ORLANDO, Fla., Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) and Cybercrime Support Network (CSN) were joined by community leaders, government officials, and local and state law enforcement on Thursday, Sept. 12 to launch the Cybercrime Victim Support Initiative. It allows residents to report cybercrime and find resources to recover by calling, chatting or texting 2-1-1. HFUW is the first 2-1-1 call center in Florida – and the third in the nation – to launch a system to support cybercrime victims.
Cybercrime preys on vulnerable populations and often leaves victims struggling with few resources for economic or emotional recovery. However, Central Florida cybercrime victims can now dial 2-1-1 to receive assistance in moving past the negative effects of cybercrime.
“The launch of the cybercrime support and recovery hotline brings us one step closer to a nationwide number that cybercrime and online fraud victims can call to report and recover,” said Kristin Judge, CSN Founder and CEO. “Together with our partners, we will help thousands of Florida residents report and recover from cybercrime.”
“Fighting for the well-being of Floridians is something HFUW has always been proud of,” said Jeff Hayward, HFUW President and CEO. “With the increased use of technology readily available at our fingertips, cybercrime can strike from any part of the globe at any time. Suffering from cybercrime without support is something no one should ever have to endure.”
With the support of funds from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime Transforming Victim Services grant, HFUW has partnered with CSN and the Heart of West Michigan United Way to implement this multi-state approach to responding to the unmet needs of cybercrime victims. The program’s $1.4 million in federal funding was awarded in February 2019 and is set to continue for two years with plans to expand into additional counties.
“Every day, hundreds of people across Central Florida turn to 2-1-1 for information and support – whether for financial assistance, health programs, crisis support and more,” continued Hayward. “Residents can now contact 2-1-1 to be connected with a trained specialist equipped with tools and resources needed to help victims report and recover from cybercrime and reinforce cybercrime prevention practices and tips.”
The support of local law enforcement is vital to the success of the initiative.
“Local law enforcement welcomes the Cybercrime Victim Support Initiative here in Central Florida,” said Orange County Sheriff John Mina. “We are proud to be strengthening our relationship with HFUW by supporting this effort to protect and provide assistance to those that are victims of cybercrime.”
Visit www.hfuw.org/cybercrime to learn more about the Cybercrime Victim Support Initiative and to give or get help through 2-1-1.
About Cybercrime Support Network
Cybercrime Support Network (CSN) is a public-private, nonprofit collaboration created to be the voice of cybercrime victims. With the strong support of our sponsors, Craig Newmark Philanthropies – Google – KnowBe4 – Nord VPN – Verizon – Trend Micro – AT&T – Comcast, CSN can continue to support victims through FraudSupport.org, which provides assistance to both individual and small business cybercrime victims. For more information, please visit www.CybercrimeSupport.org.
About Heart of Florida United Way
Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) is Central Florida’s most comprehensive health and human services charity and the largest provider of funds to the region’s most critical health and human service programs. Visit www.HFUW.org for more information, or call (407) 835-0900. Follow us on Facebook @HeartofFloridaUnitedWay or Instagram and Twitter @hfuw.
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