Unfortunately, millions of people fall victim to some sort of fraud each year. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission received over 2 million reports from consumers in 2020.
To better protect yourself against this criminal behavior, however, you’ll need to understand it. Let’s explore recent fraud statistics and what you should know about this crime.
People Lost Over $56 Billion to Identity Fraud in 2020
This is one of the most important statistics to keep in mind since it applies to the average individual. Unfortunately, criminals are becoming more prolific in their fraudulent attacks.
$56 billion is nothing to scoff at, and there were plenty of instances where fraudulent behavior placed someone in a desperate financial position. One reason why experts presume that fraudulent attacks are staggeringly high is due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As more and more sales activity takes place online, hackers are taking advantage of those who do not sufficiently protect their data.
As you might guess, this puts millions of people at risk.
How Does This Type of Fraud Occur?
There are numerous ways in which consumer fraud occurs.
In general, unsolicited emails or calls are some of the most common ways. These typically aim to instill a sense of urgency within the victim. They could also falsely portray themselves as being from a reputable source or somebody the victim knows.
Data breaches are also fairly common. Not every data breach involves using high-level hacking techniques, however. It’s entirely possible to lose access to your personal information if you choose to safeguard it with a weak password.
It’s highly recommended to make your password something that nobody could possibly guess and to change it every few months or so. You could also use a password manager application to encrypt all of your different passwords within the same location.
The Cybercrime Industry Is Approaching $10 Trillion in Value
This is a particularly concerning statistic.
Not only does it mean that more and more people are becoming victims of fraud, but it also means that hackers are gaining access to more money. With more money comes the opportunity to develop new hacking techniques and use better tools. So, a growing cybercrime industry is one that poses a looming threat to the average consumer and business owner alike.
How Can I Protect Myself?
Fortunately, there’s a handful of different ways you can protect yourself from this type of behavior and prevent fraud from affecting you. One of the easiest and most efficient is to ensure that all of your software is up-to-date.
Even using a slightly outdated version of a particular application or operating system could put you at risk. In fact, this is the reason why developers make it so easy to download new versions. Many programs even give users the option to automatically download and install updates.
Another common threat to watch out for is ransomware. This is a malicious program that encrypts key information on your device and demands a payment in cryptocurrency. However, the FBI strongly recommends that you do not pay the hackers since you will only fund future attacks.
Looking for how you can establish a better fraud prevention infrastructure for your business? You can check out this resource to learn more.
Identity Theft Caused Nearly $1 Trillion in Financial Damage During 2020
Identity theft is one of the worst crimes to fall victim to. Interestingly, many people are unaware of just how serious it is. When someone steals your identity, you are the one that suffers the consequences of their behavior.
This means that it’s entirely possible for somebody to pose as you, take out a large amount of money in loans, and never pay them back. In some cases, it could take years to resolve the consequences you experience. So, as you can tell, it’s imperative that you avoid a situation like this at all costs.
What Forms of Identity Theft Should I Know About?
People often assume that credit card fraud is the most common of the identity theft statistics. However, many individuals who suffer from this crime find that the perpetrator uses their information to apply for government benefits.
The goal of government benefits fraud is to take as much money as possible from the government before getting detected. In the event that their activities are discovered, they simply use somebody else’s information instead. Or, they may accept the loss and move on to other crimes.
Regardless, the identity thief is not always caught and punished. What is certain, however, is the victim will have plenty of complications to deal with.
Miscellaneous identity theft is also fairly common. This refers to assorted scenarios where a criminal fraudulently uses somebody else’s information.
Of course, taking out a personal/business loan and community tax fraud are also common results of identity theft. You can help protect yourself by always keeping track of your personal documents and ensuring that you use strong passwords on accounts that contain personal information.
These Fraud Statistics May Seem Alarming
In fact, these fraud statistics may even make you feel as though you will soon become a victim of identity theft or have your credit card information stolen. The good news is that the above guide will help you understand how this behavior works, meaning you can protect yourself in the future.
Looking for more tips that can help you out later on? Check out the rest of our blog for plenty of more useful information.