With the holidays in full swing and with the increased use of the Internet, we run the risk of becoming victims of online crime, known as cybercrime. What can you do to be protected from cybercriminals? Educate yourself! After all, the scammers spend a great deal of their time learning ways and technologies to effectively separate you from your identity and your money.
Here are some online resources to help you protect yourself, your family, or your business from scammers and cybercriminals:
– If you have ever received emails either asking for money for orphans or victims of hurricanes; informing you that you’ve won a foreign lottery; or telling you that you could be trusted to bank $30 million in your savings account, then Google and order Michael Berry’s anti-scammers book, “Greetings in Jesus Name! The Scambaiter Letters." Also for more educational facts and resources, search Facebook using the word “scambaiters.”
– If you were a victim, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency. It collects complaints about companies, business practices and identity theft. Your complaints can help the FTC detect patterns of wrongdoing and lead to investigations and prosecutions. The FTC enters all into the Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database that is used by thousands of civil and criminal law enforcement authorities worldwide. Go to www.FTCComplaintAssistant.gov.
– If you want to protect yourself from scams and scammers using medical and health care products and services, or simply to learn what’s taking place, get free consumer protection information from the Federal Trade Commission. Go to www.consumer.ftc.gov.
– If you want to educate yourself about current and ongoing Internet trends and schemes identified by the Internet Crime Complaint Center, go to www.ic3.gov/ and click on “Press Room.”
Crime Stoppers thanks you for making a difference in the U.S. Virgin Islands. As always, if you know something, say something. Continue to tell us what you know at www.CrimeStoppersUSVI.org or call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).