STUDY: Hawai‘i 65% More Likely to Fall Victim to CybercrimeJanuary 12, 2019, 10:00 AM HST (Updated January 12, 2019, 8:41 AM)
Hawai‘i residents are more likely to fall victim to internet scams than in years prior, according to a new study based on FBI data. The analysis shows that between 2012 and 2017, people in Hawai‘i became 65% more likely to be victims of cybercrime.
Hawai‘i also showed among the highest concentrations of cybercrime victims per 10,000 residents, ranking No. 6 in the nation in the study.
However, the state also saw the largest decrease nationwide for average monetary losses (-21%) to internet fraud between 2012 and 2017.
Conducted by consumer tech website Comparitech, the study used data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to find the most common scams, average losses and how each states compares. Overall, cyber attacks and internet fraud are showing an alarming trend of increasing no matter where you are.
It may come as no surprise that cybercrime is becoming more and more common in the digital era. But analysis also shows that internet scams are becoming harder to spot. In fact, more millennials reported losing money to cyber fraud than older Americans in 2017.
So what should people look out for when it comes to web scams? The study found three scams in particular account for the majority of cyberattacks:
- Nonpayment or nondelivery: customers either pay for goods that aren’t shipped or they ship out goods and never receive payment for them. These situations are common on peer-to-peer selling sites like eBay.
- Personal data breach: a person’s sensitive personal data is copied or stolen. The 2013 Yahoo hack remains the largest breach of personal data in history, compromising more than 3 billion users.
- Phishing: includes unsolicited emails, text messages and telephone calls from a fake company seeking personal or financial information.
Although these scams were shown to be the most common, they weren’t the most costly. Combined with nonpayment and nondelivery, the following two scams accounted for more than $1 billion in losses:
- Business email compromise (BEC) or email account compromise (EAC): target companies working with foreign suppliers or other businesses with regular wire transfers. BEC fraud imitates email correspondences to pose as the rightful recipient of a transfer.
- Confidence fraud: a perpetrator deceives a victim by building a trusting relationship to extract money or personal information. In 2017, more than $211 million was lost as a result of reported confidence fraud.
Though cybercrime is probably not going away anytime soon, people can reduce their chances of falling victim by educating themselves on internet security and staying in the know about current scams.