Ohio Ranks # 2 for Cybercrime Impact

SIDNEY – As holiday shopping is in full swing, starting a few weeks before Black Friday and passing through Cyber ​​Monday, research trends show an increase in cyber attacks and malicious websites designed to scam customers who buy products online. Buying local is one way to avoid them, but distribution issues can mean buying online ahead of time is the best option to lock in selling prices.

A study by Amsterdam-based cybersecurity firm Surfshark examined open source Internet crime reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation over a three-year period (2018-present). During this period, they found that “1.2 million US citizens (on average, 1 in 300 US citizens) have been the victims of at least one cybercrime, resulting in a total of $ 9.2 billion in financial losses “.

During that three-year period, Surfshark reports, Ohio ranked among the top five states with the most overall financial loss amounting to $ 530 million due to cybercrime. However, the financial impact on the people of Ohio has been felt even more over the past three years; it ranked second in the country, with an average loss of 4.4 months of wages for its victims of cybercrime.

“The results of our new study are a warning to all online shopping enthusiasts: scammers become more active on annual shopping sprees” and include “credit card theft and major hacking attacks on e-commerce sites, ”explained Vytautas Kaziukonis, CEO of Surfshark. .

A common strategy used by scammers is a copy website, where the content appears to be from an online merchant, but the web address does not match. Often times a similar looking website name can fool those who work quickly. Be sure to take a close look at the “Base URL,” the part before the .com, to make sure it matches the retailer’s exactly when shopping. Hackers can introduce tiny variations into the names of common retailers, like Amazon, when they purchase a web domain name, a domain strategy designed to trick customers. Additionally, those who click on a link from an email rather than typing the primary website URL into their browser and then performing a search may also be at greater risk of being tricked into. hand over their personal and credit card information.

Ohio’s situation appears to be getting even bleaker, as its reported total financial losses for 2020 place it among the top five states in the country at just over $ 170 million, according to the Federal Office’s 2020 Internet report. investigation. Additionally, among the most vulnerable to cybercrime across the country are people over the age of 60. But in a surprising twist, while the overall financial impact showed an increase in victimization as age increased, the number of 50-59 year olds who fell victim to cybercrime outnumbered the 30-49 age group. years. So while fewer in this age group were affected, the financial impact on them was greater.

Shopping locally is the best way to avoid falling prey to cybercrime during peak shopping season. However, due to shipping issues, buying local may not be an option, especially for CyberMonday items.

In Sidney, major retail chains are experiencing shortages. It may therefore be necessary to purchase online for some items to ensure that Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday prices are locked in, even if delivery occurs later. With that in mind, local retailers are offering tips to make online holiday shopping safer.

CJ Sharp, Store Manager at Walmart in Sidney, encourages shoppers to order early and use the Walmart app rather than shopping on the website.

“All CyberMonday items will be for sale online. We are already seeing on Black Friday that some items have not arrived in stores due to shipping issues affecting the country, ”said Sharp. “The safest way not to go to a scam site, I strongly suggest, is to shop through the Walmart app. “

On Black Friday, Sharp said, household items (pillows, quilts, bath towels) and housewares were among the top-selling items on-site at the Sidney Walmart store.

Tony Moss, Managing Director of Menards in Sidney, said: “I have seen a steady and steady flow with our 10 day sale versus a wild ride like with a few hour sell limit. Spreading it out makes it much more welcoming and easier to buy.

A few popular items sold onsite in Menards during Black Friday included indoor light fixtures, outdoor smokers and children’s toys, Moss said.

Customers who shop online have the convenience of home delivery of course, but it is important to exercise caution when receiving sales emails.

“If customers receive suspicious emails that have a different format or layout, or if they ask for a credit card number or personal information, always call the store and do not open any attachments or don’t follow any links, ”Moss advised.

Ohio is one of the countries hardest hit by cybercrime in the United States, according to an analysis of FBI cybercrime data from 2018 to present conducted by Surfshark.

Over the past three years, Ohio has ranked second in the country for the personal financial impact of cybercrime.

Total financial losses from cybercrime in the United States have increased steadily by age group, although those 50 to 59 were less likely to be victims than those aged 30 to 49.

Ohio Ranks Fifth Nationally in Total Cybercrime Financial Losses Exceeding $ 170 Million

Yet online shopping skyrockets as distribution issues hamper local shopping on Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday

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