Since the 2020 pandemic, more and more people stay home, using the internet for work and social life. The Internet changed people’s way of work and communicating. People use the internet to do everything, such as shopping, studying, working, getting to know new people, dating, investing, etc. Some scammers groups are also spreading on the internet and scam people around the world.
According to the FBI cybercrime report, until May 15,20201, there were over 6 million complaints about cybercrime(compared to 5 million complaints on Mar 12, 2020). IC3 saw complaints increase nearly 70% between 2019 and 2020. The top three crimes reported by victims in 2020 were phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion. Victims lost the most money to business email compromise scams, romance and confidence schemes, and investment fraud.
There is also a rise in Use of Cryptocurrency In Business Email Compromise Schemes and romance and confidence schemes. Business Email Compromise/Email Account Compromise (BEC/EAC) is a sophisticated scam that targets both businesses and individuals who perform legitimate transfer-of-funds requests. The scam is frequently carried out when an individual compromises legitimate business or personal email accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion to conduct unauthorized transfers of funds. In a BEC scam, criminals send an email message that appears to come from a known source making a legitimate request, like in these examples:
1. Spoof an email account or website.
2. Send spearphishing emails.
3. Use malware.
Romance and confidence schemes are when scammers use fake photos and profile, looking for victims on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Tiktok, Tendam, OkCupid, Bumble, etc to build a relationship(friends or romantic) with the victims, then ask money from the victim or guide victims to invest cryptocurrency on the scam site they sent. Once the victim invested all their money on those scam sites or apps, scammers disappeared and closed sites and apps took the money away. There are billions of dollars lost during those scams.
Please be aware the online scams are happening on the internet, research them, and remind your friends and family to avoid them. If any strangers talk about money, be aware and report those scammers. If you are unlucky and got scammed, please contact your local police and bank immediately. At the same time, report to FBI cybercrime and FTC. Scammers may already steal your identity and personal information, they may use it for criminal activities. Please also contact the credit union and agent to freeze your credit and set up an alert.