State: Cybercrime on the rise during pandemic, caution urged

State: Cybercrime on the rise during pandemic, caution urged

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — State securities officials say cybercrime including email attacks are on the rise during the pandemic, and they’re warning people to be careful online.

A statement from the Alabama Securities Commission says social engineering attacks have been increasing with more people working at home and children using virtual learning because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The agency says “phishing” attacks are a particular threat. That’s when scammers mimic a legitimate source in an attempt to access personal information, often by email. Many of the attacks try to create a sense of urgency by making people think information or financial accounts are at risk.

Commission Director Joe Borg said information is more accessible than ever, leading to potential problems.

“A hacker obtaining access to your investment accounts is the equivalent to a thief finding your house key under your front door, entering your home with ease and robbing you of your prized possessions,” Borg said in the statement.

Emails that include misspellings, grammatical errors, generic greetings, unbelievable claims and requests for personal information are risky, the agency said.