Internet Crimes

By: Melissa Reynolds
By: Melissa Reynolds

Internet crimes are on the rise all around you. Virginia has the 7th highest number of complaints and offenders in the nation. Page County has seen the highest increase locally. But, it could be in your backyard.

It's an easy tool to use, and abuse.

"In the last eight months I've seen a large increase in the number of referrals we're getting from the public," Investigator John Thomas says.

Page County has investigated more than 20 cases, and made 41 arrests, for fraud from a couple dollars to a couple thousand dollars.

"As it becomes more and more accessible and popular and criminals become more and more used to using the computer system they tend to use whatever facilitates their crimes the best," Thomas says.

"It's a real good area of opportunity for criminals because it's so easy for them to be anonymous or think they're anonymous," Sgt. Taylor Blanton says.

"Luckily all those Hotmail accounts and all those things they can usually be tracked," Blanton continues.

Investigators go through hours of training so they can do that.

"Able to obtain the evidence and understand what I'm looking at, know where to go to get the necessary documentation and beyond that know who to call to do my forensic work," Thomas says.

Some investigating is as easy as using the Internet, other stuff goes to the State Police High Tech Crime Unit.

And the cases can range from mail order brides and threatening email to the most fraud on sites like e-bay...police say whenever you're on the internet-watch out.

If you think you're a vicitim of Internet fraud, you can contact the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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