Anchorage, Alaska — Sept. 30, 2016— Better Business Bureau serving the Northwest is participating in the National Cyber Security Alliance campaign STOP. THINK. CONNECT. to improve awareness of the basic steps needed to stay safe online.
Cybercrimes are ever-increasing with the most common being: fake checks, bogus internet merchandise, phony sweepstakes, false debt collection and email phishing scams.
Not only is protecting your identity important, but with Permanent Fund checks going out to more than 643,000 Alaskans on Oct. 6, BBB is warning recipients to be on guard for con artists who might try to trick you out of your money.
BBB encourages online users to educate themselves about cyber security risks and offers the following tips to keep their money and personal data safe:
- Don’t fall for it. For Alaskans set to receive PFD checks, watch out for fake IRS calls, invitations to investment or vacation club seminars and solicitation from fake charities. If you’d like to donate your funds to a charity check with BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance at give.org to find a trustworthy organization.
- Own your online presence. Set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s OK to limit how and with whom you share information.
- Keep a lid on personal information. Information about your history or location has value, just like money. Think about who is seeing the information and how it is gathered by mobile apps and websites.
- Think before you post. Take care when posting about yourself and others online. Consider who might see it and how it could be perceived now and in the future.
Anyone who feels they may be a victim of a cybercrime should report it to their local law enforcement and with BBB Scam Tracker at bbb.org/scamtracker.