FBI Reveals How Much Americans Lost to Cybercrime Last Year

US citizens lost an astonishingly large amount of money to cybercrime during 2023, with complaints rising sharply from 2022.

The FBI has revealed that US citizens lost a combined total of $12.5 billion to cybercrime in 2023, significantly more than they lost during the year prior.

Of the different types of cybercrime, the FBI says investment fraud, business email compromise, and ransomware attacks remain the most lucrative and damaging strategies.

The news is the latest reminder of why we all need to stay vigilant online and keep our eyes peeled for scams and cons, as well as the importance of using cybersecurity tools like VPNs and password managers to avoid data breaches.

US Citizens Lose Billions to Cybercrime

In its 2023 Internet Crime Report, published this week, the FBI revealed that Americans lost $12.5 billion to cybercrime during 2023. That works out to roughly $40 in losses per US citizen.

While this number is huge, when compared to last year’s cybercrime stats, it looks even more concerning – the overall number of complaints rose sharply in 2023.

The IC3 says 880,418 complaints were registered during last year, a year-on-year increase of nearly 10%. Worryingly, ransomware is on the rise once more after a dip in 2022, with complaints rising by 18%.

The total of $12.5 billion, on the other hand, is 22% higher than what was lost last year. Losses to ransomware, for example, rose by 74% to $59.6 million.

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Investment Fraud and Business Email Compromise Loom Large

“The past year”, the FBI says, “investment fraud was once again the costliest type of crime tracked by IC3. Losses to investment scams rose from $3.31 billion in 2022 to $4.57 billion in 2023 – a 38% increase.”

The Bureau also reports that 21,489 complaints had been received about business email compromise, with a total of $2.9 billion lost via this attack method.

Tech support scams also continue to wreak havoc on innocent consumers, raking in almost $925,000 and accounting for over half of the scams targeted towards people over 50.

Staying Safe Online

Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, and they’re only going to get more sophisticated – especially with the rise of AI scams. And while ensuring your systems are protected with best-in-class software is important, your staff team needs to be able to spot things that slip through the net.

It’s now more important than ever to ensure that your employees are equipped with the knowledge and skills to identify and mitigate potential cybersecurity risks, and regular training is the best way to do this.

Training sessions should cover topics such as phishing awareness, password hygiene, and the importance of regular software updates. More and more, companies are testing their employees with mock phishing emails, and this can be a good way to identify the individuals at your business who need extra support.

By instilling a culture of vigilance and providing regular training like this, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of falling victim to cyber threats like investment fraud and tech support scams. So stay safe, and make sure you’re brushing up on your knowledge whenever you can.

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Written by:
Aaron Drapkin is a Lead Writer at Tech.co. He has been researching and writing about technology, politics, and society in print and online publications since graduating with a Philosophy degree from the University of Bristol five years ago. As a writer, Aaron takes a special interest in VPNs, cybersecurity, and project management software. He has been quoted in the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, The Daily Mail, Computer Weekly, Cybernews, and the Silicon Republic speaking on various privacy and cybersecurity issues, and has articles published in Wired, Vice, Metro, ProPrivacy, The Week, and Politics.co.uk covering a wide range of topics.
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