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FBI warns about scams during Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Ransomware attacks will demand cryptocurrency, or digital money like Bitcoin.

PORTLAND, Ore. — October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the FBI is cautioning people about online scams.

Gabriel Gundersen is an FBI agent in Oregon. He said he has seen people lose millions of dollars and anyone who uses the internet is at risk. Ransomware attacks will demand cryptocurrency, or digital money like Bitcoin. Gundersen said online shopping scams are a problem as well, especially during the holidays. People will often purchase items online and receive something very different than what they paid for. 

The FBI sees a lot of extortion as well, which can come in the form of an email. The scammer will ask for money and threaten to release compromising videos or photos. Scams can also come from links and attachments in email, so people need to be careful about what they click on.

"Protecting those accounts that are most impactful for you from a shopping perspective and finance perspective," Gundersen said. "If you're shopping at Best Buy or Target or Amazon, make sure you have a good solid password for those sites, and you're using a second form of authentication."

Gundersen said anyone who thinks they have been scammed should report the crime as soon as possible. After 72 hours, it can be difficult for law enforcement to get back money that was lost in a scam, especially if it's gone to scammers overseas. People who have been scammed can visit the FBI's website for more information and to file a complaint.