Arizona lands in top 20 on FBI’s internet crime report

Apr 25, 2019, 6:45 AM | Updated: 6:57 am

PHOENIX — In the digital age, personal information can change hands rather quickly, even if you don’t give the authorization.

Taking into account internet crime complaints from the United States, American territories and the District of Columbia, the FBI compiled its annual Internet Crime Complaint Center [IC3] report of the cyber attacks that affected individuals in 2018.

When looking at Arizona, the report found the state wasn’t as vulnerable as California or New York to internet scams, but landed in the top 20 in a few categories.

While California took the No. 1 rank for the number of victims per state with 49,031, Arizona had a much lower number of 8,027, landing at No. 13.

In the victims’ total losses category, Arizona came in at 16th with $45,166,115 in losses. California, New York, Texas, Florida and North Carolina each exceeded more than $100 million in losses last year.

“The number one type of cyber crime for 2018 in Arizona was personal data breaches,” assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Phoenix division Paul Brown told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday. “The financial loss from business email compromise was number one.”

Of the 35 types of internet crimes in the 57 areas mentioned in the report, nonpayment/nondelivery scams had the highest victim count at 65,116. Looking at total losses, business email compromises/email account compromises topped the list at $1.29 million.

Victims 60 years of age or older were the most susceptible to internet crimes across the board, according to the report.

In 2018, more than 62,000 people were targeted, resulting in nearly $650 million in total losses.

“Individuals should be mindful of phishing attempts, the unsolicited emails asking for information,” Brown said when giving tips to help avoid potential cyber attacks.

“For organizations, I think it’s important to stay apprise on the latest scams. That IC3 report is so good it kinda tells you what we’re seeing, what’s going on around the nation and also right here in Arizona.

“Make sure your workforce is aware of that and make sure your workforce is cautious about clicking on links and attachments from those unsolicited emails.”

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Arizona lands in top 20 on FBI’s internet crime report