Understanding Cybercrime

 

Cybercrime is a growing and lucrative trade, whereby millions of dollars are lost every year. This is a term used for any illegal activity that uses a computer as its primary means of commission. In other words, criminals have identified the computer as a source of obtaining information and thus stealing money. As a result, cybercrime is quickly becoming a major threat. Because these criminals continue to refine and fine-tune each element of the cybercrime supply chain, users must be educated and alert.

The first generation of cybercriminals was motivated by notoriety, ego or curiosity. Their attacks were meant to be disruptive and make their presence known by causing indiscriminate damage to any vulnerable computer on the Internet. The realization that hacking could easily be used for monetary gain changed that. Cybercriminals matured, recognizing the value of working together for ill-gotten gains while setting their sights on larger, more lucrative targets.

Cybercriminals are no longer isolated amateurs. Today, a well-funded, well-organized, highly-sophisticated underground economy provides the malware to enable hackers, sometimes with nominal programming skills, to commit their crimes and sell to the highest bidder the financial information or intellectual property they’ve stolen from individuals, companies or governments.


Stealing Confidential Information

The most common way to steal confidential information is by embedding spyware programs on computers. These programs log and track keystrokes and capture user names, passwords and PINs and send the information to hackers who sell it on the black market. But there are many other ways that information is compromised.

In short, the massive amount of personal information online coupled with the lack of user knowledge of how to secure this data makes it easy for cybercriminals. They use a variety of technologies to obtain your information including password crackers, keyloggers, malware, and a variety of social engineering techniques.

For example, targeted phishing attacks, not just through email, but through technologies like Facebook and Twitter are extremely effective because people tend to let their guard down on social media sites. To avoid serious financial consequences, users must put forth considerable effort into educating themselves on how to spot and stop the attacks.


Reporting Suspicious Activity

Lost or Stolen Debit or Credit Card: Call 800.236.2442 to report a lost or stolen Ameris Bank Debit Card. Call 877.334.0460 and select option 2 to report a lost or stolen Ameris Bank Credit Card.

Report a suspicious email or possible fraudulent activity: Contact Ameris Bank at 866.616.6020 and file a customer complaint with the FTC. If you believe your personal information has been compromised, immediately contact Ameris Bank.