Computer Crime Research Center

Internet Predators Beware
(by Ernie Paulson )

A teacher in Seattle, Washington continues to be an online victim, but there's nothing police can do. That's because Washington doesn't have any law that prohibits harassment over the internet. Fortunately, Arkansas does. Here’s some potentially life-saving tips on what to do if you become a victim of cyber crime:

When emails cross the line from complimentary, to flat out creepy, what should you do? "That's the point when you need to contact police."

Sergeant Jim Scott says North Little Rock Police keep a watchful eye on internet crimes. "If somebody starts harassing someone online, we're going to take proper steps to prosecute these kinds of cases."

Online harassment can be anything from, "somebody trying to create fear in your life, create alarm, make threats of physical violence, or property damage…"

Whatever you do, don't ignore the emails. "By simply printing or saving emails on your computer, that gives us evidence we need to go back and prosecute these crimes."

If internet predators feel they can mask their identity via the internet, guess again. "Emails can be tracked." That way, police can catch a cyber crime, long before it can be committed in the real world.

Online harassment falls under Arkansas' "Unlawful Computerized Communications" Act. If you're caught violating it, you can be punished by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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