Inside LADA

November 7, 2018: Ask a Cybercrime Expert

Cybercrime tips

As dependence on connected technology has grown in almost all aspects of daily life, so too has the frequency of cybercrime, said Maria Ramirez, head deputy district attorney of the Cyber Crime Division. Learn about the latest cyberthreats that impacts you and businesses.

What are the most common types of cybercrime?
Cybercrime is growing as traditional crimes expand into the cyberworld, but identity theft remains one of the most common problems. Criminals use computer intrusion to access data and phishing emails that look like they are from legitimate businesses or government agencies to get people to divulge their personal and financial information.

Are businesses particularly susceptible?
Yes, because they have access to a lot of money and employee information. Companies usually are targeted by business email compromise scams, when a fake email that appears to be from a company’s chief executive officer or other manager is sent to employees telling them to send money to a supposed client. Scammers also will send fake business invoices that appear to be from legitimate customers.

How can people protect themselves?
In addition to keeping antivirus software up to date, people can avoid cybercrime by being vigilant about their computer use and protecting the personal information they share. Don’t click on suspicious email links. Don’t provide personal or financial information unless you’ve initiated a transaction with a legitimate company. Change your passwords regularly but don’t use names or other easy-to-guess words. Social media can be risky as well. Don’t share too much personal information that could lead to identity theft.

What should cybercrime victims do?
If you’re a victim of identity theft, it’s going to be difficult to pull back that information. You want to make sure that no one else is opening credit in your name, so contact credit reporting agencies to put a freeze on your credit. Contact your financial institutions to cancel credit and debit cards if those may have been compromised. Then file a report with local law enforcement and an internet crime report with the FBI at www.ic3.gov .