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Losses Incurred by Americans to Various Online Scams in 2022, Estimated at $10.3 Billion

The most reported scams were phishing expeditions and large-scale spam operations aimed at getting unsuspecting individuals’ passwords to their online banking apps, PayPal accounts, and the likes.

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Cyber Security - Investors King

A report issued by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) revealed that losses incurred by Americans to various online scams stood at an estimated $10.3 billion in 2022.

This represents an increase of $4.4bn increase when compared to the $5.9 billion reported in 2021.

According to the internet crimes 2022 report, IC3 received an average of 2,175 complaints daily and 651,800 plus average daily complaints from 2016 to 2021. Reports disclosed that the IC3 has recorded more than 7.3 million complaints since its inception in 2000.

The most reported scams were phishing expeditions and large-scale spam operations aimed at getting unsuspecting individuals’ passwords to their online banking apps, PayPal accounts, and the like.

This accounted for 300,497 victims’ complaints that resulted in over $52 million in losses while data breaches and non-payment scams were the next most common interest scale in 2022, responsible for 58,859 and 51,679 complaints, respectively.

Call center scams, which were reported to primarily emanate from India, saw over $1 billion lost by victims. Call Centers mainly targeted the elderly, almost half of the victims report to be over 60 (46%) and experience 69% of the losses of over $724 million.

Also, Ransomware, a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid, saw several Americans impacted, which the FBI disclosed to have received 2,385 complaints with incurred losses of more than $34.3 million.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) disclosed that it has seen an increase in an additional extortion tactic used to facilitate ransomware. The threat actors pressure victims to pay by threatening to publish the stolen data if they do not pay the ransom.

By far, the most heavily targeted industry by ransomware attacks was the healthcare industry, followed by critical manufacturing and government. The FBI, therefore, warned individuals to desist from paying a ransom to scammers, as paying them may embolden adversaries to target additional organizations, and encourage other criminal actors to engage in the distribution of ransomware.

Talking about states in the U.S., California recorded the highest number of individuals who fell prey to internet scams. Next was Florida where 42,792 people lost more than a million, and Texas which comes third on the list where over 38,000 people lost $763 million. Arizona recorded the least amount of people who lost money to online scams with only $241 million recorded.

In the 2022 online scams report, victims under the age of 20 collectively lost $210 million, while the most money lost by victims over the age of 60 was $3.1 million. Reports disclosed that the FBI had a 73% success rate in retrieving stolen funds back to victims, Investors King understands.

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Seven Dead in Lagos as Rice Buyers Suffer Fatal Mishap

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Rice distribution by customs

Seven individuals lost their lives in Lagos during a stampede at the Yaba office of the Nigeria Customs Service.

The fatal mishap occurred amidst the sale of 25kg bags of rice to Lagos residents, highlighting the dire economic conditions facing many in the country.

The stampede erupted as a massive crowd of people gathered at the venue to purchase the bags of confiscated rice, which were being sold for N10,000 each.

Among the victims was Comfort Adebanjo, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), along with six others.

Their untimely demise has cast a shadow over the community and underscored the severity of the economic challenges plaguing Nigeria.

The tragedy has left families shattered and communities mourning the loss of their loved ones. In an obituary released by the APC, Adebanjo was remembered as a cherished member of Ward E1, whose presence will be deeply missed.

The Nigeria Customs Service expressed deep regret over the unfortunate incident, attributing it to impatience among the crowd.

Despite efforts to maintain order and safety, the overwhelming demand for rice led to chaos and ultimately, loss of life.

Abdullahi Maiwada, spokesperson for the Customs, emphasized that every effort was made to ensure the safety of attendees.

However, the sheer magnitude of the crowd overwhelmed their capacity to manage the situation effectively.

The tragic events in Lagos serve as a stark reminder of the profound challenges facing Nigerian communities.

As the nation grapples with economic hardships, the need for comprehensive solutions and support systems to protect vulnerable citizens becomes increasingly urgent.

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Travel

Air Peace to Launch Direct Flights to London, Sets March 30 for Inaugural Journey

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Nigeria’s leading airline, Air Peace, has unveiled plans to commence direct flight operations to London, with the inaugural flight scheduled for March 30, 2024.

The announcement came during a prelaunch forum organized by the airline, engaging travel agencies and partners involved in the upcoming London flight operations.

The Chief Operating Officer of Air Peace, Oluwatoyin Olajide, assured stakeholders that the London operations would be daily and conducted with Boeing 777 aircraft and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, known for their modernity and efficiency.

Olajide emphasized the direct, non-stop nature of the flights, without layovers, and the airline’s commitment to providing unbeatable fares.

Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema, disclosed that the airline had received approval from the Federal Government, facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Aviation, for flights to New York, USA.

Onyema also declared a unified commission for all airline agents, regardless of size or status.

With commendations from industry leaders and associations for Air Peace’s nationalistic drive and dedication to the country, the airline is poised to connect Nigeria with London and further enhance its international presence.

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Nigeria to Implement Biometric Clearance Gates at International Airports by March 2024

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muritala-muhammed-airport

Nigeria is gearing up to introduce a significant upgrade to its airport security measures with the implementation of biometric clearance gates at international airports by March 2024.

This move aims to streamline passenger processing and bolster national security efforts.

Under the plan, five major international airports across Nigeria, including the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, and Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, will be equipped with biometric clearance gates.

These gates will utilize advanced technology to provide seamless clearance services for passengers entering the country.

Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, emphasized that the installation of biometric gates reflects Nigeria’s commitment to enhancing border control management and adhering to global best practices.

The gates are expected to significantly reduce clearance times, with a passenger clearing in just 30 seconds.

Tunji-Ojo highlighted the gates’ dual purpose: expediting passenger processing while also enhancing national security by allowing for quick identification of persons of interest.

The initiative aligns with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, aiming to provide quality services to Nigerians while ensuring national security.

This modernization effort is poised to address long-standing issues of delays and improve the overall travel experience for passengers at Nigeria’s international airports.

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