Find out how Missouri is affected by e-commerce scams
As economies around the world have suffered, slowed and effectively come to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fraud economy has thrived. Experts have estimated that the annual global cost of fraud in 2020 will total just over US$5 trillion, more than the gross domestic product of most countries.
But these were pre-pandemic estimates, derived under pre-pandemic conditions and an old normal. Experts believe the true total in our new concurrent COVID reality is much higher. In some parts of the world, fraud rates have increased by almost 20%.
The fraud economy, like any other, is large, complex, and full of skilled operators running it. Cybercrime is a major contributor to the fraud economy, with e-commerce fraud as an offshoot.
In the first year of the pandemic, U.S. e-commerce sales grew more than 32%, totaling $791.7 billion, as businesses and consumers shifted to online shopping amid lockdowns, social distancing restrictions, physical lockdowns and illness-related anxiety. . But where there is honestly earned prosperity, there is also an opportunity for bad actors to profit.
Wicked Reports broke down 2020 state-by-state data (including Washington DC) from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaints Center to determine the states most affected by e-commerce non-payment and non-delivery scams, ranked by losses per casualty. Population data as of July 1, 2021 was pulled from the US Census Bureau to estimate casualties per 100,000 citizens for each state. Interestingly, the five states most affected by these scams were neither the states that bought the most online – which might have made them statistically more likely to be affected – nor the states that bought the least online, which which could have indicated a lack of knowledge of e-commerce best practices.
Vigilance and a bit of skepticism can be your greatest asset in protecting your information online, especially in e-commerce settings. If a website looks suspicious or an offer seems too good to be true, walk away. Or at least take the time to check it out. E-commerce fraud is expected to increase by 105% by 2025.
Read on to see how your state fared amid widespread e-commerce scams or check out the national story here.
Missouri in numbers
– Losses per victim: $1,939 (12% less than the national average)
– Victims per 100,000 citizens: 28 (#25 highest among all states)
– Total monetary loss: $3,370,742 (18th highest among all states)
More than 60% of Internet users in the United States have been victims of cybercrime. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaints Center (IC3), the top five reported cybercrimes are phishing, non-payment/non-delivery, extortion, personal data breach, and identity theft . People over the age of 60 are the most likely to be targeted and victimized by cybercrime. In 2020 alone, this segment of the population lost over $966 million to online fraud.
Non-payment and non-delivery fraud was the second most reported type of cybercrime in 2020. According to the FBI, in non-delivery situations, where the victim is the buyer, payment is sent but the goods and services are never received. In non-payment scams where the victim is the seller, items or services are sent, but payment is never received. These types of scams increased by 76% between 2019 and 2020. Just under 100,000 Americans were affected by this type of e-commerce crime and collectively lost $217 million.
Keep reading to see which states have been most and least affected by e-commerce scams.
States most affected by e-commerce scams
#1. Iowa: $4,858 in losses per victim (121% more than the national average)
#2. Georgia: $4,431 in losses per victim (101% more than the national average)
#3. Utah: $3,713 in losses per victim (69% more than the national average)
States least affected by e-commerce scams
#1. Washington DC: $691 loss per victim (69% less than the national average)
#2. Kansas: $980 in losses per victim (56% less than the national average)
#3. Kentucky: $1,085 in losses per victim (51% less than the national average)
This story originally appeared on Wicked Reports and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.
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