Cyber Security

New data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), shows a massive increase in the cost of internet crimes, with phishing and business email compromise topping the list.

According to, phishing is defined as a cybercrime in which person is contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.

The IC3’s recently-released annual Internet Crime Report gives us a broad picture of what kinds of cybercrimes are being perpetrated across the U.S. every year. The IC3 was established in May 2000 to receive complaints of internet related crime and has received more than 6.5 million complaints. This year saw increases in the number of reported cases – 847,376 (a 7% increase), and the amount of losses hitting nearly $7 billion!

38% of all reported cases in 2021 were phishing/social engineering scams; the 323,972 cases represent a 34% increase in case counts. The second is business email compromise, which was responsible for nearly $2.4 billion in losses, but only slightly less than 20,000 cases. This equates to an average loss of $120,000 per case.
Phishing, business email compromise, and ransomware are serious cybercrimes with even more serious repercussions. All tie back to the use of social engineering tactics to fool victims. Attacks may also appear to come from all kinds of organizations, such as charities, community groups, personal or business affiliations.

The number one preventive step every person can do to help curb phishing attacks is through knowledge and awareness. On the next pages, we will highlight some great tips to staying safe online, and the best news is that many of them are free and easy!