May 26, 2022

The number of reported scams has increased worldwide, from 139 million in 2019 to 266 million in 2020. The massive growth is caused mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and, in part, because more countries have started to report online fraud.

The number of reported scams grew by 22% in the U.S. Egypt (190%), and Nigeria (186%) reported the most dramatic increase in the number of scams as the pandemic is pushing their populations to the Internet for the first time.

The amount lost in scams globally grew from $ 41.7 to $ 47.8 billion. The number of reported scams and money lost is likely to be only a tiny fraction of the actual size of online fraud. Less than 3% and up to 15% of consumers report a scam, depending on the country.

Hurting businesses and consumers alike

The money lost per victim and the type of scams differ strongly by country — from less than $15 for fake shops, counterfeiters and subscription traps to several hundreds of thousands of dollars for ransomware, Business Email Compromise (BEC), and extortion scams.

While phishing continues to be the most common type of scam globally, the pandemic has introduced new twists on old scams. In 2020, scammers first focused on masks, respirators, and disinfectants. Moving…

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