Thursday, October 3, 2013

Gaby DiChiro - Assignment #2: Analysis of an Online Crime

In the article, “Recent Cases Involving Identity Theft,” Ryand pinpoints several crimes in which a suspect assumes the identity of another individual through the pilfering of confidential information. I chose to focus on the Maria Crane case. In June 2013, an unknown individual created a fake Facebook profile representing Crane’s personally owned horse supply business, requesting for donations to Crane’s horse rehab program. The funds were directly put into the fraudulent bank account. Upon detection of this fake profile, Crane was able to have it shut down immediately; however, the suspect remains anonymous.

The primary motivation for the suspect to perform these actions is Suler’s idea of Dissociative Anonymity. Suler says that “when people have the opportunity to separate their actions online from their in-person lifesytle and identity, they feel less vulnerable about self-disclosing and acting out.” In this case, the suspect was able to hide all of his or her own identity behind the name of another individual, inexplicitly disassociating his or her actions from their in-person life. By stealing the identity of the victim, the suspect gained a sense of self-protection and performed actions that he or she would not have done otherwise. 

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