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New research reveals nations most susceptible to online fraud

The U.S. ranks first with the highest total number of online fraud victims in the world.

Online shopping begins. Image by Tim Sandle.
Online shopping begins. Image by Tim Sandle.

The research, conducted by SEON, has assessed the overall state of online fraud across the globe. The data has been considered in relation to different age demographics.

The objective was to assess who is more susceptible to cybercrimes. The data relates to the fullest available dataset, which is from 2020. Presenting these data by country, the top ten countries for Internet fraud in 2020 is presented as:

RankCountry2020 Victim CountCountry GDPPopulationGDP per Capita
1United States465,177$20.95t329.5m$63,593
2United Kingdom216,633$2.76t67.2m$41,059
7South Africa1,754$335b59.3m$5,656

With the table ‘t’ represents ‘trillion’, ‘b’ for ‘billion’, and ‘m’ for million.

With reference to the table, Anglophone countries were revealed to be the primary target of online fraudsters. The top three countries are predominantly English speaking, as is Australia, which ranks sixth. Fourth-place India also holds a very large English-speaking population.

Starting with the top, the U.S. ranks first with the highest total number of online fraud victims in the world (at 465,177). The very high number of online fraud victims in the United States suggests that citizens are being targeted by online fraudsters as a result of the country’s large economy.

The UK ranks second with a total of 216,663 online fraud victims in 2020. While the UK has less than half the number of victims in the U.S., the UK has a population of around 20 percent that of the U.S. as a proportion, the data suggests that the U.K. has a much bigger Internet fraud problem for its relative size.

Canada ranks third with a count of 5,399 online fraud victims in 2020. The number of online fraud victims in Canada is considerably lower than that of the U.S. or the U.K., suggesting that these two countries are far ahead in terms of being targets of online fraud.

However, Canada’s victim count is almost double that of fourth-place India, which saw 2,930 fraud victims over a population of approximately 1.38 billion. Therefore, a key sliding scale is in place down through the table.

The research also revealed which age groups use the Internet the most, with those aged 25-34 ranking first and accounting for 32 percent of total internet users. The biggest number of users are a group who will be subjected to the greatest concentration of fraud related activity.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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