Americans lost $10.3 billion to a wide variety of internet scams last year, according to an FBI report released this month.
The losses were the highest in five years, according to the annual report from the FBI. The bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) lodged more than 2,000 complaints per day.
The most highly reported crimes were phishing expeditions, with 300,497 victims reporting over $52 million in losses in 2022, according to the bureau. Phishing, defined as “the use of unsolicited email, text messages, and telephone calls purportedly from a legitimate company requesting personal, financial, and/or login credentials,” is frequently successful because phishing emails will often resemble those from people victims know personally, prompting them to click on unsecured links.
The age group that is targeted most by scammers is the elderly. In 2022, the total amount of money elderly people lost to internet scams was $3.1 billion.
The FBI report said,
“Call centers overwhelmingly target the elderly, with devastating effects. Almost half the victims report to be over 60 (46%), and experience 69% of the losses (over $724 million).
The report also claims to have a 73% success rate in getting victims their money back.
If you want to know how to protect yourself against internet scammers, watch the informative video from WIRED below:
How do you protect your parents from scams? How do scammers get our phone numbers? @ashtonbingham and @ArtKulik of @trilogymediainc answer the internet’s burning questions about scams: pic.twitter.com/p9XXGeUbJ7
— WIRED (@WIRED) March 10, 2023
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