The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received nearly 352,000 complaints related to cybercrime activity that collectively was responsible for $2.7 billion in losses, according to the agency’s 2018 Internet Crime Report.
The three most commonly reported internet crimes last year were non-payment/non-delivery scams (i.e. the scammer never pays for or never ships ordered merchandise), extortion, and personal data breaches. Crimes that couldn’t be categorized due to incomplete complaints were next most common, followed by phishing scams (plus related crimes such as smishing), Business Email Compromise/Email Account Compromise (BEC/EAC) campaigns, and confidence fraud/romance scams.
Despite being only the sixth most commonly reported cybercrime in 2018, BEC/EAC campaigns was the top crime with the highest reported loss total: nearly $1.3 billion. In particular, the IC3 took note of an increase in the number of these scams that used spoofed emails, texts or phone calls to trick victims into thinking a superior or authority figure asked them to purchase gift cards.
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