The Internet Crime Complaint Center released a report showing that cybercrime victims lost more than $4 billion in 2020. Keep reading to learn about the top five IT-related cybercrimes that cost businesses and individuals the most amount of money.

In May 2020, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released its 2020 Internet Crime Report. The IC3, which is part of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), gathered complaints from victims of Internet crime. In 2020, an average of 6,058 complaints were received every day from victims.

The complaints show that businesses and individuals alike have been victims of over 30 types of cybercrimes, including data breaches, espionage, phishing scams, payment fraud, counterfeit goods, and nondelivery of goods, resulting in a total loss of $1.42 billion (USD).

1. Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams
19,369 people were the victims of BEC scams, leading to $1.8 billion lost, the most amount of money lost due to a cybercrime in 2020. Cybercriminals posed as executives, supplier representatives, lawyers, and other business professionals used well-crafted emails to con companies out of billions of dollars.

2. Tech Support Fraud
15,421 businesses in 2020 reported being the victim of tech support fraud, leading to an overall loss of $146 million. This represented an increase of 171% from the previous year. The average age of victims of this particular crime was over 6o years.

3. Phishing Scams
Over 241,000 people reported phishing scams in 2020, losing nearly $54 million in total. These common and costly scams include cybercriminals who masquerade as a reputable person or a legitimate organization in order to obtain sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial account numbers. The cybercriminal then uses this information to steal money or data. Sometimes, hackers sell the information to other cybercriminals.

Most cybercriminals carry out phishing attacks via email, but other communication channels can be used. Attacks via text messages are referred to as smishing, and attacks via phone calls are known as vishing.

4. Corporate Data Breaches
Nearly 2,800 victims reported a data breach, resulting in a loss of $128 million. The average loss per company was more than $45,000. These figures do not include the 45,330 victims of personal data breaches who lost $194 million, an average loss of $4,290 per victim.

5. Ransomware
2,474 victims reported ransomware attacks in 2020, losing a total of $29.1 million. That figure has gone up nearly 158% in the first half of 2021. The value of Bitcoin (the preferred payment method) has risen almost 400%. The FBI believes that the $29.1 million figure is an artificially low number. It’s quickly becoming the #1 attack on small businesses.

Be wary of cybercriminals. They are sneaky, convincing, and very real. If you want to make sure that your network has the proper security measures in place to safeguard your employees against cybercrimes, contact the Cardinal Technology Solutions team today.