FBI: Internet-fueled theft, fraud, and exploitation reaches cost of $2.7 billion

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) published its fifth annual Internet Crime Report last month. The report, based on information gleaned from 351,936 complaints of suspected Internet crime, found more than $2.7 billion in Internet-fueled theft, fraud and exploitation for 2018. According to the report, email scams wrought the highest level of financial losses against organizations.

In total for 2018, the IC3 received just over 20,000 email account compromise complaints with losses totaling $1.2 billion. These email scams tend to be sophisticated attacks involving wire transfer payments, and they target both businesses and individuals. The attacks leverage social engineering tactics with many of the attackers managing to infiltrate legitimate email accounts and then conducting the unauthorized funds transfers.

The top three crime types reported by victims in 2018 were non-payment/non-delivery, extortion, and personal data breach. The IC3 categorizes and analyzes the data to identify and forecast trends to promote public awareness of emerging and ongoing cyber threats. Since its inception in 2000, the IC3 has received a total of 4,415,870 complaints.

Tech support fraud grew considerably in 2018. Last year the IC3 received 14,408 tech support scam complaints that affected victims in 48 countries. The losses from this fraud totaled nearly $39 million. That’s a 161% increase from 2017. The majority of victims are elderly, typically 60 years of age or older. The IC3 has published information useful to consumers seeking to protect themselves.

The news last year wasn’t all gloom. In February 2018, the IC3 created the Recovery Asset Team. The idea being to streamline communication with law enforcement and financial institutions and assist FBI field offices in recovering funds for victims who made transfers to domestic accounts under fraudulent pretenses. According to the IC3, the Recovery Asset Team has assisted in 1,061 incidents involving losses of more than $257 million — and ultimately recovered more $192 million — a 75% recovery rate.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Cybersecurity Matters – DXC Blogs authored by Cybersecurity Matters. Read the original post at: