Sunday, March 26, 2023

Fraudsters Swindled Over $10b From Americans In 2022 – FBI

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The  Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed that the United State of America lost 10.3 billion dollars to internet fraud in the year 2022.


The agency also explained in the report it published this month that last year’s losses were the highest the country has recorded in the last five years.

According to ABC News on Tuesday, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recorded over 2,000 complaints per day. Topping the list of widely reported crimes were phishing expeditions, which has over 300,497 victims reporting over $52 million in losses in 2022.

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Phishing, defined as “the use of unsolicited email, text messages, and telephone calls purportedly from a legitimate company requesting personal, financial, and/or login credentials,” is frequently successful because phishing emails will often resemble those from people victims know personally, prompting them to click on unsecured links.

Data breaches and non-payment scams came second on the list of internet scams in 2022, claiming 58,859 and 51,679 victims, respectively, per the report.

Ransomware, a type of cyber intrusion which locks up a device’s data until a ransom is paid, is of particular concern for cybersecurity professionals due to the underreporting of ransomware attacks by victims.

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In 2022, the FBI “received 2,385 complaints known as ransomware with adjusted losses of more than $34.3 million,” according to the report.

“The IC3 has seen an increase in an additional extortion tactic used to facilitate ransomware. The threat actors pressure victims to pay by threatening to publish the stolen data if they do not pay the ransom,” the IC3 warned.

It has also revealed that the most heavily targeted industry for ransomware attacks was the healthcare industry, followed by critical manufacturing and government.

“The FBI does not encourage paying a ransom to criminal actors,” the report said.

“Paying a ransom may embolden adversaries to target additional organizations, encourage other criminal actors to engage in the distribution of ransomware, and/or fund illicit activities. Paying the ransom also does not guarantee that a victim’s files will be recovered.”

Earlier this year, the Justice Department disrupted a ransomware gang called HIVE, which was responsible for 87 incidents targeting critical infrastructure, the report says.

Call center scams, which emanated from India mainly, are responsible for over $1 billion in losses to victims.

“Call centers overwhelmingly target the elderly, with devastating effects,” the report says. “Almost half the victims report to be over 60 (46%), and experience 69% of the losses (over $724 million).”

In total, the aged lost $3.1 billion to internet scams in 2022, the most of any age group.

The FBI has a 73% success rate in getting victims their funds back, according to the report.


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Photo Credit: Getty

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