legal information, n.d, fraud in information and communication technology. Web: April 16, 2015 retrieved from: http://www.inbrief.co.uk/offences/fraud-in-information-communication-technology.htm

Gunasekaran, A., Khalil, O., & Syed, M. R. (2003). Knowledge and information technology management: Human and social perspectives. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Pub. 271

Reynolds, G. W. 2010. Information technology for managers. Boston, MA, Course Technology, Cengage Learning

Schwalbe, K 2010. Information technology Project Management. Boston, MA, Course Technology/Cengage Learning.

Tomei, L. A. (2008). Encyclopedia of information technology curriculum integration. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.