TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a new Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit on Tuesday to combat illicit online activity in Florida.
“As online crime increases, the enforcement gap continues to grow as federal agencies often focus attention on cases involving multimillion-dollar losses,” Attorney General Ashley Moody said. “Noticing this gap in enforcement, I worked with legislative leaders and our law enforcement partners to build a team of expert attorneys to help fill that void and protect Floridians from emerging high-tech schemes.”
CYBERCRIME AND IDENTITY THEFT
According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, more than 42,000 Floridians lost a combined total of more than $844 million to cybercrime last year. Moody says the team of criminal and civil attorneys at the Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit will work with Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) analysts and other law enforcement agencies to solve cybercrimes that may be overlooked by federal authorities.
FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass said the state’s analysts are “on the frontlines researching cybercrime and criminal organizations, identifying the players, learning how these crimes work and who is being victimized.
Last week, the unit announced the shutdown of a complex criminal enterprise that used the dark web and cryptocurrency to commit massive identity theft and launder more than $350,000. The suspect faces up to 135 years in prison.
Other cases being handled by the new Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit include credit card fraud, computer hacking, elderly exploitation and pop-up computer tech support scams.
Moody says if you think you might be a victim of cybercrime, you should immediately:
- Secure devices by changing all passwords
- Preserve evidence by taking screenshots
- Report the crime to FDLE’s Computer Crime Center
- If the crime involved unauthorized access to financial accounts, notify the bank and credit card company, then monitor accounts to check for identity theft
- Freeze your credit profile
- Update antivirus, firewall and security software
Prevention is also key. For tips and updates on emergency cybercrimes and other schemes, visit MyFloridaLegal.com/ConsumerAlert.