Nigeria Ranked 16th In FBI Global Cybercrime Victims Report
In its latest internet crime report, US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said Nigeria received 443 complaints relating to internet crime last year.
The last times the country featured in the annual reports were in 2016 (19th) and 2015 (3rd).
The statistics were part of FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) 2020 Internet Crime Report released on Wednesday.
The report includes information from 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crime in America —an increase of more than 300,000 complaints from 2019 — and reported losses exceeding $4.2 billion, compared to $3.5 billion lost in 2019. It also includes COVID-19 scam statistics.
According to the list, Nigeria with 443 victims and South Africa with 1,754 victims were the only two Africa nations in the ‘worst’ 20.
The top five crimes reported include phishing, non-payment/non-delivery, extortion, personal data breach and identity theft.
Excluding the US, the United Kingdom led among the most affected countries followed by Canada, India, Greece and Australia.
The top 20 countries and their number of victims are:
United Kingdom (216,633), Canada (5,399), India (2,930), Greece (2,314), Australia (1,807), South Africa (1,754), France (1,640), Germany (1,578), Mexico (1,164), Belgium (1,023), Brazil (951), Philippines (898), Italy (728), Spain (618), Netherlands (450), Nigeria (443), Pakistan (443), China (442), Colombia (418), Hong Kong (407).
The global list excludes the United States, which state-specific statistics are provided separately in the report and in the accompanying 2020 State Reports.
Victims lost the most money to business email compromise scams, romance and confidence schemes, and investment fraud.
Notably, 2020 saw the emergence of scams exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic. The IC3 received over 28,500 complaints related to COVID-19, with fraudsters targeting both businesses and individuals.
Business e-mail compromise (BEC) schemes continued to be the costliest as 19,369 complaints with an estimated loss of approximately $1.8 billion bothered on them.
The report noted that one of the most prevalent schemes seen during the pandemic has been government impersonators.
Criminals are reaching out to people through social media, emails, or phone calls pretending to be from the government. The scammers attempt to gather personal information or illicit money through charades or threats.
As the response to COVID-19 turned to vaccinations, scams emerged asking people to pay out of pocket to receive
the vaccine, put their names on a vaccine waiting, or obtain early access.
Fraudulent advertisements for vaccines popped up on social media platforms, or came via email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources.
FBI stated that it released the 2020 Internet Crime Report to remind the public to immediately report suspected criminal internet activity to IC3 at ic3.gov.
The American agency added that by reporting internet crime, victims are not only alerting law enforcement to the activity but aiding in the overall fight against cybercrime.