FBI 2020 Online Crime Report

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center has released its annual report. The 2020 Internet Crime Report includes information from 791,790 complaints of suspected Internet crime, an increase of more than 300,000 complaints from 2019, and reported losses exceeding $4.2 billion. 

The top three crimes reported by victims in 2020 were phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion. Victims lost the most money to business email compromise scams, romance and confidence schemes and investment fraud. 

Fraudsters took the opportunity to exploit the pandemic to target both business and individuals. “Unfortunately, criminals are very opportunistic. They see a vulnerable population out there that they can prey upon.”, according to an FBI spokesman. 

Notably, 2020 saw the emergence of scams exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic. The IC3 received over 28,500 complaints related to COVID-19, with fraudsters targeting both businesses and individuals. In addition to statistics, the IC3’s 2020 Internet Crime Report contains information about the most prevalent Internet scams affecting the public and offers guidance for prevention and protection. It also highlights the FBI’s work combating internet crime, including recent case examples. 

The IC3 gives the public a reliable and convenient mechanism to report suspected Internet crime to the FBI. The FBI analyses and shares information from submitted complaints for investigative and intelligence purposes, for law enforcement, and for public awareness.

With the release of the 2020 Internet Crime Report, the FBI wants to remind the public to immediately report suspected criminal internet activity to the IC3. By reporting Internet crime, victims are not only alerting law enforcement to the activity, but aiding in the overall fight against cybercrime.

FBI:        Security Magazine:        HS Today:      Image: Unsplash

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