(WEAU) - According to Ready Wisconsin, in 2010 the people of Wisconsin lost 4.9 million dollars in scams and rip off schemes.
The average amount of money lost was $1,000, but there are ways to avoid that.
All of us in one way or another use a computer and cyber criminals know how to pick their victims.
"What cyber criminals are trying to do is, they're trying to find any way they can infiltrate your computer,” said Tod Pritchard of Ready Wisconsin.
Tip #1 is to create more than one password, then write them down so you don't forget. Make sure your email has a strong one.
"Your email is the key to everything. If they can open your email and get into that, what can they do? They can use that email to reset all your others passwords," said Pritchard.
Tip # 2 is to be wise when you're on the web and avoid wire transfers or sending cash to a foreign country through an internet auction.
"If any agency, if any company any non-profit, anyone is asking for you social security number online, it's a red flag,” said Pritchard.
In our Tip #3, Ready Wisconsin recommends using a credit card specifically for online purchases to avoid wiping out all your accounts if fraud happens.
If you do get scammed call your bank immediately.
At WEAU you can find your own WIFI hotspot, but you have to be careful about what hotspots you are using because people might be able to see what username and password you have on your phone.
Tip #4 is to watch your cellphone like you would a purse or wallet and use a password to get into it.
Meanwhile Tip #5 is to be aware of what scams are out there.
"One is you get a Twitter or Facebook that someone is saying something bad about you or there is a real bad one where it says your picture is posted in a place you don't want it posted for $100 we'll make it sure it’s not on that site,” said Pritchard.
One viewer even shared how there's an FBI scam going around that locks your computer. It asks for $200 to unlock it, but don't give into temptation.
If you do get scammed, call your local police department.
Click below for more tips: http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/cyber/default.asp