Less fraud but more damage from online scams
In the run-up to Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, the Fraud Helpdesk received fewer reports of fraud and internet scams. Despite the lower number of reports, the damage did increase sharply. All in all, victims collectively suffered 135,500 euros in financial damage.
Between November 1 and December 5, the Fraud Helpdesk received 512 reports of fraudulent online stores. Of these, 411 people turned out to have actually become victims of cybercriminals.
If we compare these figures with last year, we see a sharp decrease in the number of reports of internet scams. We are talking about a decrease of almost a quarter (22.5 per cent). In 2020, 661 people approached the Fraud Helpdesk to report a report of fraud. A group of 533 people turned out to have fallen prey to scammers.
Increase in damage amount of almost half
The number of reports of phishing between early November and last night was 749. With phishing, cybercriminals try to steal as much personal data or other confidential information as possible by sending fake messages. For example, they pose as a bank employee and try to convince gullible people that their bank account has been hacked. To secure their savings, they have to transfer their money to a secure ‘vault account’. In reality, the money ends up in the bank accounts of criminals or money mules.
In total, 15 people fell for the phishing messages from scammers. Their total damage amounted to EUR 100,573. Last year there were 31 victims who collectively lost 18,876 euros. All in all, the financial damage caused by fraud and internet scams increased between November and early December from 91,000 euros in 2020 to 135,500 euros this year. That is an increase of 48.9 per cent.
Tanya Wijngaarde, the spokeswoman at the Fraud Helpdesk, says she has no idea why the number of reports of fraud and fraud is lower than last year, but the amount of damage is significantly higher.
Police paint a different picture of internet scams
The figures presented by the Fraud Helpdesk paint a different picture than the police paint. In the first three weeks of November, before the Black Friday and Cyber Monday discount campaigns, the police received 15,732 reports from people who had been scammed by a webshop. More than half of the reports were made against online stores that turned out not to exist at all. The National Internet Reporting Center (LMIO) received more than 600 complaints about one web store in one weekend.
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