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Vadim Berman

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The future of crime

OK, maybe it's a bit twisted of me, but I am curious. Are the career criminals of the future all going to be B2cr ("business to criminal", e.g. robbing a warehouse, prostitution, drug trade) professionals and computer hackers?

Even today, I can't see how it's possible to make a living breaking in and stealing electronics, or picking pockets for a few hundreds or a smartphone that will go out of fashion tomorrow and probably contains a tracking device. It makes little to no sense to obtain plastic means of payment, because it makes getting caught easier.

I do realise that the disparity among the different countries is huge (in monetary terms). But even the bulk of what used to be called "third world" and is now known as "emerging markets", will have the same magnitude of ratio of average earnings to valuables being carried, in a matter of 20 - 30 years.

All replies are welcome, but reactions from law enforcement professionals are much appreciated.

Topics: crime the future
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  • Mar 20 2012: Yeah but if you steal 5 smartphones a day and sell them for 40 dollars each you would be making 52k/year. I think we would be lucky just to see humans last another 30 years, much less see the evolution of crime into a more technological age. Crime has been evolving since the first societies, its doubtful you would see much difference between now and 2 years from now.
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      Mar 20 2012: I kinda wonder how one can steal 5 smartphones a day. Not to mention that many of them are using tracking services, which will bring the whole "venture" down in no time.
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        Mar 21 2012: When I was in the telco biz, the re-fitted prepaid phones were beign bought at a subsidised rate and sent off into China to be re-chipped and onsold in teh Asian market. That was before the phone ID number became part of the comms packets along with the SIM ID. SO I suppose the new process is to falsify the phoneID and register it in unregulated networks .. or just bribe networks to register your phony IDs. SO then to more monitoring and tracking .. each time loading up the comms with more ID packets.
        Another way was to case-out the delivery schedules and hijack the trucks with new phones - around 4 mill per shipment. REsult? Armed escorts and randomised schedules - increased costs and a higher premium on corrupting a truck driver.
        The only one I directly fixed was the practice of cable guys selling de-installed set top boxes out of the back of their vans. I put a process in to track de-installs, a lot of cable guys went to jail .. and within 2 weeks, the market was being satisfied at gunpoint - taking new STB's directly from the depots.
        Each fix makes the problem worse.
        I've seen this everywhere - systems that used to crash and result in me getting called at 3am to log in and fix a file, then putting atomatic recovery in place and still being called at 3am to fix the failures in the fixes and each layer of fixes requiring more and more time spent fixing at 3am.
        I called the process "Artificial Stupidity".
        And it all has to do with trying to control risk.
        Risk cannot be controled - it can only be delayed into a great heap that eventually collapses.
        SO Vadim - look to the industries that are preparing to reap the benefits of collapsing risk. It will be all about charging people for a haven while the risk you delay gets dropped on someone else.
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        Mar 21 2012: Forgot to add - how do you steal 5 smartphones per day?
        You give backpackers $5 per unit and just set them loose.
        THey pay the subsidised prepaid fee at the legit phone-merchant, and you reimburse plus $5.
        The handset is actually worth at least 4 times as much - with the real profits coming from call rates.
        SO there's a markup that can be had in other jurisdictions with the non-legit phone merchants reaping the difference in subsidies paid by legit merchants.
        ANd the backpackers are happy to get $5 for a few minutes of their time - they can subsidise themselves on only an hours work/day..

        And dissabling gps is a doddle.

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