Nevada Ranks High for Cyber Crime Complaints - 8 News NOW

Nevada Ranks High for Cyber Crime Complaints

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LAS VEGAS -- Nevadans are losing millions of dollars to Internet hackers. The FBI reports Nevada ranks third in the nation when it comes to cyber crime complaints. About 20 percent of the crime complaints involve identity theft.

Nevada lawmakers want to take a closer look at what's making the state so vulnerable to Internet crime. They hope to get that question answered with a bill that has been introduced into the Legislature.

The most recent data, in 2011, shows Nevada lost more than $6 million to cyber crime. That amounts to a loss of approximately $180 dollars a resident, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

The recent comedy movie Identity Thief follows Jason Bateman's character who experiences something all too familiar to Nevadans when his identify is stolen. While the movie may be entertaining, there is nothing funny about identify theft.

Lauren Collins discovered she was a victim when she noticed some strange activity on her online bank account.

"I'm asking my husband, 'did you use my card online?' He knew nothing about it."

Collins said her entire savings could have been gone in seconds.

There is a bill before lawmakers that proposes starting a Nevada Cyber Institute which would develop and create teaching techniques to learn more about Internet security.

Lawmakers backing the bill say it would help conduct research for government agencies and train students to spot the signs of cyber crime.

"The issue of cyber security is growing in national prominence, particularly over the last several years," said Lucas Foletta, general counsel and police director for the Nevada Governor's office.

After her experience, Collins said anything to learn more about cyber security is important. She was able to cancel her card before thieves got most of her money, now she prefers to deal in cash.

AB42 has until May 24 to reach the governor's desk.

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