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FBI Internet Crime Report Shows Jump in Hawai`i Losses

Posted on 03/26/24

Hawai`i residents and businesses reported losing $51.7 million to internet crimes in 2023, a huge 45 percent increase over the $35.8 million reported in 2022. The number of Hawai`i complaints reported also increased from 1,703 in 2022 to 1,954 last year, a 15 percent increase.

The internet crime losses and complaints in Hawai`i are growing faster than the national average, according to the annual FBI Internet Crime Report, released earlier this month. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center said it received over 880,000 complaints last year with potential losses exceeding $12.5 billion nationally. That’s about a 10 percent increase in complaints from 2022 and a 22 percent increase in losses.

“The actual amount of fraud losses to internet crimes is likely much higher because many people and businesses don’t report crimes to authorities,” said AARP Hawai`i State Director Keali`i Lopez. “That’s why AARP Hawai`i tries to educate kupuna and their loved ones about fraud prevention through the AARP Fraud Watch Network (aarp.org/fraudwatch).”

The top three crime types most frequently reported by victims were phishing/spoofing, personal data breach, and non-payment/non-delivery. The new FBI report says top three crime types reported by victims of fraud loss are investment scams, business email compromise (BEC), and tech support scams. Phishing and spoofing schemes had over 298,000 complaints reported in 2023. Personal data breaches had over 55,000 complaints reported, and non-payment/non-delivery scams had 50,000 complaints.

The top three crime types reported by victims of fraud loss were investment scams, business email compromise (BEC), and tech support scams.

“Education can help protect ourselves, our workplaces and loved ones from fraud,” said Paul Greenwood, a former elder abuse prosecutor and AARP fraud speaker, who is coming to Hawai`i for a series of Fight Fraud Together seminars on Kauai, Hawai`i Island, Oahu and Maui April 22nd through April 26. The seminars will look at some of Hawai`i’s top frauds and strategies for spotting and avoiding fraud and financial exploitation.

Register for the free seminars and an April 5 webinar at 10:30 a.m. with Amy Nofziger, AARP Fraud Watch Network’s director of victim support, at events.aarp.org/hifraud24 or go to aarp.org/local or the AARP Hawai`i Facebook page to see all the events AARP is offering.

“At the Fraud Watch Network, we’re seeing an increase in cryptocurrency scams and online commerce scams targeting both sellers and victims,” Nofziger said. “Our Anatomy of a Scam webinar will take an in-depth look at internet and social media marketplace scams.”

Nationally, investment fraud was the biggest source of lost money, rising to $4.57 billion in 2023, a 38% increase from 2022. Within these numbers, crypto-investment fraud losses rose to $3.94 billion in 2023, a 53% increase from 2022. Business email complaints amounted to $2.9 billion in reported losses, and tech support scams were the third highest losses with over $924 million reported stolen.

Victims 30 to 49 years old were the most likely group to report losses from investment fraud, while those over 60 accounted for well over half of losses to tech support scams.

Ransomware continued to be damaging and impactful in 2023. IC3 received over 2,800 ransomware complaints and losses rose to $59.6 million, a 74% increase from last year. The critical infrastructure most reported as impacted by ransomware were health care and public health, critical manufacturing, and government facilities.

In a news release, the FBI said the Internet Crime Complaint Center gives the public a direct way to report cyber threats, complex financial crimes and other online threats. The FBI encourages victims to report suspected internet crimes at ic3.gov.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center was established in May 2000 to receive complaints of online-related crimes. Since its inception, IC3 has received over eight million complaints.

The FBI recommends that the public frequently review consumer and industry alerts published by the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

This story is provided by AARP Hawaii. Visit the AARP Hawaii page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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