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article imageFBI report: Rise in cybercrime targets the older population Special

By Tim Sandle     Mar 26, 2021 in Technology
The latest FBI cybercrime report finds there has been an increase in the number of email account compromise complaints, leading to identity theft and funds being converted to cryptocurrency.
The U.S. FBI has issued a new report looking at trends in cybercrime, considering the economic impact and the members of the general population who are at a greater risk from cyber-issues. As well as buisnesses, the report finds that the over-60s population are particularly vulnerable.
According to Rob Fry, Chief Technology Officer, Armorblox and former architect for NetFlix and Yahoo, the new report presents some areas of general concern, as he informs Digital Journal.
Fry notes that social engineering is a tactic exploited by scammers in order to prey on the most vulnerable members of the population.
In relation to this, Fry observes: "The 2020 IC3 report highlighted some sobering statistics on how cybercriminals continue to employ social engineering techniques to prey on vulnerable members of our society. Most of the COVID-19 related scams involved attackers fraudulently submitting unemployment insurance claims after stealing victims’ identities."
Furthermore, the nature of cybercrime extends further. Fry adds: "Paycheck Protection Programs (PPP) and small business economic injury disaster loans were also used in scams, harming people and businesses that were already most at risk from pandemic-related upheaval."
There are some specific demographics that can be used to assess the more vulnerable persons. Fry assesses: "If we look at cybercrime victims by age group, almost 22 percent of all complaints involved victims over the age of 60, with reported losses in excess of $966 million."
As a specific form of attack, Fry finds: "People over the age of 60 are often the subjects of romance scams, grandparent scams, caregiver scams, and charity scams. Given how uncertain and isolating 2020 was for all of us, the average person would be even more likely to respond to these social engineering cues."
The good news is that as more people become aware of Internet crimes and the methods used to carry them out, potential victims are equipped with a broader understanding of the dangers associated with Internet activity.
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