The Increase of Online Fraud Since 2020
Technology and the Internet have become a common part of our lives since 1990 when more and more people finally gained access to it. The technological development and constant growth in online presence have opened a whole new world of possibilities for us, and this world just keeps on expanding.
It even gave us opportunities we didn't realize could be possible before, from online shopping, remote working or studying, virtual reality gaming, gambling, and even dating. Since then we have learned how to use all the benefits they bring, from entertainment, remote working, or learning to fraud prevention solutions.
What can technology do for us?
While the increase in technological development started in the 90s when many people finally were able to afford the computer and start exploring the wondrous world of technology and the Internet, it wasn't until recently it reached new heights. While in the beginning, we only had access to the basics like using search engines, browsing websites, and communicating on simple messenger apps, but that has completely changed. Now, we have incredible technological advancements that make our lives easier, from improvements in the healthcare sector, developments of various apps such as banking, shopping, or even fitness to our smartphones and other smart devices. We have begun utilizing these advancements more and more, especially since 2020, when remote working and online shopping became more frequent. But, we were not the only ones that have used the development of technology to our benefit, as fraudsters have also used it to update their malicious activities and make them more sophisticated, harder to trace, and more dangerous.
Increase in online fraud since 2020
The truth is that fraudsters have always been around; as long as there is a profit to be made, there will be people willing to do anything in their power to do so. Fraudsters never take a break from their fraudulent behavior– they're always planning the next scheme and discovering new opportunities and ways to trick people. The rapid development of technology and our growing online presence have made this even easier for them. According to the FBI, in 2020, there has been an increase of 300 percent in reported cybercrime attempts compared to 2019, and the number just keeps growing. The biggest number of fraudulent cases are reported in connection with remote working, eCommerce, financial institutions, but online dating and gambling are not far behind.
More and more companies have realized the benefits of remote working, with 61% of employees preferring working fully remote and having the flexibility it comes with. Not only that it is beneficial for parents as it offers them better work/life balance, but it also allows all employees to work from anywhere in the world without being stuck in the office. Unfortunately, the increased danger of online fraud also comes with all the benefits. With the lack of the fraud prevention protocols working in office offers, employees working remotely are in danger of falling victims to phishing attacks, viruses, malware, and data breaches. This is why every company needs to expand its fraud prevention strategy to include remote employees and implement regular cybersecurity training to teach them how to deal with the new risks.
Over the last few years, e-commerce has become the dominant part of the retail business, with more and more consumers choosing to shop online instead of in person. Due to the digital transformation of the retail sector and new trends constantly being introduced, now consumers from all over the world can enjoy the benefits of online shopping. But this has made it easier for fraudsters to commit eCommerce fraud, scamming individuals and businesses out of their money.
Financial institutions have also experienced digital transformation and have introduced various new services to the point where physical institutions are almost becoming obsolete. Fraudsters quickly jumped on this developmental train and started exploiting financial institutions and their customers. Fraudsters have a vast arsenal of malicious actions in their sleeve, from phishing attacks training to trick users to revealing their confidential financial data, loan fraud to account takeovers, or identity fraud.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, it can be hard to keep up with the growing cyber threats. This is why it is up to everyone, from governments, businesses, and individuals, to take all the necessary steps to protect themselves from the dangers.