Frauds impersonating other individuals: $1.1 billion – report

Impersonation Frauds on the Rise

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), losses related to impersonation frauds have tripled over the past three years, reaching over $1.1 billion in 2023. This alarming increase sheds light on the growing issue of cybersecurity.

Increase in Fraud Reports

Last year, the FTC received 330,000 reports of fraudulent impersonation of businesses and nearly 160,000 reports related to impersonating government entities. These numbers accounted for half of all reported frauds during that period, demonstrating the scale of the problem.

Shift in Fraudsters’ Methods

The percentage of email and text message-based frauds has sharply risen from 2020 to 2023, while phone scams have significantly declined. Currently, phone scams represent only 32% of all cases, while emails have increased their share from 10% to 26%, and text messages from 9% to 14% – as reported by the FTC.

Increasing Losses Due to Bank Transfers and Cryptocurrencies

Reported losses from frauds involving bank transfers have increased from 21% to 40%, and the use of cryptocurrencies from 6% to 21%. The combination of these methods resulted in losses amounting to $593 million last year – stated the Federal Trade Commission. It is worth noting that scammers are increasingly impersonating more than one institution in a single fraud.

Top Frauds of 2023 according to the FTC

The FTC identified the five most common frauds, which accounted for almost half of all reports:

  1. Account Security Alerts: pretending to be from technology companies, banks, or other trusted entities.
  2. Automatic Subscription Renewals: requiring “cancellation,” often through an attempt to connect with the victim, suggesting it is the only way to process a “refund.”
  3. Fake Contests and Discounts: urging the victim to pay a fee to “participate” in the money prize.
  4. Legal Issues: informing the victim of a false crime and persuading them to send money or gift cards as the only way to resolve the situation.
  5. Delivery Problems: concerning non-existent shipments, often requiring the victim to provide banking details or pay a small fee.

The phenomenon of impersonation frauds targeting various entities is becoming increasingly common and requires greater attention and caution from consumers. Therefore, it is important to be aware and secure in a world where cybercrime is evolving at an alarming rate.