Mississippi launches its first cyber-fraud task force

Updated: Apr. 6, 2021 at 6:39 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The State Attorney General’s Office has established a new partnership with the U.S. Secret Service and in-state law enforcement agencies to investigate financial crimes that occur online.

With the cut of a ceremonial ribbon, Attorney General Lynn Fitch officially joined forces with the U.S. Secret Service to create Mississippi’s first cyber fraud task force.

“The newly formed task force consolidates the use of resources, allows for better data sharing, institutional collaboration and investigative skills development,” U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Patrick Davis.

“The task force also gives us the opportunity to share information with academia, our law enforcement, and our legal communities, and truly we get to combat the cyber threats together,” said Fitch.

The cyber fraud task force will be located at the attorney general’s office in Jackson. It will be staffed with special agents, technical experts, and forensic analysts operating in the digital evidence forensic lab. 3 On Your Side got a first-hand look at the lab.

“What we want to have is basically a digital forensic workspace, whereas agencies have a need to come in and address a case that they’re working on, they will, the resources and the equipment here rather than having to purchase it at their agencies,” said Charlie Rubisoff, Director of Investigation Cyber Crime Division.

The goal is to use the resources to help detect, prevent, mitigate, and investigate this growing problem online that’s costing people millions.

“We are seeing an increase using cryptocurrency and, obviously, ransomware is still very with us. This extortion scheme where people will encrypt someone’s computer and then say you have to pay a ransom generally to get access to those files again,” said Rubisoff.

“This task force truly coming together allows us to create a blanket of protection for our individual citizens, for our businesses that endure online cyber-crimes,” said Fitch.

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