National Consumers League


NCL Technology Issues

Celebrate cyber security in October

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Keyboard with special red lock keyMore than 25 million Americans are defrauded every year losing billions of dollars to scam artists. An increasing number of these scams are the result of poor online security as hackers and Internet scammers refine their techniques and find new ways to trick consumers into revealing personal information.


This October, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, NCL will be celebrating National Cyber Security Awareness month to spread the word about the importance of staying safe online.

Since 1992, NCL’s Fraud Center has worked to protect consumers against fraud – identifying new scams and providing tip sheets on how to make sure you stay protected. At the end of every year, NCL compiles fraud reports received at the Center’s online home,, and releases a comprehensive list of the year’s top 10 scams.

In 2012, the top reported scams were:

  1. Fake check fraud
  2. Internet merchandise sales scam
  3. Fake prizes/sweepstakes/free gifts scams
  4. Phishing scams
  5. Advance fee loan scams
  6. Office directory/ad scams
  7. Scholarship and grants scams
  8. The sweetheart swindle
  9. Family or friend imposter scams
  10. Online auction scams

Year after year many of the top scams are the same. These scammers simply develop new pitches or strategies for indentifying and defrauding vulnerable individuals and use time-tested scams to steal billions.  The National Cyber Security Alliance’s Stop|Think|Connect campaign has a great tip sheet on how consumers can stay safe online. It is always important to update software to ensure you are getting the best and newest security features, and always use long and strong passwords to protect personal information.

National Cyber Security Awareness month has a full slate of events and consumer recommendations lined up for October. Each week we will highlight a different aspect of online safety.

·      Week 1 (October 1-4) “Cybersecurity is Our Shared Responsibility”

·      Week 2 (October 7-11) “Being Mobile: Online Safety and Security”

·      Week 3 (October 15-18) “Cyber Workforce and the Next Generation of Cyber Leaders”

·      Week 4 (October 21-25) “Cyber Crime”

·      Week 5 (October 28-31) “Critical Infrastructure and Cybersecurity”

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