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Recent Developments and Trends in Internet Crime Revealed in the 2022 Internet Crime Report by IC3

Article: Recent Developments and Trends in Internet Crime Revealed in the 2022 Internet Crime Report by IC3


The ever-evolving cyber threat landscape continues to pose significant challenges to individuals, organizations, and nations worldwide. In light of this, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released the 2022 Internet Crime Report, shedding light on the data, developments, and trends in internet crime.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), established in 2000, plays a critical role in the fight against cybercrime. The IC3 serves as a public resource for reporting cyberattacks and incidents, allowing the FBI to collect essential data, identify trends, and pursue the threats at hand. In 2022, the IC3 received 800,944 complaints, marking a 5 percent decrease from the previous year. However, it is important to note that the potential total loss has grown substantially from $6.9 billion in 2021 to over $10.2 billion in 2022.

Complaints and Losses over the Last Five Years. The trend shows an increase in losses despite a decrease in complaints.

One significant trend in the report is the decrease in reported ransomware incidents. While the number of reported cases has declined, it is crucial to acknowledge that not all victims report these incidents to the IC3. Consequently, ransomware remains a severe threat to the public and our economy. The FBI and its partners remain dedicated to disrupting ransomware actors and increasing the risks associated with such criminal activities. Public participation is essential, and individuals are urged to take proactive measures to prevent and prepare for potential cyber-attacks, reporting incidents promptly to the FBI through the IC3.

The IC3s role in combatting cybercrime

The IC3’s Recovery Asset Team (RAT) has proven instrumental in assisting victims of cybercrime. In 2022, RAT initiated the Financial Fraud Kill Chain (FFKC) on 2,838 Business Email Compromise (BEC) complaints, resulting in potential losses exceeding $590 million. Approximately $433 million was subject to monetary holds, demonstrating a remarkable 73 percent success rate. RAT’s success in freezing funds and recovering assets for victims highlights the effectiveness of collaborative efforts between financial institutions, FBI field offices, and the IC3.

Success rate of IC3s Recovery Asset Team.

The report provides threat overviews for 2022, focusing on key areas of concern. With losses amounting to $2.7 billion, Business Email Compromise (BEC) continues to be a prevalent threat, with criminals targeting domestic-to-domestic transactions.

Yet, investment scams remain the costliest concern, exploiting individuals’ desire for financial gains. In fact, investment fraud increased 117% from 2021’s $1.45 Billion to 2022’s $3.31 Billion. Interestingly, within those complaints, cryptocurrency fraud rose from $907 million in 2021 to $2.57 Billion in 2022, a 183% increase.

Investment losses reported to the IC3 include a breakdown of crypto and total investment fraud.

Additionally, despite decreased reported incidents, ransomware continues to pose a severe risk to both public and economic sectors. Call center fraud has also emerged as a concern, where criminals employ social engineering techniques to deceive victims and steal personal information.

The IC3 report provides detailed statistics on various aspects of internet crime to understand the cyber threat landscape comprehensively. It highlights victims’ age groups, international victim countries, and states with the highest victims and financial losses. Comparisons with previous years’ data allow for an assessment of the evolving nature of cybercrime. Furthermore, the report provides insights into specific crime types, emphasizing the importance of staying vigilant and adopting robust cybersecurity measures.

The IC3’s annual report underscores the significance of public reporting in combating cybercrime. Each report contributes to the collective understanding of cyber threats, enabling law enforcement agencies to connect complaints, investigate crimes, track trends, and even freeze stolen funds. Collaboration between the public, private sector, and law enforcement agencies is crucial in staying ahead of cybercriminals and protecting our digitally connected world.

Datasec remains committed to partnering with organizations and individuals in the fight against cyber threats. By leveraging the 2022 Internet Crime Report insights, we continuously refine our strategies and solutions to safeguard our clients and the broader digital community. Together, we can combat cybercrime, promote safety, and ensure a secure and confident digital future.

To read the full report: