This week we turn again to the “IC3” Internet Crime Complaint Center established as a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to receive Internet related criminal complaints and to further research, develop, and refer the criminal complaints to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for any investigation they deem to be appropriate. The IC3 was intended, and continues to emphasize, serving the broader law enforcement community to include federal, as well as state, local, and international agencies, which are combating Internet crime and, in many cases, participating in Cyber Crime Task Forces.
According to I-062315-PSA data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) shows ransomware continues to spread and is infecting devices around the globe. Recent IC3 reporting identifies CryptoWall as the most current and significant ransomware threat targeting U.S. individuals and businesses. Between April 2014 and June 2015, the IC3 received 992 CryptoWall-related complaints, with victims reporting losses totaling over $18 million.
The problem begins when the victim clicks on an infected advertisement, email, or attachment, or visits an infected website. Once the victim’s device is infected with the ransomware variant, the victim’s files become encrypted. In most cases, once the victim pays a ransom fee, he or she regains access to the files that were encrypted.
If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam, you should reach out to your local FBI field office. You may also file a complaint with the IC3 at www.IC3.gov. Please provide any relevant information in your complaint.
Tips to protect yourself:
- Always use antivirus software and a firewall. It’s important to obtain and use antivirus software and firewalls from reputable companies.
- Enable popup blockers. Popups are regularly used by criminals to spread malicious software.
- Always back up the content on your computer. If you back up, verify, and maintain offline copies of your personal and application data, ransomware scams will have limited impact on you.
- Be skeptical. Don’t click on any emails or attachments you don’t recognize, and avoid suspicious websites altogether.
For the latest on internet safety and identity theft best practices, please regularly check in to our website www.hvshred.com