FBI says cybercrime complaints more than doubled in 14 months

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The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has seen a massive 100% in cybercrime complaints over the past 14 months.

When the IC3 first began logging complaints in 2000, it took seven years to reach 1 million complaints. Since then, it has taken an average of 29.5 months for each additional million complaints.

For the period between March 2020 and May 2021, the IC3 saw a massive increase of 1 million complaints in just 14 months.

Internet Crime Complaint Center reports over the years
Internet Crime Complaint Center reports over the years
The FBI attributes the rise in complaints to cyber criminals taking advantage of people working from home due to the pandemic and the rise in COVID-19 themed attacks.

"In 2020, while the American public was focused on protecting our families from a global pandemic and helping others in need, cyber criminals took advantage of an opportunity to profit from our dependence on technology to go on an Internet crime spree," says the IC3's 2020 Internet Crime Report.

"These criminals used phishing, spoofing, extortion, and various types of Internet-enabled fraud to target the most vulnerable in our society - medical workers searching for personal protective equipment, families looking for information about stimulus checks to help pay bills, and many others.

As part of the report, the FBI says the top three crimes reported in 2020 were phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion.

However, victims lost the most money to BEC scams ($1.8 billion in losses), romance scams ($600 million in losses), and investment fraud ($336 million).
 
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