Cybercriminals in America are getting richer. According to the Atlas VPN team’s analysis, Americans are estimated to lose $5.6 billion to internet crime by the end of 2021.
Cybercrime losses are expected to grow by nearly a third (32%) in 2021 from 4.2 billion in 2020. Compared to 2012, when cybercrime losses were 525.4 million, they are predicted to grow tenfold and reach record levels. By the end of this year, Americans will have lost 22.1 billion to cybercriminals since 2012.
The average growth rate of losses to internet crime in the US was estimated based on historical data from 2012 to 2020 provided by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Why losses to internet crime are rising
One of the main reasons behind the rise in cybercrime losses is the growing number of internet users in the United States. The more people spend their time online, the more potential targets cybercriminals have.
In 2020, there were 284.05 million internet users in the US, which is about 86% of the country’s population. Based on Statista’s estimates, the number of internet users in the US will increase by over 1% to 286.98 million in 2021. Therefore, a higher number of potential victims is expected.
According to Ruth Cizynski, a cybersecurity researcher and author at Atlas VPN, “Ever-evolving cyber threats, the emergence of schemes that exploit the Covid-19 pandemic, and smaller cybersecurity budgets are just a few more factors contributing to the rise in monetary losses due to cybercrime in 2021.”
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