4 Facts You Should Know to About Cybercrime

Man going through credit card statements

Cybercrime: What You Need to Know

Cybercrime is an ever-evolving threat in our increasingly digital world, encompassing any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device, or a network. While cybercrime can range from account security breaches to identity theft, no matter how it’s done, it is aimed at exploiting personal or sensitive data for illegal gain. And as if targeting individuals wasn’t bad enough, businesses and governments can also fall victim to cyberattacks, resulting in financial losses, lost personal identifiable information (PII), and broken trust with customers and citizens.

From Identity Theft to Digital Fraud

The types of cybercrime can vary widely, but they often include identity theft, financial fraud, phishing scams, ransomware attacks, and cyberbullying. 

  • Identity theft involves stealing someone’s personal information to commit fraud, often leading to unauthorized financial transactions or the opening of new accounts in the victim’s name. 
  • Financial fraud in the digital age has become sophisticated, with cybercriminals devising new ways to siphon funds from unwitting victims. 
  • Phishing scams trick individuals into handing over sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, through apparently legitimate emails or websites. 
  • Ransomware attacks lock users out of their devices or encrypt critical data, demanding payment for release. Understanding the diverse tactics used by cybercriminals is the first step in protecting oneself against these digital threats.

Fact #1: Unveiling the Reality of Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is a highly prevalent form of cybercrime, often coming from phishing attempts and data breaches. Cybercriminals use various techniques to acquire credit card information, including skimming devices at ATMs, hacking into retail computer systems, and creating fraudulent websites to collect information from unsuspecting shoppers. Once they have this information, they can make unauthorized purchases or sell the data to other criminals. 


Protecting yourself from credit card fraud involves being vigilant about where and how you use your credit card, monitoring your financial statements regularly for any unauthorized transactions, and using secure connections for online purchases.

Fact #2: The Surge of Online Shopping Scams

The convenience and instantaneity  of online shopping has unfortunately been matched by the rise in related scams, marking a significant concern for consumers worldwide. These scams range from fake websites and fraudulent listings on reputable auction sites to counterfeit goods and phishing emails designed with the sole purpose of stealing PII. 


Scammers exploit the anonymity of the internet to create convincing replicas of legitimate online stores or post attractive deals that seem too good to pass up. To combat these scams, it’s essential to shop from reputable sources, verify the security of websites (looking for HTTPS and secure payment gateways), and be skeptical of deals that seem excessively discounted. Awareness and caution are crucial in navigating the online shopping landscape safely.

Fact #3: The Critical Role of Monitoring Financial Statements

Regularly reviewing your financial statements isn’t just about keeping track of spending; it’s a vital defense mechanism against cybercrime. Early detection of suspicious activity on your accounts can be the difference between a minor inconvenience and a crippling financial blow. Setting up account alerts, using credit monitoring services, and regularly checking account statements are practices that can help identify and stop fraud quickly, minimizing potential damage and facilitating the recovery process.

Fact #4: The Hidden Costs of Cybercrime Underreporting

Despite the staggering numbers associated with cybercrime losses, a significant portion of incidents go unreported each year. This underreporting masks the true scale and impact of cybercrime, hindering efforts to combat it effectively. Many victims refrain from reporting due to the perceived complexity of the process, concerns about loss of reputation, or the belief that their cases are too insignificant to warrant attention. But each unreported incident is a missed opportunity for authorities to understand and respond to cyber threats. 

Actionable Steps for Compromised Credit Security

Discovering that your credit security has been compromised can be alarming, to say the least. Immediate action can significantly mitigate the damage, protecting your financial health. 

  1. First, contact your credit card issuer to report the suspected fraud to prevent further unauthorized transactions. 
  2. Next, change your online passwords and PINs, especially if they may have been compromised. 
  3. It’s also wise to alert the major credit reporting agencies and consider placing a fraud alert on your accounts, making it harder for thieves to open new accounts in your name. 
  4. Finally, file a report with the local police and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to officially document the incident. 

Mastering Secure E-commerce: Tips for Safe Transactions

E-commerce is a blessing that, thanks to scammers, comes with its own set of risks. To ensure safe transactions, start by shopping on reputable sites and ensure those sites also have secure connections (look for “https” in the URL and a padlock icon). Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true—they usually are. Use secure payment methods; credit cards and payment services like PayPal offer additional layers of fraud protection. Be cautious with personal information; be suspicious if you get any unusual requests for PII. You could even consider using a dedicated credit card with a lower limit for online purchases to limit your potential exposure.

Latitude 32 Credit Union: Your Partner in Cybersecurity

At Latitude 32 Credit Union, we recognize the importance of cybersecurity in protecting our members’ financial and personal information. We are committed to providing not only robust security measures but also the education and tools our members need to navigate the digital world safely. Our team is always here to assist with any concerns. Together, we can build a safer financial future for all our members.