/ Modified aug 2, 2019 4:59 p.m.

FBI warns of rising prevalence of cybercrimes

Special Agent Michael Foster explains how the agency investigates these crimes and emerging trends.

Americans are more likely to be a victim of cybercrime than any of the other top eight forms of criminal activity, according to a 2018 Gallup poll. Information stolen leads to billions of dollars in losses for victims each year. According to the FBI, cybercrime is becoming more commonplace. Special agent Michael Foster offered insight into how the agency investigates these types of crimes, as well as emerging trends.

According to Foster, cybercrime can be defined as any crime facilitated by the use of the internet. Foster added that anyone can be targeted but in Southern Arizona the elderly make up the largest population affected by cybercrime. His agency often sees instances of data breaches and extortion.

“Extortion typically happens through an email stating they’ll either release some photos or your personal data unless they’re paid,” Foster said. “When urgency happens, some of our common sense goes down. We just need people to take a deep breath. Taking that extra 30 seconds may save you thousands of dollars.”

Foster said people can report a cybercrime at IC3.gov.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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