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Americans lost $10.3 billion to internet scams in 2022, FBI says

According to recent FBI reports, Internet Fraud in 2022 reached its highest peak, resulting in Americans losing up to $10.3 billion. The IC3 received over 2,000 complaints per day during that period.

Phishing which involves “the use of unsolicited email, text messages, and telephone calls purportedly from a legitimate company requesting personal, financial, and/or login credentials” was the most frequently reported crime. It has affected 300,497 victims, resulting in losses exceeding $52 million. These scams often succeed due to the resemblance of individuals known to the victims, prompting them to click on unsecured links. Following are Data breaches and non-payment scams which were the next most common internet scams, affecting 58,859 and 51,679 victims respectively.

Cybersecurity has paid particular concern for ransomware attacks due to the lack of reports by victims. Ransomware attackers resort to extortion tactics such as threatening to publicly release stolen data to the public if the ransom is not paid. Healthcare industry was commonly targeted followed by critical manufacturing and the government. Call center scams originating mainly from India, are accounted for over $1 billion in losses, with the elderly being the most targeted age group and losing $3.1 billion. The FBI reports a 73% success rate in recovering funds for victims, but does not encourage victims to pay a ransom as it may lead to further attacks and not guarantee your file recovery.

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