It is a well known fact that there are “sucker lists” which contain the contact info of folks who have fallen for an online scam. These lists are sold and re-sold to wanna-be-scammers.
If you have fallen victim to a scam, the chances of more scammers contacting you are very high. With each new attempt the scams look more like the real thing. We need to be diligent in these times. There are much higher rates of unemployment in the world right now, and that means that there will be more people that turn to crime in order to make money.
The global cost of cybercrime is expected to hit 11.4 million dollars per minute in 2021. Yes, per minute! In the US, Florida is only surpassed by California in the number of cybercrime victims and total losses. Which makes sense, as the losses by age group show that “over 60” is the most victimized age group in numbers and losses.
The average person in the US has dramatically increased their internet use since the pandemic hit. Being stuck at home and looking for ways to connect, or find entertainment has driven this increase. Facebook has seen a 27% increase in traffic. Youtube and Netflix have both seen an increase of over 15%.
This means more exposure to online scammers. It is important that we remain safe while we use the web. It is also important to be very cautious about the email we open. There has been a big upswing in fraudulent email scams. This is where the scammer creates emails that look very convincingly like the real thing from a bank or financial institution.
What should you do if you have been scammed?
The FBI has a website where you may file a complaint: www.ic3.gov
Please tell your friends and family if you have been scammed, as they are very likely to be the next victim. I know, it can be embarrassing, however… When a scammer gets your details, and possibly access to your computer, they look for your contacts to add to their hit list.