FBI Releases 2020 Internet Crime Report
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has released the 2020 Internet Crime Report, which includes information from 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crime—an increase of more than 300,000 complaints from 2019—and reported losses exceeding $4.2 billion.
2020 was a record year for internet crime complaints from the American public with a 69% increase in complaints from 2019. It’s no surprise that the top crime reported was phishing, with 241,342 complaints and a loss of $54 million. Business Email Compromise schemes continued to wreak devastating losses with 19,369 complaints and a loss of around $1.8 billion. The number of ransomware incidents also continued to increase with 2,474 incidents in 2020.
As expected, 2020 saw the emergence of scams revolving around the COVID-19 pandemic. 28,500 complaints related to COVID-19 were sent to IC3, with criminals targeting both businesses and individuals.
The IC3’s 2020 Internet Crime Report contains information about the most prevalent internet scams affecting the public and offers guidance for prevention and protection. It also highlights the FBI’s work combating internet crime, including recent case examples. In its Private Industry Notification, the Cyber Division of the FBI recommends configuring SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to prevent spoofing and to validate email.
IC3 offers the public a reliable reporting mechanism to submit information to the FBI concerning suspected internet-facilitated criminal activity and develops effective alliances with industry partners. Information is analyzed and disseminated for investigative and intelligence purposes for law enforcement, and for public awareness.
With the release of the 2020 Internet Crime Report, the FBI reminds the public to immediately report suspected criminal internet activity to IC3. By reporting internet crime, victims are not only alerting law enforcement to the activity, but aiding in the overall fight against cybercrime.
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