CARY — United Way of North Carolina and the Cybercrime Support Network announce the launch of North Carolina’s first cybercrime support and recovery hotline.
The new system allows North Carolina residents to dial 2-1-1 to report and find resources to recover from identity theft, financial fraud, cyberstalking, cyberbullying and other cybercrimes. This initiative was made possible through a Victims of Crime Act Victim Assistance Grant that was awarded by The North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission. Additional support for the project has been provided by the N.C. Department of Information Technology.
In 2019 alone, more than 8,223 complaints from individuals and small businesses in North Carolina were filed with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, with monetary losses totaling $48,425,764. The launch of North Carolina’s first cybercrime support and recovery initiative allows residents to dial 2-1-1 to report cybercrime and find resources to recover from identity theft, financial fraud, cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and other cybercrimes. This free, confidential service is available 24/7.
“The mission of NC 211 is to increase access to information and resources for North Carolinians statewide,” said NC 211 State Director Heather Black. “With our new understanding of the large volume of cybercrimes in our state, we are excited to launch this statewide Cybercrime Support Initiative in partnership with CSN. NC 211 brings to the partnership our robust set of health and human resources that will be critical to helping victims of cybercrime as they work towards recovery. Our team at NC 211 is trained and ready to help victims of cybercrime in North Carolina access the information and resources they need to report and recover from cybercrime.”
Upon calling 2-1-1, victims will be connected with trained call specialists who can assess the situation and place them in touch with organizations that can help. Cybercriminals can strike from any part of the globe, posing a challenge to law enforcement in providing aid after a cyber incident. This program will complement and work in collaboration with law enforcement to improve service together.
“We are excited to announce that North Carolina residents can now dial 2-1-1 for cybercrime assistance,” said Kristin Judge, CEO and founder of CSN. “Victims of cybercrime need a service that they can rely on to guide them through the process of reporting and recovering after an incident occurs; we are proud to provide that service alongside our partners at UWNC and NC 211.”
The need to address cybercrime is great. In 2019 alone, over 460,000 complaints from individuals and small businesses were filed with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center for monetary losses of over $3.5 billion in the United States. Experts estimate that these figures represent only a small fraction of the cybercrime that actually occurs.
“North Carolina residents and businesses lose millions of dollars to cybercrime every year, and many cases remain unreported” said State Chief Risk Officer Maria Thompson, who leads the NCDIT’s efforts to protect the state’s infrastructure and data from cybercrime. “The NC 211/Cybercrime Support Network partnership provides North Carolinians guidance to reduce the potential for attacks and support, should they become a victim. More importantly, it gives them a cyber voice and gets us closer to building a whole-of-state focus on cyber.”