Most people use computers and the internet in their everyday lives – and unfortunately so do criminals.

This section is about crimes of an electronic or online nature.

Computer crime

A crime where the use of a computer is integral to committing the offence.

For example, computer-related forgery (where false data is put forward as real) and computer-related fraud (interfering with or manipulating data to cause property loss).

Scams

A scam is a dishonest, fraudulent scheme.

If you think you have been scammed, or someone is trying to scam you over the internet, go to the WA Scamnet website for information about what action to take, who to contact and to report a scam.

Internet crime

Crimes in which using the internet is a key feature, including content-related offences such as possessing child pornography or circulating hate or racist material.

Cyber predator

An adult who ruthlessly uses the internet to hunt for children and young teenagers to take advantage of them in any way they can, including sexually, emotionally, psychologically or financially.

Cyber predators, also known as online or internet predators, know how to manipulate children to create inappropriate trust and friendship.

They target both boys and girls and exploit the anonymity of the internet to disguise their identity and real intentions.

Such predators are active in chatrooms, instant messaging, internet forums, social networking sites, on smart phones, and even video game consoles.

Technology crime

Technology crime relates to information and communications technology (ICT). It encompasses radio, television, mobile phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on.

Such crimes include:

  • Hacking – gaining unauthorised access to data in a system or computer to obtain information, cause damage etc
  • Identity theft – stealing someone’s identity by using personal information from their credit card, driver’s licence, social security or other personal identification numbers to gain access to resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person’s name
  • Phishing – gaining personal information for the purposes of fraud or identity theft
  • Internet banking fraud
  • Email and online scams
  • Spam – unsolicited commercial emails
  • Spyware – software secretly installed on a computer or mobile device by another person or organisation in order to obtain the device’s data, electronic capacity or bandwidth.