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Cybercrime victims in western Michigan will soon have one number to call for help thanks to the Cybercrime Support Network and AT&T
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Cybercrime affects millions of Americans each year. The Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has identified 38 cybercrime categories, and complaints to IC3 in 2016 totaled $1.33 Billion in losses by almost 300k complaints1. This represents only an estimated 15% of the total number of cybercrime victims each year. Without a central reporting number, victims waste time searching for the resources and support they need.
This fast-growing crime preys on children and adults, small and large business, public and private sector, seniors and singles and leaves behind emotionally and financially exhausted victims with little understanding of who or where to turn. It is a stealth crime and victims often fail to realize its impact until the perpetrator is long gone. Even the first step in recovery—reporting the crime at the state or local level—can be confounding.
The Cybercrime Support Network (CSN), a nonprofit corporation, is working with federal, state and local law enforcement and the United Way Worldwide National 211 system to add services to the already established 211 infrastructures to serve the growing number of cybercrime victims. AT&T is the first private-sector sponsor of the project.
"We are thankful for the support of AT&T on this project, we share a strong commitment to combat cyber threats and to the state of Michigan where we are launching our first pilot," says Kristin Judge, chief executive officer, Cybercrime Support Network. CSN is launching a pilot in western Michigan this fall to train 911 and 211 front line specialists to triage cybercrime calls. After the internal training is complete, the community will be trained to call 211 for help.
"AT&T has invested in our Michigan communications networks, our people and local communities for 138 years. Working side-by-side with CSN, state government, and local agencies to further cyber response and support is integral to our mission," says Roger Blake regional vice president, AT&T Public Sector.
The goals of the program in West Michigan include: (i) building awareness, giving voice and serving victims of cybercrime, (ii) connecting victims to local, state and federal law enforcement, when required, (iii) identifying community resources for recovery and crime victim compensation, and (iv) improving education and restitution options for victims.
In addition to AT&T, this program is a collaborative engagement between CSN, Michigan 211, and Heart of West Michigan Regional 211 and is the first and only nonprofit, public-private partnership to meet the unsupported needs of cybercrime victims. "Our collective vision to foster collaboration, provide training and create resources for the community is shared by each of these organizations," says Tom Page, Director, MI 211.
The goal by 2021 is that citizens calling 211 for cybercrime assistance will be as commonplace as calling 911 in an emergency. When cybercrime victims reach out for help they will receive informed, compassionate and expert support in seeking recovery. To stay connected with this critical program and to sponsor, please visit www.Cybercrimesupport.org.
1Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2016 Internet Crime Report, https://pdf.ic3.gov/2016_IC3Report.pdf
About Cybercrime Support Network
The Cybercrime Support Network (CSN) is a public-private, nonprofit collaboration created to meet challenges facing millions of people and businesses affected each and every day by cybercrime. Currently, victims struggle to find the right help, and responses from law enforcement vary by jurisdiction.
CSN is bringing together partners around the country to create a coordinated system to support cybercrime victims. Soon, the victims will have one number to call and reach a referral specialist who can navigate them through the process of response and recovery. Stay connected with CSN on Twitter @cybersupportnet.
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