#relationshipscams | #dating | Americans lost over $2.4 billion in online scams last year

A recent report from CenturyLinkQuote looks at the amount of money Americans lost last year in online scams that were reported to the FBI. Along with the massive total of $2.4 billion in losses, the report breaks down which states had the highest victim rates and highest average losses per victim.

CenturyLinkQuote put together its report based on the FBI’s IC3 data from 2018. Keep in mind this is all based on reported losses, so actual US losses are certainly higher than the $2.4 billion.

Here are the most common types of online scams:

More victims were affected by the non-payment/non-delivery scam than any other scam out there. This happens when someone is never paid for the goods and services they provide or when they do not receive what they already paid for. Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Email Account Compromise (EAC) scams caused the most money loss. These are just like what they sound like: a business email is compromised and makes illegal wire transfers of funds into the scammer’s account. With over $1 billion lost in this scam alone, it’d be smart to make sure your email account is secure.

North Carolina had the highest average loss per victim at $18,241. Meanwhile, Alaska had the highest victim rate per resident.

For the second year in a row, Alaska had the most victims per 10,000 residents at 21.67. Also for the second straight year, South Dakota had the least amount of victims per 10,000 residents at 5.35, which is an increase over last year. It’s neighbor to the north was close behind with 6.08 victims per 10,000 residents.

Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Email Account Compromise (EAC) made up the largest bulk of losses.

BECs and EACs account for over $1 billion in losses. Confidence/relationship fraud accounts for over $360 million in losses, and investment scams rounded out the top three with over $252 million in losses.

That statistic is a good reminder to practice safe password management with iCloud Keychain or a password manager like 1Password or LastPass.

The report also highlights that the elderly are an at-risk group, losing $650 million last year.

People aged 60 and over are the most targeted age group for scammers. They lost nearly $650 million in internet scams, including confidence/relationship fraud. These scammers convince people to send money to someone who sounds trustworthy (an extended family member, a trusted brand name, or a possible romantic partner).

Read the full report here.

Images via CenturyLinkQuote

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