FBI Report Confirms Cybercrime Losses Reach $2.7 Billion
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) published its 2018 Internet Crime Report showing cybercrime was behind $2.7 billion in total losses during 2018. Of that, $1.2 billion were a result of wire transfers resulting from compromised email accounts, both at a business and individual basis.
According to the report, business email compromise and email account compromise (BEC and EAC) scams are the most popular method used by hackers to quickly turn a profit for a couple of reasons. First, it doesn’t require that much skill. Secondly, the hackers are exploiting the trust of the victim, by tricking people into wiring money to entities they already trust. However, unbeknownst to the victim, those bank accounts were switched with ones controlled by the criminals prior to the attacks.
In addition to BEC and EAC scams, the FBI also saw a spike in tech support and extortion scams. There was 14,408 tech support scam related complaints, accounting for approximate losses of roughly $39 million. This represented an increase of 161% compared to the losses reported during 2017. The IC3 also received 51,146 extortion-related complaints with losses of over $83 million. This accounts for a 242% increase in extortion related complaints from 2017.
Total, the IC3 reported receiving 351,936 complaints last year, which is higher than the 300,000 annual average. Unfortunately, as dependence on technology continues to grow, and hacker’s attack methods become more advanced, the number of scams and cyber attacks will continue to increase, year over year.
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