Online shopping is great but it does have its drawbacks. Like, who hasn’t been browsing Amazon or Bass Pro Shop at midnight after a few glasses and regretted it the next morning?
What’s worse than a late-night impulse buy is online scams and cybercrime! At least with an impulse buy you get SOMETHING but with an internet scam most are only left with lost money and anxiety about identity theft. Cybercrime is on the rise and especially in Michigan. As a matter of fact, internet crimes cost Michiganders $181 Million in 2021!!!
What does this mean for your Paycheck, why is it happening, and what can be done about it?
Here’s Five Fast Facts:
- 📈 Online sales grew faster than your waistline during the pandemic - Online sales in the U.S. topped $870 billion last year. That’s a 14% increase from 2020. But as sales grow, so do losses. Internet crimes have increased nearly 400% in the past five years, going from $1.4 billion in 2017 to $6.9 billion in 2021.
- 🐟🎣 Phishing doesn’t mean following the band - Phishing is using emails designed to trick people into falling for a scam. This crime accounted for the biggest chunk of last year’s victims. Of the nearly 550,000 internet crime victims, about 60% of them reported losses from phishing scams.
- 😴 Not a top ten list to bring home to Mom - Michigan is one of the top 10 states for losses with over 10,000 victims according to the 2021 FBI Internet Crimes Report. Word to the wise: save that link for the next time you can’t sleep. You’ll either be asleep in minutes, or you’ll never sleep again.
- 🤴 Yes, this affects you too. Even if you didn’t send money to a desperate Nigerian Prince there's still a hard cost associated with every crime. For example, on average one cyberattack costs a company $133,000. This ultimately gets passed down to every one of us in the form of cost increases on goods and services. Also, if your information is stolen, then that one incident usually costs a person around $1,000 each time.
- 👀 Stay vigilant - There are ways to protect yourself and your identity online. You should update passwords frequently, destroy printed records in a timely manner, and monitor your credit report. Check out more internet safety tips here.
🔥Bottom line: Internet crime is everywhere, and anyone can become a victim. But stay alert and maybe stop leaving your credit card with every bartender in town. That’s a good start to securing your information both online and “in real life.”
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