Archives June 2021

IC3 Annual Report – 2020 Elder Fraud Report

Dear Reader,

The mission of the FBI is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States. This mission includes our efforts to combat financial crimes targeting seniors. The FBI, in alignment with the Department of Justice Elder Fraud Initiative and the efforts of our internal and external partners, is committed to this mission. It is from this commitment to the American people that the FBI provides the public an avenue to report fraud through the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

The IC3 receives and tracks thousands of complaints daily, reported by victims of fraud. This reporting is key to identifying, investigating, and holding those responsible accountable for their actions. Victims of fraud have the option to identify their age range when submitting a complaint to IC3; the information contained in this report is derived from complaints submitted by or on behalf of victims aged 60 and over.

Each year, millions of elderly Americans fall victim to some type of financial fraud or internet scheme, such as romance scams, tech support fraud, and lottery or sweepstake scams. Criminals gain their targets’ trust or use tactics of intimidation and threats to take advantage of their victims. Once successful, scammers are likely to keep a scheme going because of the prospect of significant financial gain.

In 2020, IC3 received a total of 791,790 complaints with reported losses exceeding $4.1 billion. Based on the information provided in the complaints, approximately 28% of the total fraud losses were sustained by victims over the age of 60, resulting in approximately $1 billion in losses to seniors. This represents an increase of approximately $300 million in losses reported in 2020 versus what was reported by victims over 60 in 2019.

To educate the public and provide as much information on the types of frauds targeting seniors as possible, the IC3 is offering its first publication of the 2020 IC3 Elder Fraud Annual Report. This report is a companion report to the 2020 IC3 Annual Report released in March 2021. These reports, along with other publications, are available at

It is only by victims reporting fraud that we can identify trends, educate the public, and support investigations, and nowhere is this more important than crimes against seniors.

Calvin Shivers
Assistant Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Criminal Investigative Division

Read the full report here:

IC3 Annual Report – 2020 Internet Crime Report

Dear Reader,

In 2020, while the American public was focused on protecting our families from a global pandemic and helping others in need, cyber criminals took advantage of an opportunity to profit from our dependence on technology to go on an Internet crime spree. These criminals used phishing, spoofing, extortion, and various types of Internet-enabled fraud to target the most vulnerable in our society – medical workers searching for personal protective equipment, families looking for information about stimulus checks to help pay bills, and many others.

Crimes of this type are just a small part of what the FBI combats through our criminal and cyber investigative work. Key to our cyber mission is the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which provides the public with a trustworthy source for information on cyber criminal activity, and a way for the public to report directly to us when they suspect they are a victim of cyber crime.

IC3 received a record number of complaints from the American public in 2020: 791,790, with reported losses exceeding $4.1 billion. This represents a 69% increase in total complaints from 2019. Business E-mail Compromise (BEC) schemes continued to be the costliest: 19,369 complaints with an adjusted loss of approximately $1.8 billion. Phishing scams were also prominent: 241,342 complaints, with adjusted losses of over $54 million. The number of ransomware incidents also continues to rise, with 2,474 incidents reported in 2020.

Public reporting is central to the mission and success of IC3. Submitting a cyber crime complaint to not only helps the FBI address specific complaints—and provide support and assistance to victims —but also helps us prevent additional crimes by finding and holding criminal actors accountable. Information reported to the IC3 helps the FBI better understand the motives of cyber-criminals, the evolving threat posed, and tactics utilized, enabling us to most effectively work with partners to mitigate the damage to victims.

IC3 has continued to strengthen its relationships with industry and others in the law enforcement community to reduce financial losses resulting from BEC scams. Through the Recovery Asset Team, IC3 worked with its partners to successfully freeze approximately $380 million of the $462 million in reported losses in 2020, representing a success rate of nearly 82%. In addition, IC3 has a Recovery and Investigative Development Team which assists financial and law enforcement investigators in dismantling organizations that move and transfer funds obtained illicitly.

With our dedicated resources focused on recovering funds and preventing further victimization, we are better aligned to confront the unique challenges faced in cyberspace. Visit to access the latest information on criminal Internet activity.

We strongly encourage readers to submit complaints to IC3 and to reach out to their local FBI field office to report malicious cyber criminal activity. Together we will continue to build safety, security, and confidence into our digitally connected world.

Paul Abbate
Deputy Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Read the full report here: