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Orange County authorities launch SafeOC initiative targeting cybercrime

By Jessica De Nova ABC7





SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Last summer, Richard Roll fell victim to cybercrime. Orange County authorities hope the SafeOC initiative will help protect others from doing the same.


In late July, Roll's cell phone suddenly stopped working.


"They got into my account and they changed the carrier as well as probably the SIM card and they started going forward with my business, into my, looking at everything I have in my emails all the way to information with my Apple products," Roll said.


In two hours, with the so-called SIM Swap, hackers were in and out, costing Roll hundreds of hours, two months' worth of work to ensure the security of his information, immeasurable stress and a good chunk of change -- mostly cryptocurrency investments.


"Compensation-wise, there was a lot of money stolen," Roll said.


Crime like this is the focus of a new initiative by law enforcement in Orange County: SafeOC.


It's a localized version of the national See Something, Say Something campaign.


Safe OC includes a new website and social media accounts to help the public learn to identify threats and protect themselves and their families.


The new initiative creates critical partnerships in the battle against a rapidly changing, emerging threat, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said Wednesday.


"Cyber is by far the up and coming crime and risk domestically and oftentimes of foreign bad actors, but it also includes opportunities to bring other threats or risks to our attention," Barnes said.


Cyber Investigator Lance Larson with the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center said anything leading to quicker reports is key.


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