Housesitters arrested Friday thanks to cybersecurity after attempted theft | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Deputies arrested three people after they attempted to steal from the home they were hired to house sit thanks to cybersecurity measures preventing fraud, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office (SBCSO).

A 30-year-old man, a 29-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man all attempted to steal property and credit from the residents whose house they were watching, explained the SBCSO.

The victims of the attempted stealing received a fraud alert from their credit card company and an alert from their internet provider for suspicious activity detailed the SBCSO.

The SBCSO was then contacted and the victims gave information that led to the arrest of the suspects.

Both the 30-year-old man and the 36-year-old involved in the robbery have been released from jail and custody respectively, according to the SBCSO.

The 29-year-old woman remains in custody with a $150,000 bail for her role in the crime committed, explained the SBCSO.

The SBCSO reminds residents of tips to help guard against both fraud and identity theft:

  • Stay Informed: Keep abreast of the latest scams and fraud tactics circulating in your area and online. Knowledge is your first line of defense.
  • Verify Sources: Be cautious of unsolicited emails, messages, or phone calls, especially those requesting personal or financial information. When in doubt, verify the legitimacy of the sender or caller before disclosing any sensitive details.
  • Secure Your Devices: Ensure that your devices, including computers, smartphones, and tablets, are equipped with up-to-date security software and firewalls. Regularly update your operating systems and applications to patch vulnerabilities.
  • Use Strong Passwords: Create strong, unique passwords for each online account, incorporating a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Consider using a reputable password manager to securely store and manage your passwords.
  • Monitor Financial Activity: Routinely review your bank statements, credit reports, and financial transactions for any suspicious or unauthorized activity. Report any discrepancies to your financial institution immediately.
  • Secure Your Wi-Fi Network: Change the default username and password for your Wi-Fi router to prevent unauthorized access. Enable encryption (WPA2 or higher) and consider hiding your network’s SSID (Service Set Identifier) to add an extra layer of security.
  • Update Firmware Regularly: Keep your routers, and smart devices updated with the latest firmware and security patches. Manufacturers often release updates to address known vulnerabilities.
  • Implement Network Segmentation: Create separate networks for your smart devices, computers, and guests to minimize the impact of a potential breach. Segmenting your network can prevent an intruder from gaining unrestricted access to all your devices.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Whenever possible, enable two-factor authentication on your online accounts and smart devices. 2FA adds an extra layer of protection by requiring a secondary verification method, such as a unique code sent to your mobile device.
  • Follow up on suspicious activity quickly – notify law enforcement and your financial institutions as soon as you determined there has been fraud.


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National Cyber Security