FBI wants you to report cyber crimes - KMOV.com

FBI wants you to report cyber crimes

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- After a KMOV reporter had her pictures stolen and used in a potential scam, local FBI agents are urging other social media users to report cyber complaints like these.

“It’s the ease of conducting these kind of crimes. You can be in another country, makes it harder for law enforcement to track you down. It’s tempting to do,” said Jason Lawless, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge, about the growing number of stolen picture cases.

The FBI  says it gets about 300,000 internet crime complaints each year,  including business email compromise, ransomware, and extortion. In 2017 alone, that added up to $1.3 billion in losses. Plus, agents believe only 15 percent of cybercrimes ever get reported because most victims are too embarrassed.

Now, they are pointing victims to an online resource for reporting these cases, IC3.gov. It’s basically a clearinghouse. When you submit an internet crime complaint, agents take that information and run it through their database to see if it matches other cases. Then, they get the cases together and refer them to one office, like a local police department, to investigate and determine if they can pursue charges.

“Just copying your picture by itself is not a crime if you’ve made your picture public. It’s what they use it for,” said Lawless. “If they are using it to steal your identity, then that would be a crime. If they are using it to conduct a cyber-intrusion, that would be a crime or commit fraud, it would be a crime.”

Sometimes, people don’t even realize they are a victim. One way to check is by using a reverse Google image search which should show you where else a picture is posted.

Agents also recommend simply checking your privacy settings and following the standard advice - don’t post anything if you don’t want anyone and everyone to see.

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