Number of Scams Boomed
The number of reported scams increased from 139 million in 2019 to 266 million in 2020. The amount lost grew from €36 ($41.7) to €41 ($47.8) billion.
While the definitions and reporting methods used by different countries for scams differ strongly, nearly all nations have reported large increases in the number of reported scams.
The number of scams and money lost is probably only a small fraction of the actual size of online fraud as less than 3% up to 15% of consumers report a scam.
Investment scams are on the rise
The money lost per victim differs strongly by country as well as the type of scam. From less than €10 for fake shops, counterfeiters, and subscription traps to several €100,000 for ransomware, Business Email Compromise (BEC), and investment/crypto scams.
With the “zero-interest” economy and boredom, people, especially men, proved to be willing victims to “investment opportunities”. These scams, also called ‘pig butchering,’ can run for 3, 6, or even 12 months. The scammer builds up a trusted and sometimes romantic relationship with the victim before inviting him to invest in an “incredible opportunity”.
Countries are becoming creative
To fight scams, many countries have resorted to more aggressive annual awareness…