According to the 2017 Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center, also known as iC3:
- More than 800 complaints are received daily
- A total of 4,063,933 complaints have been reported since inception in 2000
- In 2017 alone, Victim losses were over $1.42 Billion
2017 VICTIMS BY AGE GROUP:
|Age Range||Total Count||Total Loss|
THE TOP 3 CRIMES BY TYPE:
|Personal Data Breach||30,904|
Social Media was the #1 medium or tool used to facilitate these crimes.
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STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM
- Become a human firewall and examine every email you receive. Realize that bad guys want to use your email account as a weapon.
- Understand that bad guys desperately want you to click a link or open an attachment in an email. Unless you’ve thoroughly validated its authenticity, don’t click on it!
- Look at the time an email was sent. If it was sent at 2:30 A.M. and you know that person never sends email that late, don’t open it before verifying it.
- Check the other recipients of the email. If an email was sent to a large group of people, it usually means the account was compromised and an automated program sent the message.
- If you receive an email with an urgent message from your bank, credit card company, utility company, FedEx, UPS, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or any other financial institution or social media application, don’t open it or click on a link! Log in to the actual account manually through a browser or application to check if there’s a legitimate issue.
- Make a list of important telephone numbers, such as your bank and credit card companies, and call the numbers you have instead of the ones included in suspicious emails.
- If you receive an email containing a friend request from social media, do not click on the link in the message to log in to the account. Bad guys love to use social media friend requests to target victims. If I receive a connection request from LinkedIn, I automatically delete the email and then log in to the actual LinkedIn application to see if it’s a legitimate request.
- This is very important: Do not store your usernames and passwords for financial institutions, credit card companies, utilities, email, and social media on OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud. Write them down on a sheet of paper and store the physical copy somewhere safe.
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