The number of reported scams increased from 139 million in 2019 to 266 million in 2020. The amount lost grew from € 36 ($ 41.7) to € 41 billion ($ 47.8).
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the scam industry has boomed worldwide. In ScamAdviser.com’s 3rd Global State of Scams Report, for which we at Dr2 Consultants Shanghai also contributed, 42 countries were analyzed on the number of people scammed and the amount of money lost.
Although definitions and reporting methods used by different countries for scams differ strongly, nearly all countries have reported large increases in the number of reported scams. Also, it seems that with the “zero-interest” economy, many proved to be willing victims to “investment opportunities”. These particular scams are also called ‘pig butchering and can run for longer periods of time such as 3, 6 or even 12 months.
In order to combat scams effectively, many countries have resorted to more aggressive awareness campaigns. But as the themes of the scam usually change (e.g. pet scams, COVID grants), citizens worldwide still seem to fall for them, despite these earlier warnings. The World Economic Forum estimates that a mere 0.05% of all cybercriminals are eventually prosecuted. This makes online scamming, which is even more underreported than “big cybercrimes”, a very lucrative business.