The growth of cyber crime is a threat to networks, critical infrastructure, and financial institutions in the U.S. and around the world. These threats produce major economic and national security effects. The FBI commits to assisting the victims of cyber crimes, and working to combat these crimes. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), established in May 2000, serves as a public resource to report cyber crime. The IC3 collects data and analyzes it for crime trends in order to understand threats to the public and the economy.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Report 2022 highlights the following threat overviews for 2022:
- Business Email Compromise (BEC): BEC is a scam in which hackers send wire request payments to individual and business email accounts. A total of 21,832 complaints were made in 2022. Adjusted losses exceeded $2.7 billion.
- Investment: Crypto-investment scams were the costliest of 2022. Losses totaled $3.31 billion. The most common variations included liquidity mining, hacked social media, celebrity impersonation, real estate professional fraud, and fake employment opportunities.
- Ransomware: Ransomware is the process of encrypting data on a computer, making it unusable. Criminals hold the data hostage until the ransom is paid. A total of 2,385 ransomware complaints were submitted in 2022, and losses exceeded $34.3 million.
- Call Center Fraud: Tech/Customer Support and Government Impersonation are the most common call center fraud scams. These calls target the elderly. Nearly half the victims reported were over the age of 60 (46%). Total losses for 2022 exceeded $724 million.
As of December 31, 2022, the IC3 has received more than seven million complaints. The data collected is helpful in individual complaints, however, the report emphasizes the importance of analyzing data collectively through FBI field offices and law enforcement partners. Moreover, these data will assist in combatting the increasingly sophisticated fraud schemes affecting national security.