$1.1B Earnings from Fake Special Services

According to data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in 2023, fraudulent activities involving impersonation of well-known companies and government entities topped the list of complaints from users.

In 2023 alone, there were over 330,000 cases of fraud related to fake business entities and nearly 160,000 cases involving impersonation of government agencies, accounting for almost half of all fraud reports. The financial losses from such scams surpassed $1.1 billion, tripling compared to 2020.

Comparison of the number of fraud cases between 2020 and 2023:

The tactics of scammers have evolved significantly, shifting from phone calls to email and text messages. There has been a rise in thefts through bank transfers and cryptocurrencies. Cybercriminals now blur the lines between different types of organizations, posing as employees of marketplaces, banks, or even government agencies.

The main types of fraud include:

  1. False security account notifications: Alerting users of suspicious activities or unauthorized operations, requiring immediate action.
  2. Subscription extension scams: Notifying about automatic subscription renewals for services users were unaware of.
  3. Gift and discount fraud: Promising discounts or prizes from reputable companies or government bodies, leading to demands for gift card purchases or money transfers.
  4. Fictitious legal issues: Impersonating government agencies claiming a user’s identity was involved in criminal activities, asking for money transfers or gift card top-ups.
  5. Phony delivery problems: Pretending to be postal or courier services, alerting about delivery issues and requesting banking information or additional payments for reshipment.

To safeguard against fraud, it is essential to avoid clicking on links and not respond to unexpected messages. If in doubt, individuals should reach out directly to the company or institution using official contact information. Moreover, skepticism towards requests for gift card purchases or ATM transactions for bitcoins as a means of protecting assets is crucial. Remaining calm and resisting the manipulation of scammers encouraging unwanted actions are imperative in combating fraud.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.