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04/09/2024

FBI Reports Cybercrime Losses Hit $12.5B, Record Number of Complaints Filed in 2023

FBI crime type losses
Source: FBI Internet Crime Report

Cybercrime losses rose to $12.5 billion and and reported incidents reached all-time highs last year, according to the 2023 FBI Internet Crime Report.

The FBI reported it received a record 880,418 complaints in 2023. This is nearly a 10% increase in complaints received, and represents a 22% increase in losses suffered, compared to 2022. The FBI said that incidents continue to be underreported.

“The cyber landscape is threatened by a multitude of malicious actors who have the tools to conduct large-scale fraud schemes, hold our money and data for ransom, and endanger our national security,” said Timothy Langan, executive assistant director for the FBI. “Profit-driven cybercriminals and nation-state adversaries alike have the capability to paralyze entire school systems, police departments, healthcare facilities, and individual private sector entities. The FBI continues to combat this evolving cyber threat. Our strategy focuses on building strong partnerships with the private sector, removing threats from U.S. networks, pulling back the cloak of anonymity many of these actors hide behind and hitting cybercriminals where it hurts: their wallets, including their virtual wallets.”

In one incident involving a real estate transaction last year in Stamford, Conn., an individual was in the process of purchasing a home. The victim received a spoofed email from their supposed attorney instructing them to wire $426,000 to a financial institution to finalize the closing. Two days after the wire was initiated, it was realized the instructions came from a spoofed email. Upon notification, the IC3 Recovery Asset Team (RAT) immediately initiated the Financial Fraud Kill Chain (FFKC) process to freeze the fraudulent recipient financial bank account. Collaboration with the domestic recipient financial institution and the local police department confirmed $425,000 was frozen and returned to the individual, which enabled them to complete the real estate transaction.

In 2023, the FBI initiated the FFKC on 3,008 incidents with potential losses of $758 million.

FBI Guidance for Sending Wire Transfers
  • Contact the originating financial institution as soon as fraud is recognized to request a recall or reversal and a Hold Harmless Letter or Letter of Indemnity.
  • File a detailed complaint with gov. It is vital the complaint contain all required data in provided fields, including banking information.
  • Never make any payment changes without verifying the change with the intended recipient; verify email addresses are accurate when checking email on a cell phone or other mobile device.

Last year, ALTA released an update to its Best Practices, which included a recommendation to use a wire verification service when sending money.

Report Incidents to IC3

Reporting incidents to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is important to helping law enforcement fight cybercrime. Click here to report a complaint.

ALTA Resources

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