A new analysis of data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) shows that Nevada has the most cybercrime victims by a larger margin than any other state in the union – 801 per 100,000 Internet users, four times the national average. .
An analysis by Surfshark, a privacy protection toolset developer based in Lithuania, states that the most common cybercrime committed in Nevada is identity theft, which may be because it is home to Las Vegas.
“With Nevada, it is easy to predict that identity thieves are targeting tourists who gamble,” said Mike Parkin, a senior technical engineer at Vulkan Cyber, a SaaS for enterprise cyber risk prevention in Tel Aviv, Israel. one provider told TechNewsWorld.
In 2021, Surfshark analysts said, there were 9,054 victims of identity theft in Nevada or 49% of all cybercrime victims.
Other states with high cybercrime victim rates per 100,000 Internet users include Iowa (342), Alaska (322), and Florida (293).
“These statistics from the FBI’s IC3 division help paint the overall picture of identity crimes committed each year in the US,” said James E. Lee, chief operating officer of the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) in San Diego.
“When you add up the more than 1.4 million reports of identity theft filed with the FTC in 2021, the 15,000 ID crime victims who contacted the ITRC in 2021, and the 190 million victims of data compromise tracked by the ITRC in 2021, So you start to look at the enormity of the problem presented by identity crimes,” Lee told TechNewsWorld.
“The bottom line is this: There are more identity theft crimes reported each year in the US than all other crimes except theft combined,” he said. “And the volume and velocity of identity crimes continue to increase, along with their financial impact.”
Nevada is also a hotbed for cybercriminals, with 150 cybercriminals per 100,000 Internet users, nearly three times the national average, according to analysts.
He explained that although threat actors outside the United States commit many cyber crimes, the FBI has identified a significant number of cyber criminals within US borders. In most cases, the FBI can identify the specific state where a cybercriminal is located, allowing them to see which states have the most cybercriminals per capita.
Only two other states reached triple digits in percentage per 100,000 Internet users: Delaware (120) and Maryland (113).
“It is interesting that Nevada had both the highest victims and highest offenders, while Nevada was in the bottom three in terms of victim harm,” Parkin observed.
According to analysts, the average victim of cybercrime in Nevada loses $4,728 per scam, while scammers average $4,280 per swindled in West Virginia and $3,820 in Iowa.
“Without a deeper analysis, it is difficult to say why the numbers are trending this way,” Parkin continued, “although Nevada is unique in demographics, local culture, and major industries, which may all play a role.”
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“Cybercrime is a growing concern in Nevada and across the country,” said John T. Sandler, spokesman for Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford.
“Our office has conducted extensive campaigns to educate Nevadans about the many different ways scammers like to target residents in their daily lives,” Sandler told TechNewsWorld. “These include phishing, romance, solicitation, gift card, holiday and government fraud scams.”
“AG Ford also joins a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general urging the FTC to adopt a national rule targeting impersonation scams,” he said.
While Nevada has the lowest losses for cybercrime victims, North Dakota has the highest losses at $31,711 per scam.
Analysts said studies have shown that the two most vulnerable age groups to cybercrime are youth under 25 and people 75 and older. He argued that 41% of North Dakota’s population is in those age groups which may contribute to that high loss figure.
However, Parkin pointed out that North Dakota’s small population, 774,948, may have influenced the statistics in the analysis.
Although the most profitable cybercrimes nationally are fund transfers via email and fake investment schemes, this is not the case in North Dakota, where 50% of money lost in cybercrime – $12.1 million – was committed by pretending to be friends or family. Lost to bandits, or romantic online relationships.
Other states with high per capita losses from cybercrime include New York ($19,266), South Dakota ($19,065), and California ($18,302).
Seniors most targeted
The analysts also revealed that the average cyberthief clears $14,048 per scam, but that too, from a state between Colorado ($33,605), Louisiana ($31,064), New York ($29,919) and Wyoming ($27,918) There can be a lot of ups and downs in other states. Highest. Among the lowest were West Virginia ($2,630), Nebraska ($4,148), Montana ($4,327), and Connecticut ($4,394).
In states where criminals commit the most thefts, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting small to medium-sized businesses with financial capital, analysts said.
He said the most profitable cybercrime in New York was investment scams, accounting for 34% of all money lost due to cybercrime in 2021. By comparison, only 19% of all money swindled through cybercrime nationwide in 2021 were investment scams.
Analysts said that the age group most prone to cyber crimes are seniors. In 2021, $1.7 billion is expected to be paid to 92,371 Americans age 60 and older.
Analysts say that while senior citizens have been the worst hit by cybercrime, other age groups have been disproportionately victimized. For example, people in the 40 to 49 year old group represent only 12.4% of the population, but account for 20.8% of all cybercrime victims in the United States. On the other side of the coin, people under the age of 20 represent 24.8% of the population, but only 3.5% of cybercrime victims.
There are also some variations by state, analysts said. For example, in 16 states, the most targeted age group was 59 and under, and in Iowa, the most targeted group was 20 to 29-year-olds.
“From a ‘who can I steal from’ perspective,” Parkin said, “children and the elderly are probably easier targets than people in the 40 to 49 range, but they are likely to have fewer resources to target.”
Analyzing cyber crime on a state-by-state basis can be useful for criminals, he said. “Understanding victims and target demographics can be used to develop specific techniques to help prevent attacks,” he added. “It may also help to understand why attacks are more or less effective in different regions.”