SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A new report out from the FBI shows Americans lost more than $10 billion to cyber criminals in 2022.
“At the end of the day, all fraud boils down to this: it’s a lie to steal your money,” said David Nanz, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Springfield, Illinois Office.
Nanz says fraud schemes are constantly evolving.
“The fraud perpetrators are just growing their schemes,” he said.
According to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, Illinois had the fifth-most victims per state. Business Email Compromise scams, which target businesses and individuals performing transfers of funds, topped the list, with $83.3 million lost. Investment fraud losses totaled more than $75.6 million, and tech support scams accounted for $31.4 million lost.
Missouri was the 22nd most victimized state, losing $49.1 million to BEC scams, $29.2 million to investment fraud, and $11.4 million in tech support scams.
“A lot of these emails trying to defraud you emanate from overseas. You’ll often times see typos in them, because English is not the first language of the fraudster,” Nanz said. “All-too-often, we see investment fraud victims invest in something they don’t really have clarity into what it involves, and investing with someone who they don’t know, who they’ve done no due diligence with.”
Nanz says protecting yourself from them scams takes both vigilance and skepticism.
“There are some simple ways to do this, which include simply calling the legitimate bank or federal government agency or whoever is purporting to actually be contacting you to confirm that the phone call or the text message or email you receive is legitimate,” he said.
Nanz stresses the importance of reporting these crimes so the authorities can investigate who these scammers are, where they’re from and how they’re operating.
“The reason we need this information is it helps us connect the dots,” he said. “When someone targets you with some sort of scam, you can be sure they’re targeting hundreds of others.”