Computer crimes, also known as cybercrimes, are on the rise. This type of illegal activity takes on many forms and is never victimless. While you may believe identity theft, hacking, or financial fraud would never happen to you, millions of Americans become the victim of a cyber criminal each year.
In 2020 alone, 300.6 million individuals became the victims of data breaches and that’s just one form of cybercrime. If you think that you have become the victim of an online criminal, then here’s what to do after a computer crime takes place.
Theft, Fraud, and Hacking
These types of computer crimes are, unfortunately, incredibly common. The goal of all three is to mimic your identity, gaining access to your funds and spending them. A cyber criminal might hack your accounts, send a malicious email designed to swipe your data, or find another nefarious way to access your financial information.
The first thing you should do if you think you’ve become the victim of online theft, fraud, or hacking is to change all of your passwords. Regardless of which accounts were affected, consider them all compromised. When making new passwords, make sure they are strong enough to help protect your online security.
Next, close or freeze any accounts that could be at risk. Calling your credit card company and explaining the situation is the best place to start. You can always dispute any charges the criminal made. If money was stolen, file a report with your local law enforcement agency.
You should also contact a credit bureau to protect your score, and the Social Security Administration if you think your SSN was stolen. Make sure to collect and keep evidence, including everything from canceled checks to emails and social media messages.
Stalking is a difficult situation in the online realm because you might not know who the criminal is. If you do, send them a clear warning via messaging to stop. Save any communication from them and file a complaint with your internet service provider as well as local law enforcement. You can also change your online security settings for social media accounts to help get rid of them.
Bullies have always been around, but they can often feel empowered by the safety social media sites provides. Like stalking, you’ll want to save any form of communication from your bully and keep a record of events. Then, use that information to report the bully to the site they’re harassing you on.
You should also block the individual, though they may use alternative accounts that you will have to block as well. If they start making criminal threats, you can report them to local law enforcement or the Internet Crime Complain Center.
Revenge porn, child solicitation, and child abuse are also computer crimes. If you notice someone committing these serious crimes, start making a record of every instance. Make sure to include the website used and exactly what the activity was. From there, file a report with the CyberTipLine so these heinous crimes are pursued through the right channels.
Lawyer UpCybercrimes are never victimless, and they are far from harmless. With skilled legal aid like this computer crimes defense lawyer in Boulder, you can seek compensation from the criminal. That includes lost finances as well as emotional distress. Don’t let a criminal continue to make you the victim of a computer crime. Stop them in their tracks and seek the compensation you deserve.