Cambridge Police Department Alerts Residents of Increase in Online Scams

With many residents spending more time at home and online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Cambridge Police Department wants to alert residents of a recent increase in reported internet-based scams.

In the past few days, officers have taken reports from numerous residents who believe they have received fraudulent e-mails. In most of these cases, an unknown individual contacted the resident and made a threat to release potentially compromising personal information. Residents were instructed to pay these individuals in bitcoins or other online currency to safeguard their data.

The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has created new opportunities for scammers looking to target unsuspecting individuals. Residents are encouraged to safeguard their information, especially online, and not share personal data with untrustworthy sources. Any request for personal data from a reputable organization should be validated with the source.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), these types of scams have been on the rise across the country. In order to protect yourself from these type of scam attempts, the Cambridge Police encourage you to follow these tips:

  • Do not open e-mails or attachments from unknown individuals.
  • Monitor your bank account statements regularly, and your credit report for any unusual activity.
  • Do not communicate with unsolicited e-mail senders.
  • Do not store sensitive or embarrassing photos or information online or on your mobile devices.
  • Use strong passwords and do not use the same password for multiple websites.
  • Never provide personal information of any sort via e-mail.
  • Be aware that many e-mails requesting your personal information appear to be legitimate.
  • Ensure security settings for social media accounts are activated and set at the highest level of protection.

If you have doubts about a phone call or communication you received, contact the company or organization who “allegedly” contacted you. You can also verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type the address into your browser. If you believe that you have been victimized by a scam, you are encouraged to contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov. You can also contact the Cambridge Police at 617-349-3300.

Page was posted on 4/23/2020 4:27 PM
Page was last modified on 4/23/2020 4:28 PM
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