FOX 31 News Special Report: "Cyber Crooks"
Email scams claiming you've won a million dollars are obviously fake, but websites that look exactly like your banking institution are the newest cyber scam and more Southwest Georgians than ever are falling victim to cyber crimes.
Southwest Georgia Council of Aging resource coordinator Dana Long says it's a growing problem and people need to protect themselves. "If you've asked a company for information or solicited the information , then its probably okay, but if you didn't ask for it and it just shows up in your email then just delete it, don't even open it" says Long. She also advises anyone with a computer to keep their antivirus and antispyware up to date, and use firewall protection.
The federal government has set up an internet crime complaint center where you can file a complaint, learn about different scams, and even sign up for scam email alerts. The website is www.ic3.gov
The Dougherty County Sheriff's Office recommends everyone pay attention to the website because they will keep you up to date on the latest scams.
The newest cyber scam involves employment websites that claim they saw your resume online, want to offer you a job, but require you pay for training materials first. Dana Long says that legitimate career websites have a different method of contacting you for job offers and they wouldn't ask for money up front.
Always make sure any website you use begins with the address "https", the "s" stands for secure and that is a clue that the website is most likely a legitimate website.
If you think you've been scammed the Sheriff's department says there are 3 steps you need to take.
1 - Alert your credit card companies.
2 - Contact your bank to notify them to freeze your account.
3 - Contact local law enforcement so they can investigate.
Officials also say to watch your bank and credit card statements closely to make sure no false charges appear.