More than $10 billion in losses from online scams were reported to the FBI in 2022, the highest annual loss in the past five years, according to a new report from the bureau of investigations.
The more than $3 billion increase in online fraud reports from 2021 to 2022 was fueled by the fact that cryptocurrency investment fraud reports nearly tripled, the FBI said in its annual Internet Crime Report.
The report brings together a wide variety of fraud allegations, from marketing scams to ransomware, and is a metric for US lawmakers to gauge how much hacking and other schemes are costing the US economy.
While people in their 30s filed the most fraud reports last year, the burden of many digital scams fell on older people. People aged 60 and older accounted for $724 million, or more than two-thirds of the reported losses from “call center fraud,” according to the FBI. Such fraud occurs when scammers call someone posing as tech support or government agencies.
Ransomware, which locks up computers until hackers are paid, accounted for about $34 million in adjusted losses reported to the FBI last year. The relatively modest number compared to other forms of fraud could be due to the fact that many victim organizations still do not report ransomware attacks to the FBI.