Cybercrime is growing and costly. We need to be vigilant and aware.
The Effects of Cybercrime
The possibility of invading our computers, our cell phones with hackers and scammers stealing our information every 39 seconds. No person, business, corporation, or bank is immune. Cybercrime damage can cause blackouts, breaches in our National Security, theft of information, and disrupt phones and computers.
Here are a few statistics of cybercrime:
- The U.S. cybercrime rose 29% to 27.4 million.
- Worldwide Cybercrime will be SIX TRILLION and expected to be 10.5 Trillion by 2025.
- Victims totaled 467,361 in 2019.
- Hackers enter data every 39 seconds.
- 60% of fraud is committed through mobile phones and apps.
- It takes about 196 days before a company realizes it's been hacked.
There are three types of cybercrime: individual, property, and government. It is challenging to prosecute mainly because there are so many crimes committed and too few law enforcers to track them.
Top Five Cybercrimes
- Advance Fee Required. Usually with the promise of a benefit.
- Tech Support. A screen POPUP with a notice to let them access your computer with a fee to clean your computer. DON'T BELIEVE IT! Either hit the escape button, shut off the computer, and reboot.
- Emergency cash. The person will lie and say your family member has been in an accident or is in jail and needs bond money and asks you to wire the money. DON'T DO THIS.
- IRS says you owe money, and you need to wire it now. The IRS does not operate this way. They would send a letter, not a phone call.
- Foreign Money. NEVER NEVER wire money to an offshore entity.
- Never open attachments from a SPAM email. In fact, if you don't know the sender, consider it spam.
- Block unwanted calls or texts.
- Resist the urge to act immediately. STOP AND THINK.
How To Protect Yourself From Cybercrimes
It can't be stressed enough using these Three Words:
BE CAUTIOUS, BE PROACTIVE, and BE INFORMED. It is YOU who can protect yourself. But, you might ask yourself, how can I do that?
- Keep software and operating systems up to date.
- Use software like Avast or Norton to protect against viruses and malware.
- Use COMPLEX PASSWORDS. Using at least eight characters, upper and lower case, and numbers.
- Use multilayer authentication.
- Backup your data.
- Be wary of public WI-FI.
- Stay away from Spam emails and NEVER open attachments in spam.
If you suspect you have been a cybercrime victim, you can and should report to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.IC3.gov.
A Well Known Imposter-But Now FBI Teacher of Cybercrimes
Frank Abagnale, Jr., is today a respected security consultant and teacher at the FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia. But, he wasn't always so well respected or a consultant for thousands of major corporations. His criminal past was started in his teens, and it wasn't until the 1970s he totally turned his life around.
Between the ages of 16 and 22, he had already impersonated a pilot, a physician, and an attorney. He forged a Harvard Law Diploma, passed the Louisianna Bar Exam, and worked for the Louisianna state attorneys office. He did, in fact, pass the bar exam, so that was legit. He impersonated being a pilot for free air miles and hotels.
One of his biggest impersonations was when he noticed United Airlines and Hertz made their daily deposits using a dropbox. Using his skills, he bought a security guard uniform from a costume shop and printed up a sign for the dropbox read: "Out of Order, Place Deposits With the Security Guard on Duty."
Frank served six months in France and six months in Sweden. Extradited to the U.S., tried and convicted for a host of crimes, he was sentenced to 12 years. After serving about seven years, the Federal Government released him to investigate cybercrimes. He jumped at the chance and began working with the FBI. He met and married his wife in 1976 after disclosing his criminal past. Together they raised three sons who graduated college and began their lives.
In 2015 he was named by AARP, the Fraud Ambassador of Fraud. By 2018 he co-hosted a podcast with AARP titled The Perfect Scam."
Frank wrote the book Catch Me If You Can." Steven Spielberg directed the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio in 2002. Spielberg said of Frank, "I did not make the fil because of what he did but what he has done with his life the past 30 years."
Frank added that he considered his past as immoral, unethical, and illegal. Today, Frank has a long list of clients and corporations that have adapted his cybercrime prevention programs. He still teaches at FBI Headquarters and has an office Abagnale and Associates, Abagnale.com and, he has authored three other books, The Real Guide to Identify Theft and Scam Me If You Can.
His website list many of his accolades and tons of advice. The FBI has given him many, many letters of credit for his work in cybercrime. A remarkable transition is worthy of fame.
He does give us two keep pieces of advice; shred everything and never use a debit card. He also cautions us never to put personal data on social media.
His book, The Art of the Steal, is chock full of practical tips and from someone who certainly knows them all. He gives tips on protecting yourself as much as possible and that prevention is the best way to do that.
Frank has been written up many times in magazines such as Fortune, Wall Street Journal, American Business, and Bankers.
fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on February 25, 2021:
Jodah, thanks for your visit and I agree with your cpment.
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on February 24, 2021:
A very informative article. Cybercrime is a real worry and growing all the time as the thieves become more sophisticated. Thanks for sharing Frank Abagnale Jr.'s story too, very interesting.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 24, 2021:
Highly informative and useful. Thanks.
Rosina S Khan on February 24, 2021:
This is an informative and important article about cybercrimes, and the FBI Teacher of Cybercrimes who has a criminal past is definitely intriguing. It creates an awareness among us how to be safe and protect ourselves from cybercriminals. Thank you for sharing, Fran.
fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on February 24, 2021:
Pamela thank you for reading my article. It is amazing he has done so much good now and alerting many of us to the dangers of the net. Thanks again.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 24, 2021:
This is a terrific article that is full of good advice, Fran. Frank Abagnale, Jr. is a rather amazing character, and his life experiences are surely unusual. I have seen the film, but I have not read the book. I really enjoyed your article.
fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on February 24, 2021:
Liz, thanks for your visit and comment. I published it before I added the link. But we cannot be too careful with the internet. Cybercrime is growing fast.
Liz Westwood from UK on February 24, 2021:
This is a fascinating and very relevant article. I often delete suspect emails. I saw the film and wondered if there was a link as I read your interesting article. It all became clear as I continued reading.