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57% of All Digital Crimes in 2021 Were Scams Says Group IB

As per the analysis, 57% of all cyber scams are financially motivated cybercrime, Group IB said during the Digital Risk Summit 2022.


Group-IB, headquartered in Dubai, U.A.E.,  a prominent name in the world of cybersecurity –has recently shared its analysis of the most widespread cyber threat in the world 'scams'.

As per the analysis, 57% of all cyber scams are financially motivated cybercrime. Phishing attacks accounted for 18% of cybercrimes, while malware infections and reputational attacks were 25%. As the scam industry is becoming more advanced, it now involves more and more parties divided into hierarchical groups. 

“A strong trend that we observed in 2021 was no-frills scammers merging into groups controlled by highly technically skilled villains,” says Antony Dolgalev, Deputy Head of Digital Risk Protection at Group-IB. 

At present, such groups have increased by 390, which is 3.5 times more than the last year, when the record of active groups was close to 110. Alongside, the brand-impersonating scam has also jumped high. 

The Group-IB analysts reported an increase of 150% in the Middle East and African region. This number is marginally high in comparison with the APAC region where such crimes are reported at 83% and in Europe, it is 89%. 

Due to SaaS (Scam-as-a-Service), in 2021 the number of cybercriminals in one scam gang increased 10 times compared to 2020, now climbing upto 100. 

“Group-IB’s AI-based platform identified somewhere between 75 and 110 scam groups last year, and the average number of cybercriminals per group was 10 members. The average number of scam links per group reached 100. SaaS helped grow not only fraudsters’ appetites but also the industry itself. In 2021 our DRP system tracked 350 groups, reaching up to 390 scam groups at the peak time. The number of cybercriminals in fraudulent groups has increased dramatically, averaging between 100 and 1,000 per group. In turn, their infrastructure has grown proportionally: the average number of scam links per group was between 2,000 and 3,000”, said Antony Dolgalev, Deputy Head of Digital Risk Protection at Group-IB. 

Following the research, analysts reported that traffic has become the circulatory system of scams. The number of websites that uses illegal traffic to lure victims into fraudulent schemes has increased by 1.5 times. With the advancement of technology, cyber gangs have also raised the sophistication level of scam techniques. One such technique, 'scam attack automation' is becoming more and more popular amongst fraudsters. Through this scheme hackers attract specific groups of victims to increase conversion rates, social media is the fastest doorway to establish contact between scammers and their potential victims.
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