The FBI is the lead federal agency for investigating malicious cyber activity by criminals, nation-state adversaries, and terrorists. To fulfill this mission, the FBI often develops resources to enhance operations and collaboration. One such resource is the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) which provides the public with a trustworthy and convenient mechanism for reporting information concerning suspected Internet-facilitated criminal activity. At the end of every year, the IC3 collates information collected into an annual report.
This year’s Internet Crime Report highlights the IC3’s efforts to monitor trending scams such as Business Email Compromise (BEC), Ransomware, Elder Fraud, and Tech Support Fraud. As the report indicates, in 2019, IC3 received a total of 467,361 complaints with reported losses exceeding $3.5 billion. The most prevalent crime types reported were Phishing/Vishing/Smishing/Pharming, Non-Payment/Non-Delivery, Extortion, and Personal Data Breach. The top three crime types with the highest reported losses were BEC, Confidence/Romance Fraud, and Spoofing. More details on each of these scams can be found in this report.
Of note, the IC3’s Recovery Asset Team (RAT), which assists in recovering funds for victims of BEC schemes, celebrated its first full year of operation. During its inaugural year, the team assisted in the recovery of over $300 million lost through on-line scams, boasting a 79% return rate of reported losses. We’re also pleased to announce the creation of a Recovery and Investigative Development (RaID) Team which will assist financial and law enforcement investigators in dismantling money mule organizations.
Information reported to the IC3 helps the FBI gain a better understanding of cyber adversaries and the motives behind their activities. Therefore, we encourage everyone to use IC3 and reach out to their local field office to report malicious activity. Cyber is the ultimate team sport. Working together we hope to create a safer, more secure cyber landscape ensuring confidence as we traverse through a digitally-connected world. We hope this report provides you with information of value as we work together to protect our nation against cyber threats.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Read the full report here: https://www.ic3.gov/Media/PDF/AnnualReport/2019_IC3Report.pdf