HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – Hamburg Police want to warn you about a possible phishing scam — that tries to lure you in by clicking on a fake post about a missing child.

The post appears real — a woman on Facebook asking for help in the Hamburg area, claiming that her autistic son ran away with their dog and is asking people to re-post the link. But, Hamburg Police say the post is fake.

With this and an international cybercrime scheme being brought to an end this week with at least one tie to Buffalo, cybersecurity experts want to tell you about the best ways to protect your identity.

News 4 spoke to Holly Hubert, a former FBI agent, who founded her own cyber security company. She recommends people use long, unique passwords, multi-factor authentication and to make sure you authenticate to your cell phone and not your email, which could be more at risk. She also says don’t store passwords in your browser online.

“There have been so many big breaches in the last few years that it’s likely that every single American at some point had their credentials breached,” Hubert said.

She says don’t use the same password over and over again.

“Everybody should have a very long, I call them pass phrases and unique characters and a combination of letters and numbers,” Hubert said, “We hear about compromised email boxes everyday and that’s one risk when you have the multi-factor authentication code go to your email box, the second thing is if your computer itself is compromised and your multi-factor authentication code goes to your email and your email is on your computer.”

Even with the best cyber protection, if you go to an unsecure site, or if you click on an unsecure link, you could put yourself at risk.

“None of these tips are full proof, all we’re doing here is really lowering our risk,” Hubert said, “It’s very unfortunate someone would stoop really that low to try to trick people to click on a link or a picture by posting a fake post on such a serious topic, but unfortunately these are the times we live in.”

To know if you’ve been involved in any data breach, the FBI says you can check: Have I Been — they say that is a reliable website.

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Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.