Colorado ranked in the top 10 in terms of money lost due to internet crime in 2020, according to an FBI report.
Criminals have used phishing, identity theft, extortion, and various types of internet fraud to target their victims. FBI says medical workers seeking personal protective equipment, families seeking information on stimulus checks to help pay their bills, and others affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have been targeted.
In total, the Internet Crime Complaint Center received a record number of complaints in 2020 at 791,790, an increase of 69% from 2019. Losses reported last year exceeded $ 4.1 billion.
Extortion accounted for many victims of cybercrime in Colorado, but Commercial Email Compromise (BEC) programs took the Coloradans down the most, totaling $ 48,491,996 in 2020. BEC’s programs were costliest nationally, with an adjusted loss of about $ 1.8 billion.
The age group that suffered the most in Colorado was the over 60s. Not only were most of the victims over 60, they also lost the most money in 2020, nearly $ 21 million.
The FBI details people over the age of 60 who are often successfully victimized on an ongoing basis by abusers.
“Victims over 60 may face scams including prepayment programs, investment scams, romance scams, tech support scams, grandparent scams, spoofing scams government identity, raffle / charity / lottery scams, home repair scams, TV / radio scams and family / caregiver scams’, details the FBI.
The National Cyber Security Center offers seven tips for a safe holiday shopping season.
- Only use direct, well-known URLs for the company. If you are not sure, check it out.
- Always be careful before clicking on links and always be careful when opening attachments.
- Watch for fake package tracking emails, fake “offers” from top brands, and fake credit card confirmation requests.
- Make sure all your devices have up-to-date antivirus / anti-malware software.
- Keep your passwords up to date and complex. Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
- Most banks and credit cards offer text alerts for suspicious activity.
- It is important to avoid unknown public WiFi hotspots.
California was the state most affected by cybercrime in 2020.