According to a report from the FBI that came out this month, people in the U.S. lost $10,3 billion to a wide range of internet scams last year. According to the FBI’s annual report, the amount of money lost was the most in five years. More than 2,000 complaints were sent to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) of the FBI every day.
The most common crime reported to the bureau was phishing. In 2022, 300,497 victims reported losing more than $52 million because of phishing. Phishing is defined as “using unsolicited email, text messages, and phone calls that look like they’re from a legitimate company to ask for personal, financial, and/or login information.” Phishing is often successful because the emails look like they’re from people the victims know, which makes them click on links that aren’t secure.
According to the report, the next most common types of internet scams in 2022 were data breaches and not-payment scams, with 58,859 and 51,679 victims, respectively. Ransomware is a type of cyber attack that locks up a device’s data until a ransom is paid. Cybersecurity experts worry about ransomware attacks because victims don’t always report them. The report says that in 2022, the FBI “got 2,385 reports that turned out to be about ransomware, with total losses of more than $34.3 million.”
“The IC3 has seen more of a new type of extortion used to help spread ransomware. The threat actors force victims to pay by saying that if they don’t pay the ransom, the stolen information will be made public “the IC3 says so. By far, ransomware attacks hit the healthcare industry the most. It was followed by critical manufacturing and the government.
In the report, it says, “The FBI does not recommend paying a ransom to criminals.” “If you pay a ransom, it could give your enemies the confidence to go after more organizations, encourage other criminals to spread ransomware, or fund illegal activities. Even if a person pays the ransom, there is no guarantee that their files will be returned.” The report says that earlier this year, the Justice Department stopped a ransomware gang called HIVE. HIVE was behind 87 attacks on critical infrastructure. Call center scams, which mostly come from India, have caused victims to lose more than $1 billion.
The report says that most call centers target older people, which has terrible effects. “Nearly half of the victims are over 60 (46%), and over $724 million is lost by 69% of them.” In 2022, internet scams cost the elderly the most money, a total of $3.1 billion. This was more than any other age group. The report says that 73% of the time, the FBI is able to help people get their money back.