BEC still #1, but investment fraud overtakes romance scams


The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center ( has released its 2021 Internet Crime Report.

The number of complaints increased by 7% to 847,376 from 2020 to 2021, but reported losses increased by 64% year-over-year to $6.9 billion!

For several years, the No. 1 type of cybercrime has been business email compromise, followed by No. 2, romance scams. But this year we have changed! Criminals have discovered how many people don’t understand investing in cryptocurrencies and have turned investment scams into a new money mill.

Number 1 is still business email compromise, but with only a 3% increase in victims, reported financial losses increased by 28%. This represents an average loss of $120,000 per victim, compared to $96,700 per victim last year.

#2 Displaces Romance Scams from Investment Scams for the First Time with a Dramatic Increase! Investment scams increased from 8,788 complaints to 20,561 complaints, while losses increased by 333%, from $33.6 million to $1.45 billion! This represents an average loss of $70,810 per victim, compared to $38,287 per victim last year!

The No. 3 romance scam was quite similar to 2020 in terms of number of complaints, but the amount of losses still increased by 59%. In 2020, the average victim lost $25,272, but in 2021, the average victim lost $39,344. And these victims are generally elderly people!

Type of crime Losses 2021 2020 losses Loss Change Casualties of 2021 Casualties of 2020 Change of victims
BEC/EAC $2,395,953,296 $1,866,642,107 28% 19954 19369 3%
Investment $1,455,943,193 $336,469,000 333% 20561 8788 134%
Trust Fraud/Romance $956,039,739 $600,249,821 59% 24299 23751 2%
Personal data breach $517,021,289 $194,473,055 165% 51829 45330 14%
Real Estate/Rental $350,328,166 $213,196,082 64% 11578 13638 -15%
Technical support $347,657,432 $146,477,709 137% 23903 15421 55%
Non-payment/non-delivery $337,493,071 $265,011,249 27% 82478 108869 -24%
Identity theft $278,267,918 $219,484,699 27% 51629 43330 19%
Credit card fraud $172,998,385 $129,820,792 33% 16750 17614 -5%
Corporate data breach $151,568,225 $128,916,648 18% 1287 2794 -54%
Government impersonation $142,643,253 $109,938,030 30% 11335 12827 -12%
Advanced Fees $98,694,137 $83,215,405 19% 11034 13020 -15%
Civil matter $85,049,939 $24,915,958 241% 1118 968 15%
Usurpation $82,169,806 $216,513,728 -62% 18522 28218 -34%
Other $75,837,524 $101,523,082 -25% 12346 10372 19%
Lottery/Contest/Legacy $71,289,089 $61,111,319 17% 5991 8501 -30%
Extortion $60,577,741 $70,935,939 -15% 39360 76741 -49%
Ransomware $49,207,908 $29,157,405 69% 3729 2474 51%
Job $47,231,023 $62,314,015 -24% 15253 16879 -ten%
Phishing/Vishing/Smishing/Pharming $44,213,707 $54,241,075 -18% 323972 241342 34%
Too much paid $33,407,671 $51,039,922 -35% 6108 10988 -44%
IPR/copyright and counterfeiting $16,365,011 $5,910,617 177% 4270 4213 1%
Health care related $7,042,942 $2,904,2515 -76% 578 1383 -58%
Malware/scareware/viruses $5,596,889 $6,904,054 -19% 810 1423 -43%
Terrorism/Threats of violence $4,390,720 $654,7449 -33% 12346 20669 -40%
Gambling $1,940,237 $3,961,508 -51% 395 391 1%
Reshipment $631,466 $3,095,265 -80% 516 883 -42%
Denial of Service/TDoS $217,981 $512,127 -57% 1104 2018 -45%
Crimes against children $198,950 $660,044 -70% 2167 3202 -32%

Examples of investment scams

What does an investment scam look like? The most common these days promise a guaranteed investment rate. Thousands of investment fraud sites have been created and most of them are distributed on social networks. People who claim to be successful on the sites are often only trying to earn a commission by referring others to the site.

It only took a few hours to find over 500 live investment scam sites last month. Many of these sites are still active today.

Many sites are unlikely to attract real investors due to the ridiculousness of their pricing. No one believes they can make 50% an hour… however this site promises that if you can get your associates to invest, you’ll get 5% of whatever they deposit. It’s quite common.

Crypto-Trades(.)United Kingdom

A more credible site promises a much lower rate, like 3% per day for investments up to $4,999. If the site owners believe they have a big fish, they can actually PAY the 3% for a small investment, using this as proof that the system is working in a way to attract a larger investment. This site, and many others like it, then offer 6% daily profits for investments of at least $5,000, or 9% daily profits for investments of at least $30,000.

The site pictured above claims to be “Crypto-Trades(.)uk” and offers proof of its legitimacy by providing a link to its “Registration Certificate”.

Crypto-Trades point United Kingdom

claiming to be the British company “Crypto Ltd”, which is a real company, but not them.

They are regularly mistreated in this way. CryptSparkFX(.)com, Crypto-binary(.)com, CryptoTrust(.)ltd, CryptoAlphas(.)uk, CryptoHive(.)uk, Webull-Investments(.)com, ExploreFX(.)uk, Crypto-Gain( .)ltd, Slushpool-investment(.)com, Intrex-invest(.)com and FedelityFunds-Crypto(.)com are some of the other investment scam sites that use their address, hoping to gain credibility from it.





A true victim’s story

A successful businessman from my area came to me for help. He had initially joined a group like those above called CryptoHood(.)io which later became CryptoHood(.)co. He invested a small five-figure amount on their site and got scammed, losing everything. While he was complaining about being scammed, a member of a Facebook investment group let him know that they too had been scammed by these people. But good news! He had found a legitimate business that was really profitable! EasonFXPro(.)with! As he had already been burned, he invested this time to a lesser extent. $2,500. A sum that this CEO “could afford to lose”.

The scammers let him know that because he was a VIP investor, they were going to let him use their “special” app, so he could track his trades in real time. The theory was that their advanced artificial intelligence was trading Bitcoin to make incredible profits. The app they were using was on the Google Play Store… but the VIP version was only available through their special URL. They convinced him to download the app from “blockchain.en.uptodown(.)com/android/download/2264221”. This was his “personalized” version. He was truly amazed by the robot and was able to enter “his” Bitcoin address into any blockchain explorer to see his earnings. (We checked the address, and he was making huge volumes of small transactions… it just wasn’t his wallet. He was led to believe that the transactions were “the AI ​​making transactions” to A few months later, his Bitcoin address contained funds worth almost $250,000! So he decided to cash out.

To be able to collect, all he had to do was pay them a “Sigma Fee” of 10%. He refused ($25,000!?!?!?!)

They then offered to let him withdraw just $50,000, for a Sigma fee of just $5,000.

He was harassed on the phone for a time by “Elizabeth Frances” and “Evelyn” and “Mark Gerrard” and “Steven Williams”, but chose to file an report about his experiences and walk away from Crypto Investments for a while.

The lure of easy money

With 1100 likes, it must be real, right?

And they provide screenshots as proof that they are actually paid! So it’s guaranteed, right?

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