Secret Service to help local law enforcement combat cybercrime

Electronic Crimes Task Force to be based in SA

SAN ANTONIO – The U.S. Secret Service has established a new Electronic Crimes Task Force in San Antonio aimed at fighting cybercrime.

The South Texas Regional Task Force/Electronic Crimes Task Force is comprised of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies as well as private sector companies and educators. 

While the task force was formed in April 2015, the group met officially for the first time Friday in San Antonio.

As technology continues to evolve, so do the methods criminals use to target their victims.

"Almost everything that we do today, almost every crime that is committed today, has some product, cyber or computer component to it," said Richard Durbin of the U.S. Attorney's Office. "The financial institutions, the businesses, the government itself is obviously open to all kinds of attacks."

Law enforcement officials said combining resources and manpower is needed to fight cybercrime criminals.

"They are way ahead of us. At least with the amount of effort they have time on their hands and then being anonymous," said Corpus Christi Police Chief Mark Schauer. "(And then) to actually go after and make cases on them."

Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said the Alamo City is a big target for cybercrime.

"With the military bases that we have, with the financial industry that is here in San Antonio, it is prime target for these types of crimes," she said.

Lee Dotson, special agent in charge of the U.S Secret Service, said the federal agency will provide plenty of help to the task force.

"We provide them equipment. We provide them with training, and its continuing education. We don't just train them once and let them go," he said.

Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said the goal of the taskforce will not only be limited to fighting crime, but also to provide public awareness.

"The message here is two-fold. Number one, to the community. You're not alone. You have resources and help with all the law enforcement agencies working together. And secondly, the message to the criminals is we have stepped up our game, so we're going to get you," he said.

Officials said its important for consumers to regularly check their bank, credit card statements and credit scores for any unusual activity.


About the Authors: