What do I need to know about Reporting Online Crimes?

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Having all the information about the incident is crucial while reporting online crimes.When reporting suspicious or problematic online issues, it is important to note the following:

  • If someone’s life is in immediate danger, call 911 or the local emergency number in your area.
  • Report suspicious activity involving a missing or abducted child, child pornography, and/or the online exploitation of children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.

As with any crime, when reporting online crimes, you are required to provide proper information. Giving officers with more than just the facts is helpful. Here is a list of things that will help in law enforcement’s investigations:

  • The name of the service being used when the incident occurred. Was it AIM, Yahoo Messenger, MySpace chat, etc.
  • The name of the chat room that the victim was in when the incident occurred.
  • The screen names of the victim and suspect.
  • If the suspect sent an email to the victim, the TCP/IP address that can be obtained from the email and is traceable.
  • If possible, save and print copies of the chat.
  • Note the date, time, and time zone you are in. This is extremely important when tracing online computer activity.

Learn Moreā€¦ Take this course: Internet Safety: Protecting Children in an Online World

Discuss Here: Have you faced a situation of reporting online crime? Share your experience.

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