Cyber Crime

Defrauding the US Military: $379 million lost in 5 years to scams

The most successful scams targeting both in-service and retired US military veterans is sweepstake, prizes, and lottery related.

 

When we talk about victims of cybercrime, we usually imagine innocent civilians bearing the brunt of evil hackers out there. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Just last month Hackread.com published a report revealing how an international scam targeted US Military and veterans with identity theft and fraud. 

In the latest, an AtlasVPN report has revealed that in the past 5 years, personnel of the U.S Military have lost  $379.6 million to a range of scams. The evidence includes the 680,000 reports that were made by victims to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) who is responsible for handling such complaints.

These complaints are divided into 3 different categories:

  • All military members including reserved forces & their family members
  • Currently active members
  • Veterans & retired personnel – $217.2 million lost with 417,560 complaints making up the majority at above 55%.



 

Most scams were found in the lottery category at $51.9 million with 10,822 people. On the other hand, the least was found in the investment advisory services and seminars category at $2.3 million with complaints numbering a mere 100.

There is one type of scam that stands out in terms of median losses: investment seminars and investment advice scams. Consumers reported this scam only 100 times since 2015, but the median loss reaches $20,000. With only 100 complaints, this scam lured out a total of $2.3 million, stated John C of AtlasVPN in a blog post.

 

To conclude, this sheds light on how everyone no matter how well connected or active needs to be on the lookout for cybercriminals. All of these complaints are forwarded to local law enforcement agencies typically and so they can also play a vital role in educating people on the types of scams they may encounter.

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