Oklahoma City FBI warns of increased cyber security scams; Here’s how to protect yourself

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – With cyber attacks on the rise, Oklahoma City’s FBI says cyber security if more important than ever.

“Just this past year we identified 28 ransomware events that occurred in Oklahoma, and that was just what was reported,” said Eric Littlepage, supervisory special agent with Oklahoma FBI.

Littlepage told KFOR that Oklahomans have lost millions of dollars through ransomware and business email compromise scams. Ransomware is the encryption of your files.

Littlepage told KFOR that these scams often come in the form of a phishy email.

“So they might send you an email that has a suspicious link in it, trying to get you to click on the link or you might visit a website that might be suspicious or click on an email attachment, and once you do that action then there could be an executable or some sort of virus or malware that infects your system, encrypts all your files, which means it has to have a password to unlock it,” said Littlepage.

“Specifically if it’s a ransomware event… then a victim’s computer or network might be completely locked, and so they wouldn’t have access to their files,” said Littlepage. “So in that case the cyber actor is asking for money or cryptocurrency in return for unlocking their files.”

Littlepage said one way to protect yourself is to identify the sender.

“So that means actually hovering over the name on the email account, because some people, it’s called spoofing. They’ll pretend to be someone they’re not,” said Littlepage. “So if you actually identify and look at the email address account that it’s coming from, that’s one way. But there’s also, you have to realize, some people have their email accounts compromised, and even if it’s from somebody you know, you still need to be aware and suspicious of any links that you’re sent, or any attachments, and to ask yourself the question before you click on it. Now even if it’s from somebody you know, you can even reach out to the person who sent it and say, ‘hey, this looks suspicious. Is this something I should…