Online Investigations – Spotlight on the industry

Australian History

1. How well do you know your Australian history?  Wragglelabs have created a neat online game which tests your knowledge of Australian history using the newspaper articles within the online archives of the National Library of Australia (known as Trove).  Stylised as “Headline Roulette“, the user is required to guess which year an extract of a newspaper article was found within 10 guesses.


Online Dating

Online Love Rat Source:

2. 30 year old gambling addict, James Whitehouse (based in the UK) was sentenced to two years jail after fraudulently taking out high-interest loans in the names of four females he had met online.  Whitehouse had initially met the victims on the popular dating site, Plenty of Fish, and after gaining their trust, stole their identity and obtained loans in their name without their knowledge.

Before the fraud was revealed, victims described Whitehouse as “the perfect man”.

Prosecutors in the case described the victims as being “financially and emotionally exploited.”  It is understood one of the victims was forced into bankruptcy as a result of the crime.



3. Facebook users are encouraged to understand how the new ‘facial recognition’ feature on their site works.  With this option turned on, when a photograph is uploaded to a users account, the facial recognition software will provide recommendations of ‘friends’ to tag based on who the software recognizes in the photograph.  Disabling this feature can be done by the following method:

  • Go to your privacy settings found on the top right of your Facebook account;
  •  Go down to  Timeline and Tagging and click Edit
  • Change the ‘Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?” to No One.


Cybercriminal wanted by the FBI: Nicolae Propescu Source:

4. The FBI have released a Wanted poster in connection with the arrest of Nicolae Propescu (and six other conspirators) for a sophisticated Ebay fraud believed to have netted criminals $3 million.  The cyber criminals posted fraudulent advertisements on Ebay for vehicles and other items which did not really exist.  After interested buyers negotiated with the criminals posing as genuine sellers, an invoice would be sent to the victims requesting money to be paid into bank accounts across the United States which were in the names of false and stolen identities.  Once money had been sent by the victims, this would then be moved from the bank account and laundered to a number of other accounts making it difficult to track and recover.

It is believed Nicolae Propescu may have travelled to Europe, with his conspriators believed to be Romanian based.

A copy of the FBI poster can be located here.


5. A recent global survey of cybercrime suggests half of Australia’s adult population have fallen prey to online criminals in the past year.  While the average amount lost by victims had fallen within the year from $306 (2012) to $201 (2013), experts state this is due to cybercriminals skimming smaller amounts from victims in an attempt to avoid detection.  Fresh calls were made for users to check their security settings, install up to date anti-virus and take the following precaution to avoid becoming a victim:

USE strong passwords and change them regularly.

ENSURE “https” is in the web address for financial or personal transactions.

INSTALL security software and keep it updated.

DON’T send sensitive emails on public wi fi.

CHECK your credit card and bank statements regularly.


6. Taking a stand against online twitter trolls, celebrities are reading out the tweets of their biggest ‘haters’.  Featured on the Jimmy Kimmel  tv show, despite being an entertaining and humourous look at the online culture of bullying, it also highlights how words written and directed to profiles online, are read and felt by real people offline.  Think before you type!

Know of something worth mentioning here? Let us know in the comments below:

1 thought on “Online Investigations – Spotlight on the industry

  1. Adrian Reply

    The facial recognition function in Facebook is crazy. In the future there will be no privacy.
    very worrying if any of this information gets in the wrong hands.

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