2020 Was The Year Scams Exploded Everywhere!
Of Course, It Was Because Of The Pandemic!
People are isolated. Shut-in and alone. Limited casual interaction. All of these are a breeding ground for scammer opportunities. And scammers were ready to capitalize on it.
Some reports from Nigeria indicate that the outflow of foreign currency was the greatest of any year in history! Planeloads of cash leaving the country for other countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. North Korea, Iran, the Middle East, and everywhere else have large populations of operating scammers!
However, the problem of getting real hard data is that so few victims ever report these crimes. There are now strong indicators that less than 1% of the victims in 2020 have reported these crimes. It is especially bad with people under the age of 40 who cannot be bothers to report these crimes to their police. The result is they are wilfully supporting these criminals through their omission.
According to many sources, 2020 was a record year!
- Brazilian media reports that there were 5 million WhatsApp scams in Brazil alone
- Multiple sources report that scams in the United States rose to 30 million new victims in just one year – up from an estimated 1 million in 2019 – a 3,000% increase
- Cybersecurity industry data reports that all cybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks. came in at nearly US$ trillion dollars for 2020 – a realistic number in the ballpark of most credible entity data
- Even law enforcement reported record numbers of victims reporting, but still, it is a tiny fraction of the total scam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. victims
- People ages 40 to 69 were once again the most likely to report losing money to romance scams
- Losses to romance scams reached a record $304 million, up about 50% from 2019 – but we believe this to be 1% of the real numbers
- Even the FTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution.
To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov admits that scam losses increased by 4,000% in one year!
- People age 70 and older reported the highest individual median losses at $9,475.80 per victim
- Use of gift cards as a payment mechanism increased by 70% per the FTC
- Millennials continue to be the most scammed age group – they are scammed almost 20 times more than adults over 35
- Worldwide it is estimated that there were over 50 million new scam victims – but this number may be just half of what it really is
- The FBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud.’s Internet Crime Complaint Center has information from 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crime in 2020 — an increase of more than 300,000 complaints from 2019—and reported losses exceeding $4.2 billion. Assume this is 5% of the total – then that would be over 15 million new victims and over $85 billion dollars in losses. But 5% may be generous, it may be closer to 1% and that would be 75 million victims and $420 billion in losses which is probably closer to reality!
Here is an article from the FTC this year about Romance Scams
Romance scams take record dollars in 2020
They say love hurts. With romance scams that’s doubly true – hearts are broken and wallets are emptied. For three years running, people have reported losing more money on romance scams than on any other fraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements.
A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. type identified in Sentinel.1 In 2020, reported losses to romance scams reached a record $304 million, up about 50% from 2019. For an individual, that meant a median dollar loss of $2,500. From 2016 to 2020, reported total dollar losses increased more than fourfold, and the number of reports nearly tripled.
It is reasonable to wonder: what happened in 2020 to make these dollars losses continue to spike? An obvious reason may be the pandemic limiting our ability to meet in person. But outside the pandemic, the share of people who have ever used an online dating site or app has also been rising. And romance scammers are primed to take advantage. Scammers fabricate attractive online profiles to draw people in, often lifting pictures from the web and using made up names. Some go a step further and assume the identities of real people. Once they make online contact, they make up reasons not to meet in person. The pandemic has both made that easier and inspired new twists to their stories, with many people reporting that their so-called suitor claimed to be unable to travel because of the pandemic. Some scammers have reportedly even canceled first date plans due to a supposed positive COVID-19 test.
While many people report losing money on romance scams that start on dating apps Applications or Apps
An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc.
Many apps can access the inter