Friday, March 31, 2023
HomeExposing The SCAM strategiesHere Are the Top Internet Scams According to the FBI

Here Are the Top Internet Scams According to the FBI

An FBI report has revealed what types of scams are affecting Americans including how much money was relinquished last year.

Online fraud scams are becoming more prevalent with each passing year as Americans lose billions of dollars, which in many cases, can’t be regained. A new FBI crime report (IC3) shows the increase in ransomware attacks and spam calls, texts, and emails continues to skyrocket, resulting in more than $10 billion lost in the last year alone.

Although people of all ages are targeted by scammers, it is the elderly who are affected the most, and the FBI’s internet crime report found people over 60 years old made up the largest group, with over $724 million in reported losses.

The report showed a five percent decrease in the number of complaints in 2022 compared to 2021, but the financial devastation was far greater, growing from $6.9 billion to more than $10.2 billion in one year.

We’ve compiled the top scams that impacted the majority of Americans last year, according to the FBI report.

4. Ransomware

Last year, 2,385 ransomware complaints were filed, although the FBI believes there are much more that either went undetected or were not reported. Scammers will typically obtain access to data on a computer, such as what happened with the Royal Mail scam last month.

When this happens, the scammer will ask for a ransom, in the case of Royal Mail, amounting to $80 million, and if the amount is not paid, they warn that they will hold the data hostage or release it to the public.

Ransomware attacks accounted for more than $34.3 million in total losses last year and the FBI says the top variants were made by LockBit, ALPHV/BlackCat, and Hive.

3. Call Center Fraud

Call center fraud primarily affects the elderly, many of whom are not overtly active online. The report found that nearly half of these victims were older than 60 and accounted for 69% of the total financial losses ($724 million).

The report showed that individuals between 50 and 59 years old accounted for only 9% and the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s groups each accounted for 5% or less of the victims.

2. Business Email Compromise (BEC)

There were nearly 22,000 BEC complaints reported last year and the report revealed it accounted for a financial loss of more than $2.7 billion.

You may have received an email from the company you work for warning against opening emails from unrecognizable addresses—the IC3 report shows why. Scammers can use this method to conduct unauthorized fund transfers by simply opening the email or clicking on the link within the unknown email.

The scammers use BEC by any means possible, including using compromised vendor emails, W-2 information requests, and requests for a large number of gift cards.

To avoid this scam, make sure to examine the email address or URL, these will often contain an extra letter or number so it looks like a legitimate address, and whatever you do, do not click on a link in an unsolicited email or text message that asks you to verify your account information.

Of all the investment scams, cryptocurrency was the worst. According to the report, more people were affected by crypto-related scams and the financial impact was much higher.

To put it into context, the total investment fraud was $3.6 billion and crypto fraud accounted for more than $2.5 billion of the total. The increase in overall investment fraud from 2021 to 2022 was substantial, reaching a 127% increase in a year while cryptocurrency investment fraud rose by 183% in that same time frame.

The remaining investment scams included:

  • Liquidity Mining — People link their crypto wallet to a fraudulent liquidity mining application, and their entire funds are wiped out.
  • Hacked Social Media Accounts — Scammers will hack the user’s social media account and use cryptocurrency to engage another user and encourage them to invest before stealing their money.
  • Real Estate Professionals — A scammer will contact a real estate agent and offer to buy a property worth millions of dollars for cash or cryptocurrency.
  • Employment — A fraudulent job listing will be posted online but instead of offering the applicants a position, they are offered investment advice. This allows the scammer to get as much money as possible from the victim.

Top Five States — Number of Victims & Money Lost

Number of people Impacted:

5. Illinois — 14,786

4. New York — 25,112

3. Texas — 38,661

2. Florida — 42,792

1. California — 80,766

Money Lost:

5. Georgia — $322.6 million

4. Texas — $763.1 million

3. New York — $777 million

2. Florida — $844.9 million

1. California — $2.1 billion



Leave a Reply

Most Popular

Recent Comments

%d bloggers like this: