The FBI’s IC3 reported scams related to COVID, and the increase in online retail may be the reason for the rise in complaints.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has recorded 1 million complaints about online fraud in the past 14 months, bringing IC3 to a total of 6 million complaints.
As a background, the agency stated that it took IC3 nearly seven years to record the millionth complaint.
IC3 Chief Executive Donna Gregory said in a statement: “On the one hand, this number brings some good news.” “People know how to find us and how to report incidents.” Gregory Said that more reports make the FBI more effective in investigating cybercrime. She added: “But, on the other hand, these figures show that more people are being affected by online crime and scams.”
IC3 complaints increased by nearly 70% between 2019 and 2020. The top three crimes reported by victims in 2020 are phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams and extortion. Officials say that victims have lost the most money due to business email breach (BEC) scams, romance and trust schemes, and investment fraud. A scam using COVID-19 emerged in 2020. The agency said that the increase in reported crimes in 2020 may be partly due to the pandemic driving more commercial and online activities.
IC3 collects and shares its data in its annual report and sends notifications about new fraud or upsurges in certain types of crime. The latest figures indicate that 2021 may set a new record high.