Nigeria in 16th place in FBI’s list of countries most affected by internet crime

Nigeria has been placed 16th among the countries most affected by internet crime globally in 2020, according to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

According to the FBI’s latest internet crime report, Nigeria received 443 complaints relating to internet crime in 2020.

The FBI said victims of internet crime globally lost $4.2 billion in 2020, compared to $3.5 billion lost in 2019.

The top five crimes reported include phishing, non-payment/non-delivery, extortion, personal data breach and identity theft.

Excluding the US, the UK led among the most affected countries followed by Canada, India, Greece and Australia.

South Africa is the only other African country among the top 20, ranking sixth with 1,754 complaints.

The FBI’s internet crime complaint centre (IC3) said it received 791,790 complaints relating to internet crime — an increase of more than 300,000 complaints from 2019.

“Victims lost the most money to business email compromise scams, romance and confidence schemes, and investment fraud,” it said.

“Notably, 2020 saw the emergence of scams exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic. The IC3 received over 28,500 complaints related to COVID-19, with fraudsters targeting both businesses and individuals.”

Business e-mail compromise (BEC) schemes continued to be the costliest as 19,369 complaints with an estimated loss of approximately $1.8 billion bothered on them.

Nigeria has featured in the annual reports in 2016 (19th) and 2015 (3rd).

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