You’ve been hacked – do you know who to call?
Cybercrime can be particularly difficult to investigate and prosecute because it often crosses
legal jurisdictions and even international boundaries. According to the 2015 Verizon Data Breach
Report, intrusions go undetected more than 200 days from the actual event. Some criminals
disband one criminal operation — only to start up a new activity with a new tactic — before an
incident even comes to the attention of the authorities. Once you believe you have been the victim
of a cybercrime, it’s important to report it and to protect the evidence.
FACT 1: WHO TO CONTACT
Seek Legal Advice. If you are a business owner, seek legal advice to guide you in addressing
whatever liability and reporting requirements govern the breach. Protecting sensitive employee
data, health data, or credit card data have various governing regulations and notification requirements.
Local law enforcement. Even if you have been the target of a multi- jurisdictional cybercrime, call
your local law enforcement agency (either police department or sheriff’s office). They have an
obligation to help you, take a formal report, and make referrals to other agencies. Report your
situation as soon as you find out about it. Some local agencies have detectives or departments
that focus specifically on cybercrime.
IC 3. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) will thoroughly review and evaluate your complaint
and refer it to the appropriate federal, state, local, or international law enforcement or regulatory
agency that has jurisdiction over the matter. IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center (funded, in part, by the Department of
Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance). Complaints may be filed online at
FACT 2: WHAT TO COLLECT
Even though you may not be asked to provide evidence when you first report the cybercrime, it
is very important to keep any evidence you may have related to your complaint. Keep items in a
safe location in the event you are requested to provide them. Evidence may include:
- Canceled checks and copies of bank statements
- Certified or other mail receipts
- Credit card receipts
- Envelopes (if you received items via FedEx, UPS, or U.S. Mail)
- Log files, if available, with date, time and time zone
- Messages from Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or other social networking sites
- Money order receipts
- Pamphlets or brochures
- Phone bills
- Printed or preferably electronic copies of emails (if printed, include full email header information)
- Printed or preferably electronic copies of web pages (to prove web defacement)
- Wire receipts
And most importantly, don’t shut down your computer or erase any files. Law enforcement
and/or a computer forensic specialist will need the evidence stored on your hard drive and memory
FACT 3: MALWARE
Many cybercrimes start with malware—short for “malicious software.” Malware includes viruses and
spyware that get installed on your computer, phone, or mobile device without your consent—you may
have downloaded the malware without even realizing it! These programs can cause your device to
crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. Criminals use malware to steal
personal information and commit fraud. If you think your computer has malware, you can file a complaint
with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint. Often malware is embedded in links to
emails or attachments. Don’t open an attachment from someone you don’t know!
DID YOU KNOW…
THE MOST PREVELANT CYBER CRIMES FOR 2017:
- Business Email Compromise
- Voter Registration Systems
- Identity Theft
Download a PDF of this fact sheet.
Still have questions, need help?
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About The National Cybersecurity Society
The National Cybersecurity Society is a non-profit organization focused on providing cybersecurity education,
awareness and advocacy to small businesses. The NCSS provides cybersecurity education tailored to the needs of
the small business owner; helps small businesses assess their cybersecurity risk; distributes threat information to
business owners so that they will be more knowledgeable about the threats facing their business; and provides advice
on the type of services needed to stay safe online.
FACT-CYBER-CRIME-FINAL.pd.pdf 981.5 K