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Cybercrime on rise nationwide as local departments address threat

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Cybercrime on rise nationwide as local departments address threat

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A phone screen displays a message warning that a suspicious email may be an attempt at stealing personal information. Cybercrime rose to new heights in 2021, according to FBI data, but there are some steps people can take to be safe, according to local law enforcement. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Last year saw a spike in cybercrime, according to the FBI, as the rate of cases targeting citizens, businesses and government organizations continues heading upward, striking certain countries and age groups the hardest.

Two weeks ago, cyberattacks from groups associated with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea stole more than $600 million in cryptocurrency to generate revenue for the dictatorship, according to the FBI.

Most regular people won’t face that kind of crime. In Alaska, the numbers last year weren’t as bad as in some other states, but Juneau residents can ensure their security further with a few simple measures, said Sgt. Matt DuBois of the Juneau Police Department’s investigations division.

First notification that a Juneau resident has been a victim of a cybercrime can come in a variety of ways, DuBois said, but reporting it rapidly to the JPD or FBI quickly can help prevent the situation from getting worse.

“They can come in different ways. Some could come in from a patrol officer,” DuBois said. “As far as frauds and identity theft, they come in in all different forms. We’ll have a detective assigned to that case.”

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