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Cybercrime up in the Borderland

By Crystal Price
EL PASO, Texas - The Federal Bureau of Investigation urges consumers to beware when shopping online as the amount of cybercrime is up in the Borderland.

The FBI has had at least 300 reports of online scams reported in El Paso this year; that is up from the 250 reported last year.

"IC3 estimates that only 5 or 10 percent of victims actually file a complaint," said Matthew Ramey, a member of the cyber squad with the FBI. "So you can take that 300, and it will grow exponentially based on that percentage."

The FBI said a majority of the scams reported in the Borderland are lower-level fraud scams.

These scams include work-at-home scams, romance scams and banking information scams.

The FBI said email advertisement scams are also on the rise.

"This may come in the form of an email to get you to click on a link or an attachment such as a word document, excel document or PDF file," Ramey said.

As more consumers will be online this holiday season, the FBI is urging everyone to be even more cautious.

"The main message we want to put out to the community is just be careful," Ramey said. "It's out there. People are getting scammed every day. The community is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year out of their personal accounts."

Seth Hernandez, 18, from the Lower Valley does not shop online often, but when he does, he makes large purchases.

"It was a good amount of clothing I got," Hernandez said.

In an effort to protect himself, he is extra cautious when purchasing anything online.

"I always check where the vendor is and that I know exactly how I'm going to get it," Hernandez said.

This holiday season the FBI urges online shoppers to remember the following tips:

Beware of the files you click on.

Make sure your passwords are updated frequently.

Never use the same password on all your accounts.

Make sure up-to-date antivirus protection is on your computer.

To report a cybercrime, go to the FBIs internet crime complaint center at

 

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