Criminals can steal from you with their computer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Criminals can steal from you with their computer

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D.A. Greg Edwards D.A. Greg Edwards
Darton State College sophomore Brittney Johnson Darton State College sophomore Brittney Johnson
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Experts expect online shopping on this Cyber Monday to jump by more than 20% over last year. Americans could spend $2 billion online today. But crooks are trying to grab a share of that money.  

Experts say more than 130 million people will click that buy button, with nearly a third using a mobile device like a Smartphone or a tablet to do that online shopping. South Georgia prosecutors warn you that crooks are waiting online to try to rip you off. 

Darton State College sophomore Brittney Johnson relaxes between classes on her Smartphone shopping for Cyber Monday bargains. And she is finding some good deals. "Majority of the stuff on this site I'm looking at is on sale.  Some of the sweaters and the purses and the boots that I've been looking at for a while now," Johnson said.  

Prosecutors warn that cyber Monday also is a busy workday for cyber crooks, trying to steal the personal information of shoppers like Johnson.

The Dougherty District Attorney is concerned about the number of victims he expects to see. "The predators are out there trying to take advantage of people in various ways," Dougherty D.A. Greg Edwards said. Since so many people will be using their smart phones, law enforcement expects that is one area that cyber crooks will try to find victims, and urge caution.

"Those are new areas that cyber hackers are trying to get into.  So you want to make sure you are doing that," Edwards said.

 

The D.A. gives these Cyber Monday Crime Prevention tips.

1-    Secure Your Mobile Devices

2-    Know Online Merchants- there are lots of counterfeit sites that look just like the real stores.

3-    Do Not Use Public Wireless Access

4-    Use Credit Card Or Online Payment System

5-    Shop only "https" sites "That means that site is secure and it is encrypted.  So that's an important thing you want to look for before you in fact make your purchases," Edwards said.

Johnson said Darton State and her professors constantly push internet safety.  She is confident she and her classmates are prepared for cyber crooks, but not the general public. "Not most people. Not most people are educated on it.  And they don't know much about it," Johnson said. That's what Cyber crooks on cyber Monday are counting on, as they want to turn this huge shopping day into a big haul for them.     

Another warning from the District Attorney, watch out for any pop ups.  He said those are big red flags that shoppers should be wary of.    

The D. A. says most cyber-crooks are overseas and are difficult to catch and prosecute.

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