Here’s what you may have missed from September’s WVSAE meeting with FBI Agents Jeff McCormick and Whitney Barnhart:

  • FBI, founded in 1908, has 56 offices located throughout the country; Charleston, WV falls under the Pittsburgh office.
  • Mission Statement: “To protect the American people & uphold the Constitution.”
  • Social media can offer criminals and foreign operatives the ability to appear as something they are not.
  • Social Media influence: Facebook was the #1 social media platform in 2016 and 2019, #2 was YouTube, and #3 was Twitter.
  • People aren’t safeguarding their personal identifying information (PII): 20 million people have shared their birthday and many share vacation photos indicating home residence may be empty, while 2 million have shared videos or photos of alcohol usage. Crooks can look for empty houses and future employers can look to find social media accounts, potentially diminishing the chance to even be hired.
  • Think before you post: Places of work DO check social media, as 57% of places found people to hire through LinkedIn.
  • Never give out your PII; if skeptical of an email, phone call, or mail, always document it, screenshot it (if applicable), note the user or sender, and link to it. If it warrants, send to law enforcement.
  • Election year is typically a crisis when it comes to foreign meddling or hackers wanting information. Protected Voices Initiative was created in 2018 to prevent cyber-attacks and protect political campaigns from foreign threats.
  • COVID-19 is the new fraud scheme, especially involving child exploitation.
  • Under current circumstances, event management can face safety threats due to nationwide unrest. Management can work with law enforcement, including FBI, to identify critical threats, prevent incidents and teach people how to react to them.

We’d like to thank Roseshalla Holmes and the staff at Four Points by Sheraton for feeding us so well and keeping us so safe during the pandemic!