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Internet Scams & Internet Fraud Cost US Citizens $525m in 2012

Last Updated
  • May, 20, 2013
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The rate of online fraud in the US has gone up through the roof. The recent report on the costs associated with the incidents of online frauds in US alone uncovered a staggering figure. US internet users were defrauded for over $525m by scammers.

Almost 300,000 cases of online fraud were registered in the US in 2012 alone. The data on these cases of online frauds has recently been revealed. Although online frauds occurred across all segments, some segments witnessed a substantially high number of frauds as compared to others. These are:

Vehicular Fraudinternet fraud

Vehicular fraud topped the list when it came to the most financially damaging fraud on the victims. This fraud cost almost $65m to internet users in 2012. Hackers and Scammers sold vehicles and related items to internet users that they actually didn’t own.

While this figure is already mindboggling, it needs to be kept in mind that many people who suffer such frauds do not report to the appropriate agencies due to many reasons.

Changing Trends

Experts in the field believe that the actual amount of the fraud would actually be much higher. Moreover, the number of frauds occurring online is expected to go up even further as scammers and fraudsters are increasingly shifting their focus from the real world to the digital world. This trend is obvious from the graph presented below:

Internet Scams

 Other FraudsInternet Scams

While automotive fraud tops the list when it comes to inflicting the maximum financial damage, there are other types of frauds at work, well. Romance frauds cost US internet users a total of $56m in 2012 while Real Estate frauds cost US internet users $15m.

Apart from these, $10.6m were extorted from US internet users in 2012 by using intimidation as tactics while impersonation of FBI representatives by fraudsters was used to siphon out $4.7m from innocent US internet users.

Conclusion

Many experts believe the fraudsters and criminals are piggyback riding data breachers who can spy on the activities of innocent internet users, get hold of their identities and internet behavior, and then come up with an appropriate scam or fraud. Moreover, these fraudsters try to pick on internet users with the least amount of technical know-how. The only way ordinary internet users can protect their online activities and prevent data breaches is by using a VPN service.

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Kamil Mahmood

Kamil is a techie who loves to stay online 24/7/365 to keep his fingers on the technological pulse and feel its digital heartbeat. Kamil is a proponent of complete internet freedom for all and likes to write about internet privacy and security, especially Virtual Private Networks or VPNs.

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