The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center logged 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crimes last year — an increase of more than 300,000 complaints from 2019. Reported losses exceeded $4.2 billion, reports Yahoo News.
With local governments, schools and businesses using the internet to stay connected during the pandemic, hackers have been busy at work trying to exploit weaknesses in computer systems to steal money and personal information.
Computer “phishing” scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams and internet-based extortion topped the list of the cybercrimes committed, the agency said.
The attacks range from malware, ransomware and email phishing scams, to old-fashioned con games using the internet to trick people out of their money.
A new cyber center has been working with local governments to help them understand how to lessen the risks, respond to attacks and harden their infrastructure to protect against hackers.
Attorney General Maura Healey recently created a new Data Privacy and Security Division under her office to protect consumers from the surge of cyber threats.
Healey said the new cyber division will focus on “empowering Massachusetts consumers in the digital economy, ensuring that companies are protecting personal data, and promoting equal and open access to the internet.”