FBI Releases its 2019 Online Crime Report, BEC Crimes Top List

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FBI Releases its 2019 Online Crime Report_ BEC Crimes Top List

Global security agencies continue their fight against cyber threats worlds over. However, the FBI, the lead agency responsible for fighting online crime in the US has taken a lead in monitoring digital crimes. The agency released a report recently, highlighting the tremendous penetration of cybercrimes globally. In its, report titled, ‘2019 Internet Crimes Report’ the agency reported a growing spread of BEC or Business Email Compromise, as the biggest threat to internet security. The agency derived its findings from all online complaints reported to the agency, which amounted to 4, 67,361 in the same year.

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Among these, the agency attributed over 23,775 cases to BEC, which has become the leading cause of concern for enterprises. According to the agency, the losses due to BEC amounted to over $1.7 billion for businesses globally. Moreover, the agency also highlighted the sophisticated techniques used in this scam, which targets both individuals and businesses. The scam usually occurs when business accounts are compromised through computer intrusion or social engineering.

Moreover, the report also noted that crimes like ransomware, tech support fraud, and elder fraud were on the rise.  In total, the losses due to these crimes amounted to over $3.5 billion. Moreover, the agency also reported an increase in various crimes including vishing, phishing, pharming, smishing, among others. Other crimes on the rise in the same year included extortion, non-delivery, and personal data breach. The FBI reported that the top three scams in the same year were BEC, confidence, romance fraud, and spoofing.

The FBI will also provide further support to enterprises with a Recovery and Investigative Development (RaID) team which will assist law enforcement and financial investigators in dismantling money mule organizations.

Despite the booming success in recovery rates, new innovations in cyber-crimes have raised concerns for the FBI. The report noted that incidents of social, engineering, SIM swapping, Cryptocurrency thefts, and online account takeovers are also being reported. According to the FBI, a SWIM swapping group with five vehicles, and $900,000 in seizures scammed hundreds of victims in 2019. It compromised several hundred Cryptocurrency accounts and caused $40 million in losses.

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The agency has tightened awareness for global organizations with agencies like LEEP, which is a gateway for law enforcement agencies, and intelligence groups to discover the latest information on cyber-crimes. The users of this portal can now download online crime reports in excel format to prepare their organizations to tackle the current online cyber challenges.