The general rule everyone should continue to follow and share is, "If you are not sure something is a scam, assume that it is."
The FBI released their Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) logs for 2020, and the data on scams and cybercrime is staggering.
Some key highlights from the IC3 report on online scams are:
- The FBI received 791,790 cybercrime complaints in 2020—300,000 more than 2019— resulting in a loss of over $4.2 billion.
- The top three crimes include phishing scams, extortion, and non-payment/non-delivery scams.
- BEC scams proved to be the costliest with 19,369 complaints logged. The adjusted loss was nearly $1.8 billion.
- In addition to this, people over the age of 60 are likely to encounter a myriad of scams, including investment fraud schemes, romance scams, grandparent scams, tech support scams, advance fee schemes, TV scams, and lottery scams, among others.
- The spike in scams has been partly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, with IC3 receiving 28,500 complaints related to COVID-19 last year.
While it is important to know the statistics and where to lodge complaints against scams, it is imperative that we also take a glance at the recent scams that victimized lots of people.
- Since October 2020, Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency scams have surged. Nearly 7,000 people have reported losing more than $80 million to these scams.
- Recently, there have been home delivery/meal kit schemes in which scammers masquerade as renowned meal kit delivery companies.
- This is the time of the year when threat actors start sending out morality/sextortion scams. The scammers attempt to extort the targets by threatening to expose them.
Employing AI tools for e-mail protection and endpoint protection, as well as Multifactor Authentication (MFA) and proper password management is a must. Going without it is like driving without car insurance or baking without oven mitts - it's only a matter of time before you crash or get burned (or both).
And, training (and then more training) on how to avoid phishing and other internet scams is now proper hygiene that is a must for you to not "stink" at the game of protecting yourself, your family, friends, employees, and organizations.
River Run's R-Security is a wholistic, strategic offering that includes everything from AI tools, 24/7 monitoring, e-mail and endpoint protection, MFA, training, C-Level strategic planning and road mapping, incident mitigation, and more. We are here to help.
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