FBI Report: Americans Lost Record $12.5 Billion to Online Fraud in 2023

According to the FBI’s annual Internet Crime Report, Americans reported losses of over $12.5 billion to online fraud in 2023, marking a 22% increase from the previous year. The report, compiled from data gathered by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), highlights a significant rise in various forms of fraud, with investment fraud accounting for the highest losses, totaling $4.57 billion.

The surge in investment fraud, which has more than tripled since 2021, is attributed to social engineering tactics such as pig butchering scams, particularly targeting victims aged 30 to 49. Many of these scams originate in Southeast Asia and involve fraudulent cryptocurrency investments orchestrated by organized crime syndicates.

Business email compromise (BEC) scams ranked as the second most damaging type of cybercrime, resulting in losses of $2.9 billion. These scams often involve compromised vendor accounts, requests for W-2 information, and real estate scams.

Cryptocurrency-related fraud, including investment scams and ransomware attacks, contributed significantly to the overall increase in online fraud losses. Ransomware incidents saw a 74% rise in adjusted losses, reaching nearly $60 million, with the healthcare sector being a prime target.

The report also highlights efforts to combat online fraud, including the IC3’s Recovery Asset Team (RAT), which froze over $538.39 million in stolen assets following fraud complaints. The team’s success in recovering funds, including a $50 million loss from a BEC scam, underscores the importance of collaborative efforts between financial institutions and law enforcement agencies in mitigating cyber fraud.

Despite some positive outcomes, the FBI emphasizes the ongoing threat posed by cybercriminals and advises individuals and organizations to implement additional security measures, such as two-factor or multi-factor authentication, to safeguard against fraudulent activities in an increasingly digital landscape.

- Advertisment -ad

Most Popular