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FBI: Cybercrime Jumped 22% in 2023, for $12.5 Billion in Losses | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

Cybercrime resulted in at least $12.5 billion worth of losses last year, according to the FBI. 

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center 2023 report shows the agency received a record number of complaints, at 880,418. “This is a nearly 10% increase in complaints received, and it represents a 22% increase in losses suffered, compared to 2022,” the report says. 

The $12.5 billion in losses is also likely a conservative estimate since many victims neglect to report online crime incidents to the FBI. In compiling the statistics, the agency received a majority of complaints from US residents, but it also received a large portion from foreign countries including the UK, Canada, and India. 

FBI IC3 stats

(Credit: FBI IC3)

Although ransomware often grabs the most headlines, investment fraud remained the top cybercrime reported, with the losses rising to $4.57 billion, up from $3.31 billion in 2022. In an investment fraud scheme, the scammer will promise a huge return if the victim pays up. Of the $4.57 billion estimated to be lost last year, $3.94 billion was tied to investment fraud schemes that revolved around cryptocurrency. 

Coming in second was business e-mail compromise (BEC) schemes, which led to over $2.9 billion in losses. These attacks often involve the scammer either trying to hijack the email account of a high-ranking executive or impersonating them (or a trusted supplier) through a spoofed email account. The scammer will then trick the company into wiring them a large sum of money. 

The third most reported cybercrime involved tech support scams, where a fraudster will try to trick unsuspecting victims into thinking that something is wrong with their computer or online bank account. This can include using pop-ups on a browser to claim that a PC has been infected with a virus. The fraudster will then dupe victims into paying for services they don’t need or even resort to installing remote access tools to hijack their computer. 

According to the FBI, tech support scams resulted in at least $1.3 billion lost last year. A growing number of the complaints also say the scammers pretended to be government officials. 

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“Notably, different age groups tended to be impacted by different crimes,” the FBI added. “Victims 30 to 49 years old were the most likely group to report losses from investment fraud, while the elderly accounted for well over half of losses to tech support scams.”

FBI IC3 stats

(Credit: FBI IC3)

Meanwhile, the FBI received only 2,825 complaints from victims reporting ransomware incidents, which resulted in $59.6 million in losses. The number pales in comparison to estimates from blockchain tracking firm Chainalysis, which found that ransomware gangs likely raked in at least $1.1 billion last year. 

The FBI’s reported added that 1,193 of the ransomware complaints came from organizations belonging to a critical infrastructure sector. These included healthcare groups, critical manufacturing companies, and government agencies.

FBI IC3 ransomware stats

(Credit: FBI IC3)

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