ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) – Scams are bombarding consumers at increasing rates. Just in 2017, cybercrime incidents cost people a whopping $1.4 billion, according to the FBI.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing more and more scams that are being perpetrated, whether they’re online scams, telephone scams, door to door, even just junk mail scams that look like they’re charities,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “So we’re seeing a rise in it.”
Officials are particularly concerned about more vulnerable populations, such as seniors. 40 percent of cyber-crime complaints came from people 50 years and older in 2017.
In an effort crossing state lines, three attorneys general from Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina took the stage Friday with Comcast to roll out a tool kit to help seniors navigate the Internet safely.
“Senior populations disproportionately bear the burden of Internet scams,” said David Cohen, an executive with Comcast.
In addition to new teaching resources, Comcast also gifted laptops to every senior who attended Friday’s event.
“You never get too old to learn,” senior David Haynie told FOX 5 News. Haynie said he is eager to use his new laptop and explore the online teaching tools to help him feel more comfortable browsing the web.
For Carr, this is an issue he is personally motivated to combat.
“Just recently, I had my aunt who got an email purportedly from Microsoft, and it wasn’t Microsoft, and she ended up sending $300,” Carr said.
Scams have plagued people across the country. In Georgia alone, more than 7,000 residents fell victim to cyber-crimes in 2017, according to the FBI.
“These are across state lines, and in many ways across international boundaries,” said Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall in reference to scams. “We just want to make sure we keep up with those who want to engage in the improper conduct and then notify our communities as quickly as we can about those scams.”
A few good rules of thumb to follow: Never give out your financial information to a caller, don’t click on pop-up windows and avoid calling toll free numbers that appear on pop-up windows.