Members of the US Military Targeted by Cybercriminals

Cybercriminals truly have no shame when it comes to their trade. No one is safe from these nefarious criminals when it comes to fraud and phishing attempts.

An investigation from AtlasVPN published in CISOMag revealed that the U.S Military personnel have lost around $379.6 million (£290 million) to a range of fraudulent schemes from 2015 to June 30, 2020. According to the report, military staff have reported in excess of 680,000 complaints about fraud, identity theft, or other consumer issues to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

These complaints were categorised into three different types:

  • Complaints from all military members including reserved forces & their family members
  • Complaints from currently active members
  • Veterans & retired personnel

Key highlights from the analysis include:

  • Most Military Personnel lost around $51.9 million in damages to fraud schemes like lottery scams, with 10,822 people reported being a victim of lottery or similar scams.
  • Over 22.4% of people who reported scams did lose money, with a gross average loss of $2,800.
  • Veterans & retired personnel accounted for over 417,560 complaints and lost over $217.2 million
  • The monetary damages to military personnel was at $46.5 million. Government impersonation scam was reported the most, with 112,987 complaints since 2015.
  • Impersonating businesses caused $36.6 million in monetary damages since 2015, with 31,334 people cases of fraud where impostors pretended to be high-profile businesses.
  • Romance scams lured out $24.5 million from unsuspecting victims, with 1,666 people becoming victims to the scams. Around 56.2% claimed that they lost money to these scams.
  • Online Shopping scams cost $11.3 million, with personnel raising a total of 13,935 complaints, with 65.6% of them reporting financial damages. The median loss for online shopping scams was the lowest at $166.
  • Consumers reported investment seminars and investment advice scams 100 times since 2015, but the median loss was at $20,000. With only 100 complaints, this scam lured out a total of $2.3 million.

Regardless of your job, it is essential to take any precaution when sent unsolicited messages. After all, you never know who could be operating on the other side.

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