The FBI recently released their 2019 Internet Crime Report, providing the public with an accurate review of the year and offering insight into the motives behind cyber criminals’ activity.
Since 2015, complaints coming into the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has more than doubled, with 467,361 complaints in just 2019 alone. Over the past five years, there have been more than $10.2 billion in total losses.
Last year, the IC3 received 23,775 email compromise complaints that resulted in over $1.7 billion in losses, which is more than a third of total losses for the year. Business Email Compromise (BCE) / Email Account Compromise (EAC) are sophisticated schemes that can target both businesses and individuals, tricking them into transferring funds to fraudulent accounts. BCE/EAC are continually evolving, making detection and prevention challenging.
Tech Support Fraud continues to be a growing problem as well. Criminals will claim they provide customer, security, or technical support to gain access to sensitive information and defraud unwitting individuals. In 2019, the IC3 received over 13,600 complaints that resulted in losses of over $54 million. This was a 40% increase from the previous year.
These are just two examples of how cyber criminals can wreak havoc. Digital crime continues to grow at a rapid rate, and criminals are always finding stealthier and more sophisticated ways to access private and sensitive information.