• In 14 months, online scams have increased by 69%.
• The most frequent online scams are Phishing, BEC, and cryptocurrency investments.
The FBI reported that it recently received a new record in reports related to online scams and fraud in crypto investors. The federal office’s internet crime complaint center took over seven years to register 1 million complaints. But that has changed because in the last 14 months the number has easily gone above one million complaints.
This increase in complaints about scams on the internet has coincided with Covid-19 because there is more insight into the market. Reports are up 69% since 2019, which turns out to be annoying.
The FBI notes that the pandemic has contributed to the rise of online Scams because there are so many online operations. According to the investigation office, investor fraud, compromised emails, and romantic website scams have been very common. The figure shared by the FBI exceeds 791,000 reports per scam, valued at $4.1 billion between 2020-2021.
What are the most common online scams?
The investigative agency said the crime reports target five types of online scams. Phishing scams exceed 241,000 reports, payment or delivery scams are 108,000 reports, and extortion 76,000 complaints. But the FBI also reports the increase in personal data breaches and identity thefts.
However, Phishing scams are the most prevalent online crime, mainly for business emails or BECs. Online romance and investment fraud crimes have also cost them more than $0.6 billion.
BEC scams modus operandi
One of the most famous online scams is the BECs that engage well-paid companies in the country. This crime consists of company employees being tricked into sending money to the scammer’s account. These cyber attackers compromise executives’ emails or frequent customers, so employees send money to their accounts.
The IC3 received around 19,000 complaints about BEC scams in less than a year and a half. This crime can cause the business to lose a lot of money and even go bankrupt.
But the FBI does not rule out the romantic scams that consist of manipulating the cyber attacker towards the client. The scammer promises a person online that he will send him nude photos, but he will transfer money. When the transaction is complete, the scammer withdraws and blocks the person from their social media or website.
There are also cryptocurrency investment scams that have increased by market capitalization. Cyber attackers can use many methods involving decentralized currencies and a new merchant.
One of the most relevant cryptocurrency scams of the year was when a person posed as Elon Musk, Tesla CEO. The scammers stole more than $2 million from those people who trusted “Elon Musk” and his investment plans.