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The CyberWyoming Alliance talks about preventing fraud

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 11:19 AM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Laura Baker, with the CyberWyoming Alliance joined the Wyoming News Now morning show on June 17, 2021.

Below is information from the CyberWyoming Alliance and AARP Wyoming |

The CyberWyoming Alliance is a 501c3 nonprofit that works with local communities to increase cyber awareness and education. The CyberWyoming Alliance (a.k.a. the CW Alliance) is organized exclusively to promote alliances in local communities to share cybersecurity threat information and advocate for the cyber security societal benefit and welfare of Wyoming citizens, senior citizens, students and the business and nonprofit communities that surround them.

The CyberWyoming Alliance supports cyber security education, awareness, and outreach programs for Wyoming communities.

AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline, 877-908-3360, is a fantastic resource for people that feel they might be victim of a scam or want to investigate the legality of something or you can visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork. The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all that equips consumers with up-to-date knowledge to spot and avoid scams and connects those targeted by scams with our fraud helpline specialists, who provide support and guidance on what to do next. The Fraud Watch Network also advocates at the federal, state and local levels to enact policy changes that protect consumers and enforce laws.

Scammers are always updating and inventing new tactics to outsmart their victims. Imposter schemes, phone schemes, and work-at-home schemes are just a few of the fraud problems that Wyomingites are experiencing.

A big problem that has been happening through Wyoming is scammers contacting people about their Medicare cards and trying to gain their personal information. This has been reported in Powell, Casper, and Sheridan. Protection of your Medicare number is the upmost priority and people need to know that they will not be contacted by real representatives to disclose their information.

Another concern surrounding fraud is called, Chronic Fraud Victimization, which is a victim falling for multiple financial scams and fraud. Chronic victimization is a phenomenon that appears highly entrenched in the hope that the scam will ultimately work out in the victim’s favor, and if it does not, there remains a recurring hope that the next “opportunity” that presents itself will succeed.

•            Many victims are in a place where they trust the con artists more than their families.

•            The deeper into the scam a target is, the more challenging it is to escape before victimization.

•            Often chronic victims are unaware they are involved in a fraud and so labeling a victim a victim — or a chronic victim — may not align with their experience.

•            People who refuse to recognize they are caught up in a scam act as a major barrier to successful intervention.

•            Chronic victims are unlikely to be aware of their behaviors and the outcomes of their behaviors, yet, like addicts, some may be driven to fulfill outstanding needs.

Scammers work to build trust and develop long-term relationships with targets. They work diligently to create a heightened emotional state within the targets by playing upon fear, need, excitement and urgency. When in such a state, victims “are no longer thinking rationally, but, rather, reacting emotionally.”

The bad actors make personal connections with targets in order to identify their emotional triggers. They entrench themselves in victims’ personal lives and history. Some make threats and instill fear; some use positive emotional stimuli — winning a prize or finding love — to engender compliance.

Many victims or would-be victims do not consider themselves as such and consequently may not seek out or absorb anti-fraud messaging. So, creating more in-the-moment education and intervention opportunities could be more effective. For instance, partnering with community members like clergy and counselors, or locations such as hair salons and churches, could provide more powerful messages and tools for potential or repeat victims.

Importantly, victims’ families are critical to preventing chronic fraud. They need to be informed of the warning signs of fraud and the dynamics of victim behavior and have tools to offer support if a scam occurs.

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