Government and Politics
October 6, 2022
By Sonya Sellmeyer, Consumer Advocacy Officer for the Iowa Insurance Division
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. All consumers and businesses should practice cybersecurity to protect their computer systems and networks from scammers and hackers. The FBI documented a record $7 billion lost to cybercrime in 2021. The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency suggests four behaviors we can all implement to protect ourselves online.
Phishing and other unsolicited offers often come with red flags to be aware of:
Remember to never disclose bank account information, credit card numbers, and Medicare or Social Security numbers in response to an unsolicited offer. To confirm a legitimate offer, visit the business’ website instead of clicking on a link sent to you in an email or text. Hover over all hyperlinks with the cursor to confirm the website's validity.
Never click on pop-up boxes about a virus or a problem with your computer. Close the browser and if the problem continues unplug the computer, and take it to a local repair shop.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of an internet crime, report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), the Iowa Attorney General's Office, and local law enforcement. Report investment-related scams to the Iowa Insurance Division.
Follow good cybersecurity practices, and be skeptical before clicking on a link or providing information to a scammer posing as a reputable organization. The Iowa Fraud Fighters can help you shield your savings from scammers.