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From debit card frauds to phishing attacks, cybercrime is on a rise in the US, with a recent report noting a 62% increase in the number of cases filed between February 2021 to February 2022. Moreover, cyber attacks on various organizations such as Uber, Rockstar Games, and more have added to panic, especially among individuals. However, it is essential to understand that reporting cybercrime is as important as preventing oneself from it.
Over the years, the way people use the internet has transformed and so have the attacking methods of cyber criminals. A criminal offense using a computer, internet, smartphone, or other technology is considered a cybercrime. Unlike regular police complaints, which often require a physical visit to the police station, filing a cybercrime complaint online is feasible. The process is relatively simple, and various authorities and websites provide these services. Before we get into that, let’s understand what crimes come under the cybercrime category and what parameters are used to confirm a felony as cybercrime.
What is a cybercrime in the USA?
Cybercrime is any illegal activity that takes place online. This can include hacking and cyber terrorism, child pornography, and cyberbullying among others. Many federal and state laws in the United States cover cybercrimes, hence, knowing which rule applies to a particular situation is essential.
Cybercrime is a growing problem in the United States and the recent attacks on various organizations have brought more attention to it. To report a cybercrime, one can file a complaint online with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received nearly 300,000 complaints in 2017, with losses exceeding $1.4 billion. This represents a significant increase from previous years.
There are many kinds of cybercrime that are committed every day, but the most common types include the following:
Identity theft is usually referred to as the event when someone uses the personal information of another person without their permission to commit fraud.
This is an online scam where criminals send emails or texts pretending to be from a legitimate organization to trick users into giving them personal information or money.
Ransomware is a type of malware that is injected into the victim’s computers and system to encrypt files. The attack’s threat actor can demand a ransom in exchange for decrypting them.
However, one can take steps to protect themselves from cybercrime. If one becomes a victim of scammers and hackers, there are always ways to file a cybercrime complaint in the USA and get help.
How to file a cybercrime complaint online in the USA?
If anyone has been a victim of cybercrime, then they can reach out to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to file a cybercrime complaint online in the USA.
For the uninitiated, the IC3 is an agency that combines the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It accepts online complaints related to various cybercrimes and offers advice.
To file a complaint with the IC3, one will need to provide information about themselves and the incident, including:
- Victim name, address, telephone number, and email address.
- The name, address, telephone number, and email address of any businesses or individuals involved in the incident.
- A detailed description of the case.
- Any relevant dates or timeframes.
- Any other pertinent information that may help investigate the complaint.
How to prevent being a target of cybercrime?
Cybercrime is any crime that involves a computer, network, or database. The first step in stopping cybercrime is understanding what it is and how it affects the users. This includes hacking and identity theft, online fraud, and child pornography.
There are several ways to prevent cybercrime. The most important thing is to keep one’s computer and other devices secure. This means using strong passwords, not sharing personal information online, and being careful about downloading files on the internet. One can also install security software and updates as soon as they become available.
If someone has been a victim of cybercrime, the best thing to do is report it to the authorities. They can file a complaint on US-CERT.gov, FTC.gov, IC3.gov, and SSA.gov. Moreover, it is essential to include as much detail and evidence, such as screenshots, emails, notifications and more while filing a complaint.