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Americans Lost $10B to Online Scammers Last Year, Most Ever

Americans lost more than $10 billion to online scammers last year, the highest level since the Federal Bureau of Investigation began tracking losses in 2000. The FBI said its Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, recorded more than 800,000 complaints in 2022, or more than 2,000 complaints a day, the Wall Street Journal reports. So-called phishing expeditions represented the largest number of scams with more than 300,000 complaints, the FBI said in a report. Phishing usually involves the use of unsolicited email, text messages and phone calls, purportedly from a legitimate company, requesting personal or financial information.

“Today’s cyber landscape has provided ample opportunities for criminals and adversaries to target U.S. networks, attack our critical infrastructure, hold our money and data for ransom, facilitate large-scale fraud schemes, and threaten our national security,” FBI Executive Assistant Director Timothy Langan said. Losses to online scammers rose to $10.3 billion last year from $6.9 billion in 2021. The overall number of complaints recorded by IC3 fell slightly from 2021. In 2022, investment scam losses more than doubled from a year ago and were the most common scheme reported, according to the report. Cryptocurrency investment fraud jumped to $2.57 billion last year from $907 million in 2021. The FBI said Americans age 60 and older reported losing $3.1 billion to scammers, about 30% of the total.

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