As school, socializing, and many aspects of life have moved online this year, it’s more important than ever that you protect your digital devices and steer clear of cybercriminals. So during National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), observed each October, the FBI and partner agencies remind you to do your part and #BeCyberSmart all year long.
Now in its 17th year, NCSAM is a government and private sector partnership that raises awareness about cybersecurity and stresses the collective effort required to stop cyber crimes, online thefts, and scams.
As the premier cyber investigative agency, the FBI works to keep you safe online, but you should follow the cyber safety tips below to help protect yourself and your family. If you do become a victim, contact us to report online crime.
- Keep software systems up to date and use a good anti-virus program.
- Examine the email address and URLs in all correspondence. Scammers often mimic a legitimate site or email address by using a slight variation in spelling.
- If an unsolicited text message, email, or phone call asks you to update, check, or verify your account information, do not follow the link provided in the message itself or call the phone numbers provided in the message. Go to the company’s website to log into your account or call the phone number listed on the official website to see if something does in fact need your attention.
- Do not open any attachments unless you are expecting the file, document, or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address.
- Scrutinize all electronic requests for a payment or transfer of funds.
- Be extra suspicious of any message that urges immediate action.
- Confirm requests for wire transfers or payment in person or over the phone as part of a two-factor authentication process. Do not verify these requests using the phone number listed in the request for payment.
Each week of NCSAM 2020, the FBI is highlighting a priority issue. The first two weeks focus on the most pressing online threats and scams facing businesses, organizations, and individuals. These include emerging scams that exploit the current health emergency.
In weeks three and four, we turn to our efforts to foster and build a world-class cyber workforce and highlight our invaluable partnerships with the private sector, as well as our work to support victims of cyber crime.
Week 1: Cyber Criminal Threats and the FBI’s Approach
- Spoofing and Phishing
- General Online Safety
- Business Email Compromise
- Online Safety for Kids (Safe Online Surfing)
- Internet Crime Complaint Center Marks 20 Years
Week 2: COVID-19 Cyber Scams and the FBI’s Response
- Staying Safe During the Pandemic
- Protect Your Wallet—and Your Health—from Pandemic Scammers
- FBI Anticipates Rise in BEC Schemes Related to COVID-19
- FBI Warns of PPE Scams During the Pandemic
- FBI Sees Rise in Fraud Schemes Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Child Abductors Potentially Using Social Media or Social Networks to Lure Victims In Lieu of an In-Person Ruse
- StaySafeOnline.org: COVID-19 Security Resources Library
Week 3: The Future of Cyber: Recruitment
Week 4: Victim of Cyber Scams and How the FBI Can Help
FBI Cyber Safety News
Criminal charges announced against multiple alleged hackers in Iran show the breadth of the cyber threat emanating from that country and the FBI and partner agency efforts to neutralize it and hold the individuals accountable.
FBI Director Christopher Wray announced the Bureau’s new strategy for countering cyber threats in remarks at the virtual CISA National Cybersecurity Summit.
When a Texas school district fell victim to a $2 million business email compromise scheme, a Florida man moved much of the stolen money away from law enforcement’s grasp—and is now spending time behind bars.
When an Atlanta tech company fell victim to a hacker, its quick reaction and collaboration with the FBI helped find and convict the culprit.
The crimes catalogued by the Internet Crime Complaint Center mirror the evolution of the web across two decades—growing in sophistication and number as the internet grows ever more essential to our lives.
For nearly a decade, the Bayrob Group infected thousands of computers with malware and stole millions of dollars from victims. But with help from private sector and law enforcement partners, the FBI shut down their criminal operation.
Last year, the Internet Crime Complaint Center received 467,361 complaints, recorded more than $3.5 billion in losses to victims, and saw criminals deploying new tactics and techniques to carry out scams—with no signs of letting up.
Four Chinese military-backed hackers were indicted in connection with the 2017 cyberattack against Equifax, which led to the largest known theft of personally identifiable information ever carried out by state-sponsored actors.
A leader of a business email compromise ring that stole more than $120 million from two American companies is spending time behind bars. Learn how to protect yourself from this growing crime.
Two Russian nationals have been charged for their roles in a cybercrime spree that stole from thousands of individuals and organizations in the U.S. and abroad.
If you're moving money for someone you don’t know, you are likely helping launder money for online criminals who steal from individuals and small businesses.
The FBI worked with partner agencies domestically and in multiple countries around the world in a large-scale, coordinated effort to dismantle international business email compromise (BEC) schemes.