'Be really vigilant': FBI warns internet users to watch for cyber crimes

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning internet users to be vigilant as the United States fights an unprecedented amount of cyber threats.

The FBI reports $6.9 billion in victim losses from cyber attacks in 2012. On average, the bureau receives more than 2,300 complaints a day on its Internet Crime Complaint Center.

"We're facing cyber attacks every day," Milwaukee Field Office Special Agent In Charge Michael Hensle said. "May not be something you see every day, maybe not something you hear about every day, but this has been an exponential threat growing over the last 10 years."

Each year, threats evolve to mimic ways people use the internet. For example, business email compromise was a top threat in 2021, according to the Internet Crime Report.

The report explains that with more people working from home, fraudsters are using virtual meeting platforms to hack emails, copy credentials and initiate wire transfers.

"If someone does get access to that, we have limited capability, based on how quickly we know and some other factors, to get some of that back, and people can lose both finances as well as access to their systems," Hensle said.

Hensle said the Milwaukee Field Office is working proactively with businesses in Wisconsin's private sector to make sure the right safeguards are in place.

"It's just something to be really vigilant about," Hensle said.

He wants all internet users to remain vigilant, too.

"It's everyone's responsibility to help safeguard America," Hensle said.

Cyber crimes can be reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center as soon as possible.

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