FBI Says: Cybercrime Caused $4.2 Billion in Damage Last Year


The financial damage as a result of cybercrime exceeded $ 4.2 billion last year, according to the FBI based on its own figures . The US investigative service received nearly 792,000 complaints and reports from victims last year. In 2019, this involved more than 467,000 complaints and an amount of more than 3.5 billion dollars ( pdf ).


As in previous years, the biggest damage last year was caused by business email compromise, including CEO fraud. This is a crime in which scammers get victims to transfer large amounts to the wrong account. The FBI received 19,300 complaints from victims worth $ 1.8 billion. In 2019, there were almost 24,000 complaints with a damage amount of 1.7 billion dollars.


Most of the people who reported fell victim to phishing attacks. The FBI received more than 241,000 reports of phishing. Total damage was $ 54 million. Much less than, for example, help desk fraud, in which victims who reported more than 146 million dollars last year were defrauded.


After business email compromise, the biggest loss for cybercrime victims is relationship / dating fraud. In this form of fraud, victims are approached by scammers posing as an acquaintance or family member or someone who wants to enter into a romantic relationship and eventually asks to transfer money. The total reported damage from nearly 24,000 victims was $600 million.


Last year there was a lot of attention for ransomware attacks. The number of victims who reported to the FBI was about 2,500 with a damage amount of 29 million dollars. The FBI notes that this amount does not include such things as lost earnings and recovery costs. The damage from ransomware increased sharply last year compared to 2019, when the US investigation service received 2,000 complaints and the damage amounted to 8.9 million dollars.

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