The “Local to Global” Expo brought business people, law enforcement agencies, and West Virginians from around the state to the Technology Park Research Center Thursday.
The National White Collar Crime Center, housed in Richmond, Va., and Technology Park, hosted the event.
Presentations were given on fraudulent crimes targeting senior citizens, Internet complaint training for law enforcement, and children and the Internet.
State Auditor Glen Gainer III is board chairman of the National White Collar Crime Center. He says everyone should be aware of security issues on the Internet.
“Face-to-face business is going away,” he said.
“Events like today expose us not only to technology, and how rapidly technology is changing and affecting our everyday lives,” he said, “but also how we can be burnt and how we can be hurt by predators because of the way we are doing business today.”
Gainer’s own office was scammed out of two million dollars earlier this year by people posing as legitimate business owners.
Gainer says the event helps raise awareness about these scams to citizens and law enforcement agencies.
“People need to understand what’s out there, so they can protect themselves, protect their businesses, as they go forward in life,” he said.
Other presentations include training for police. State Police Sgt. Christopher Casto works with the West Virginia Cyber Crime Cooperative, an organization researching new ways to fight internet crime.
The cooperative designed a Web site allowing people to file complaints online without entering a police station.
“He or she has all the information to further that investigation without talking to anyone,” he said.
“By doing that, we feel we have revolutionized that field.”
The State Police wants to expand the site, allowing smaller police forces to join and collect statistics, tips and complaints.
The cooperative also helps create new encryption techniques and developed a digital forensics lab to curb Internet crime.
Casto says the cooperative is on the cutting edge.
“Even though our mission is West Virginia, we’d like to say we have a hand in what’s going on nationwide in these areas with research and development,” he said.
The cooperative also works with the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, a State Police agency monitoring web sites for child predators.
Casto says the taskforce, because of help from the cooperative, has a 100 percent conviction rate in the state.