FBI releases 2022 Internet Crime Report: Phishing causes the most loss, by far

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Phishing schemes were the number one crime type with 300,497 complaints and, for the first time, investment schemes reported the highest financial loss to victims. Victims aged 30-39 were the largest reporting group, while the greatest dollar loss was incurred by citizens aged 60 and older, according to the 2022 Internet Crime Report produced by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Chart includes a victim loss Comparison for the top five reported crime types for the years of 2018 to 2022.. Source: 2022 FBI IC3 Internet Crime Report


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In 2022, the IC3 received 2,385 complaints identified as ransomware with adjusted losses of more than $34.3 million. Ransomware encrypts data on a computer, making it unusable and holds that data hostage until the ransom is paid. If the ransom is not paid, the victim’s data remains unavailable.

Phishing emails, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) exploitation, and exploitation of software vulnerabilities remained the top initial infection vectors for ransomware incidents reported to the IC3.

Cyber actors continue to plague Americans by targeting U.S. networks, attacking critical infrastructure, holding our money and data for ransom, facilitating large-scale fraud schemes, and threatening our national security.

Further reading

Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Report 2022. Report. March, 2023. US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Internet Crime Complaint Center releases 2022 statistics.  Press release. March 22, 2023. Press office, FBI Springfield (Illinois, USA)

Why it matters

In 2022, the IC3 received 800,944 complaints, which is a 5 percent decrease from 2021. However, the potential total loss has grown from $6.9 billion in 2021 to more than $10.2 billion in 2022.

The IC3 was established in May 2000 to receive complaints crossing the spectrum of cyber matters, to include online fraud in its many forms including Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) matters, Computer Intrusions (Hacking), Economic Espionage (Theft of Trade Secrets), Online Extortion, International Money Laundering, Identity Theft, and a growing list of Internet facilitated crimes. As of December 31, 2022, the IC3 had received over seven million complaints.

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