Safeguarding Sunshine: Florida's New Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit Strikes Back Against Online Crime
August 24, 2023
In today's fast-paced digital age, the Internet has become an integral part of our lives. However, as our reliance on Technology grows, so does the threat of Cyber Crime. In a bid to protect its citizens from the perils of Illicit Online activities, Florida's Attorney General, Ashley Moody, took a bold step by announcing the establishment of the Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit. This new team of expert attorneys, in collaboration with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), aims to combat Cyber Crime and fill the Enforcement Gap left by Federal Authorities focusing on High-Dollar Cases.
The need for such a specialized unit is undeniable. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Center, a staggering number of 42,000 Floridians fell victim to Cyber Crime in the previous year, resulting in a combined loss of over $844 Million. This alarming surge in Online Criminal Activity demands immediate attention and proactive measures.
Attorney General Ashley Moody recognized the Enforcement Gap created by Federal Agencies concentrating their efforts on Cases with MultiMillion-Dollar Losses, which often leaves smaller yet equally damaging Cyber Crimes overlooked. To address this, Moody collaborated with Legislative Leaders and Law Enforcement Partners to assemble a team capable of handling these emerging High-Tech Schemes and protecting the State's Residents from Cyber Threats.
The Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit is a Strategic Partnership between the Florida Attorney General's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This Alliance brings together Criminal and Civil Attorneys, along with FDLE Analysts and other Law Enforcement Agencies, to pool resources and expertise in solving Cyber Crimes.
FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass commends the unit's efforts, emphasizing the vital role analysts play in researching Cyber Crime and Criminal Organizations. By identifying the perpetrators and understanding the modus operandi behind these crimes, the team becomes a crucial resource not only for the FDLE but for all of their Law Enforcement Partners.
A Force to Be Reckoned With
Since its inception, the Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit has already made significant strides in tackling Cyber Crime across the State. Recently, in collaboration with the FDLE, they managed to shut down a complex criminal enterprise that employed the Dark Web and Cryptocurrency to conduct Massive Identity Theft and Money Laundering, totaling over $350,000. The ringleader involved in this Case is now potentially facing a staggering 135-year prison sentence if convicted.
Additionally, the unit has successfully handled other Cyber Crime Cases, showcasing its efficacy in dealing with various Cyber Threats. For instance, Kevin Anderson, who perpetrated Credit Card Fraud amounting to more than $150,000, has been sentenced to over five years in prison. Similarly, individuals like Cathy Green, Cynthia Sirmans, and Maninder Singh Bawa, responsible for crimes ranging from Fraudulent Overtime Payouts to Elder Exploitation, have also faced the consequences of their actions in the eyes of the Law.
Staying Protected In The Digital Era
As Cyber Crime continues to evolve, it's essential for individuals to take steps to protect themselves from falling victim to online scams. The Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit advises victims of Cyber Crime to take immediate action by securing their devices with new passwords, preserving evidence through screenshots, and reporting the Crime to FDLE's Computer Crime Center.
If Unauthorized Access to Financial Accounts is involved, Victims should promptly notify their Bank and Credit Card Company, while also monitoring accounts for any signs of Identity Theft. Taking the added precaution of Freezing Credit can also Mitigate Potential Damage from Identity Theft.
Visit One Of These Three Credit Bureaus To Initiate A Credit Freeze:
Equifax - www.equifax.com
Experian - www.experian.com
TransUnion - www.transunion.com
While the Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit works tirelessly to combat Cyber Crime, prevention remains the most effective strategy. Floridians can stay informed about the latest Emergency Cyber Crime updates and learn about various schemes by visiting: www.MyFloridaLegal.com/ConsumerAlert