FBI warns of rise in cybercrimes in Nebraska and Iowa

(Omaha, NE) -- The FBI reports an uptick in cybercrimes in Nebraska and Iowa.

The FBI Omaha field office says the crimes are rapidly increasing, causing businesses to lose money and valuable information. “I think we all know that we connect our lives more and more to the digital world, and we also know, that criminals and adversaries are exploiting that to steal our information and victimize us online,” SAC Eugene Kowel tells 6 News.

In 2020, Nebraska businesses reported $11.8 million in losses due to cybercrimes. In Iowa, that number is almost double, at $21.3 million.

So far this year, those numbers are even higher, they say. They’re hoping to show community members that anyone can be a victim. “If your business has a device connected to the internet, if you have personal information for your customers, proprietary information or revenue streams of any sort, you are a likely target for cyber-criminal actors who seek to exploit the information you have either through theft and reselling it later, or compromising your systems and locking it so they can request payment from you,” says SIA Wade Greening.

Agents say hackers are constantly finding new ways to victimize people and that they see trends in businesses being targeted. Last year, they say small hospitals were being hit, and this year, more agricultural businesses are being hit.

If you have been a victim of a cybercrime, the FBI encourages you to file a report here, or by calling the Omaha FBI field office at 402-493-8688.

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