With millions of Americans working from home now due to COVID-19, cybersecurity experts say hackers are targeting regular people to obtain personal information. Hackers are crashing video conferences to learn anything they can about a person and then using that information to create elaborate phishing scams. In the state of Washington, this constitutes identity theft and carries significant punishments.
Cybersecurity experts recommend that if you do have to participate in a video conference, you should set up your computer in front of a blank wall so that hackers won't see your personal belongings. If hackers can see that you are an avid sports fan, for example, they will use that information to create a phishing email to send to you in the hopes that you'll open it and allow them to access your computer to steal passwords or to steal financial information.
Experts also recommend that you keep your work and personal computers separate, if possible. And if you have children at home who are trying to do distance learning, keep an eye on their computer usage and what they are looking at. Warn them about not clicking or opening unfamiliar links. You can also install VPN software to encrypt your data.
Washington Identity Theft
To identify and fight identity theft and financial fraud, companies in Washington have to notify you as soon as possible (no longer than 45 days after an event) if your personal information has been compromised. If the identity theft results in financial losses of more than $1,500, the charge would be a first-degree felony and punishable of up to ten years in a state correctional facility. If the financial losses are less than $1,500, it is a second-degree felony and punishable of up to five years in jail. Both offenses also carry heavy fines.
Karimi Law Office
Many of us have been struggling with working from home and balancing our personal lives, all while stressing out over the economy and the pandemic that has killed over 60,000 people (at the time of this writing). Many of us are also trying to help out our loved ones and family members remotely with navigating to a totally digital world. If you have been accused of identity theft, there could be a perfectly good explanation as to what happened when you were trying to help your elderly mother with creating a new online bank account. You will need the assistance of a seasoned former prosecutor to defend your case.
Steve Karimi uses his former experience as a prosecutor to protect his clients' rights, and he can help you fight any identity theft charges you may be facing. Call 206-621-8777 or fill out an online contact form to learn more. His firm understands that these are unprecedented times and can make arrangements to counsel you without having to come to the office.