There has clearly been a rise in cybercrime over the last few decades, corresponding to the general rise of the Internet. However, even when you look at recent statistics, you can see that Internet crimes are still increasing. The Internet is far from new and it is now something that most people in America use every single day. So why is crime going up?
Before considering the reasons the crime may be increasing, take a look at the actual increase. Between just 2019 and 2020, the FBI reported that there was an “increase of more than 300,000” Internet crimes. This brought the total to 791,790 for the year. This makes it very clear exactly how big that increase was and why some have called online crime one of the fastest growing areas of illegal activity.
The top three crimes
Next, it’s worth noting that the top three Internet crimes were phishing scams, payment or delivery scams, and extortion scams.
Those accused of these crimes often attempted to steal information from users in order to defraud them. Non-delivery and non-payment scams generally meant that someone attempted to buy a good that was never provided or they provided a good and were never paid.
Cryptocurrency has been linked to some of this increase in online crimes. Because cryptocurrency itself is more difficult to trace than other forms of currency, it can change hands without the government’s knowledge. Since bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency have gained so much value in recent decades, that could be part of the reason for the increase in online crime.
Additionally, more people than ever are working from home and using the Internet for nearly every aspect of their life. Some people spend more time on social media than in actual social settings. So the Internet may not be new, but changes in how it has been used, especially over the last two years, may have pushed up these crime levels.
Are you facing charges?
Cybercrime is incredibly complex. Evidence can be much different than it would be in other cases. There’s a lot of technical knowledge that goes into determining exactly what took place. If you are facing accusations or criminal charges, you definitely need to know what your legal options are.