FBI: Internet crime complaints increased 69% in 2020

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In its annual report, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center said it received 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crime in 2020 -- an increase of more than 300,000 in the year prior.

According to the FBI, the reported losses exceeded $4.2 billion. Florida ranks second on the FBI’s list when it comes to reported internet crimes.

The top three crimes in the nation reported by victims in 2020, the FBI said, were phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion. Victims lost the most money to business email compromise scams, romance and confidence schemes and investment fraud.

Florida ranked fourth on the FBI’s list of total victim losses, with $295,032,829.

The FBI also said it received over 28,500 complaints of scams in 2020 related to COVID-19. It said fraudsters targeted both businesses and individuals.

“The FBI and our law enforcement partners have been tracking this very closely since the early days of the pandemic,” said Amanda Warford Videll, Jacksonville FBI spokesperson.

The bureau advises against people sharing their personal information online and strongly urges people monitor their credit.

“You can always freeze your credit if you are not going to be applying for any loans or anything like that, so if your identity is stolen, new lines can’t be opened up in your name,” Warford Videll said.

People can report criminal internet activity to the FBI online at its website.

About the Author:

Award-winning broadcast and multimedia journalist with 20 years experience.