A recent analysis by Atlas VPN reveals that US citizens lost a record $3.56 billion to various types of online fraud in the first half of 2022, an increase of almost 53% over the same period last year.
Americans submitted more than 793 thousand fraud complaints in the first six months, and over 27% of those reports indicated a financial loss, amounting to the aforementioned total sum.
The data for the analysis was extracted from a publicly accessible database managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). US Citizens can submit fraud reports to the FTC for further investigation. The FTC shares this data to inform the nation about the state of the cybercrime landscape in the US.
This year's most commonly reported scam category was imposter scams, with more than 361 thousand complaints, 22% reporting a loss and totaling $1.33 billion in damages.
Since 2018, imposter fraud has been the most commonly reported as well as the most damaging type of online fraud.
However, in H1 2022, investment-related scams caused even more financial losses to US citizens than imposter fraud.
Even though the number of investment scam complaints is relatively low at 52 thousand, an average investment scheme lures out $40,000 per victim, while other types of scams rarely swindle more than a three-digit sum.
The potential to earn a typical half-year salary from a single scam sounds appetizing to cybercriminals, which is why they are focusing more of their efforts in this direction.
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