FBI Reports Upswing in Online Swindles

Last year, internet crimes accounted for $2.7 billion in financial losses, with non-payment/non-delivery schemes, extortion and personal data breaches making up the top three ripoffs, according to new numbers by the FBI.  

Released April 22, the FBI’s yearly Internet Crime Report highlights the increasing popularity of these crimes. In 2018, the bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, received nearly 352,000 complaints related to cyber crimes.

The most financially costly complaints were around business email compromise, romance or confidence fraud and investment scams, the report said. Another increasing problem is tech support fraud; last year, IC3 received 14,408 complaints related to this type of scam. The losses amounted to nearly $39 million — a 161% spike in losses from the previous year.

The losses from extortion-related complaints also saw a significant spike. In 2018, there were 51,146 extortion-related complaints with adjusted losses of over $83 million, a 242% surge in extortion-related complaints from 2017.

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