Cyber criminals determine the bandwidth. They can pose as fake “grandchildren” with fake emergencies beating real grandparents for money. Or online Romeos or Juliet, who promise love and marriage but want to get their hands on one thing: their money. Or e-commerce outlets that advertise personal protective equipment sales and accept payments but never deliver.
With last year’s COVID pandemic, scammers committed crimes linked to COVID-19 aid funds, grants, and federal loans. improved unemployment benefits; and the alleged online sale of scarce goods. They also persuaded the victims to surrender personally identifiable information commit Identity theft.
Take tips from the FBI
To help prevent such crimes, the FBI offers these important tips.
- Be extremely careful when communicating online. Check the sender of an email. Sometimes criminals just change a letter in an email address to make it look like you know it. Be very careful with attachments or links. Hover your mouse over a link before clicking to see where it sends you.
- Ask someone who offers you something that seems too good to be true. These guidelines also relate to alleged medical advice and so-called secret investment opportunities.
- Rely on trusted sources for information. For medical information, contact your own doctor, health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Information on consumer protection can be found at Federal Trade Commission;; For tax information, try this Internal Revenue Service.
Data in the annual report result from complaints to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center. Given the increase in the number and impact of fraud cases among the elderly, the FBI plans to release its first annual report in the future, focusing solely on cases of fraud against the elderly in 2021.