A new federal report has revealed that Arizona ranks fifth in the nation in terms of money lost to Internet scams last year.
According to a May 23 AZ Central article, the federal Internet Crime Complaint Center, which produced the report, found that Arizonans lost approximately $25 million throughout 2014 to various Internet scams. The Internet Crime Complaint Center works with the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center to aid in investigating cyber crimes against the public.
Women aged 40 to 49 were most likely to be targeted by scammers, the agency found; this group lost an estimated $7.6 million total. The majority of Arizona complaints made to the Internet Crime Complaint Center came from residents over the age of 60.
And while Arizona ranked fifth in the amount of money it lost to scams, it only ranked 11th in the number of complaints filed. California ranked first in both categories, with its residents losing about $131 million to Internet scams. Florida came in second, losing $52.5 million, while Texas came in third and New York came in fourth, losing approximately $97 million between the two of them.
Compared to 2013, there was a rise in the number of complaints related to business emails across the country. Affected businesses lost a total of $226 million in these scams. On average, email marketing yields approximately $44.25 for each dollar invested in it; the typical complainant loses an average of $6,472 when scammed by one of these emails.
In addition to business email scams, online consumers are commonly scammed through online auto fraud scams and real estate scams, AZ Central reports. One of the fastest-rising forms of online scamming is the social media scam, with tactics like “click-jacking” accounting for 12% of the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s complaints.
All told, the agency reports that members of the American public were scammed out of $800 million throughout 2014. Figures like these reveal the clear and immediate need for increased vigilance of online crime.