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FTC Refunds Over $11.45 Billion to Financial Fraud Victims

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cyber-security

Financial Fraud Victims Receive $11.45 Billion

 Scams in cyberspace have been a prevalent issue for quite some time, but the US government is taking measures to help cybercrime victims.

According to data presented by the Atlas VPN research team, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) refunded $11.45 billion to US financial fraud victims. As many as 7.04 million individuals received a refund from the FTC since its inception.

The FTC’s main mission is to protect US consumers by halting unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices in the marketplace. This independent agency of the United States government conducts investigations, sues companies and people that violate the law.

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN shares her thoughts on the FTC’s performance:

In short, it appears that the Federal Trade Commission is sticking to its word and helping scam victims. On the other hand, fraudulent schemes are still a painful and growing issue for US consumers.

Once an FTC lawsuit or settlement is final and the defendants have paid the money, the Bureau’s Office of Claims and Refunds creates a plan for returning that money to the victims.

By far, the most significant case involving fraudulent practices was carried out by AMG Services. After the settlement, the Federal Trade Commission issued $956.26 million refund checks to over 1.18 million recipients.

The second biggest fraud case in which the FTC sent out refund checks is the settlement with Herbalife. The case resulted in $199.51 million refund checks to 260 thousand victims and Herbalife’s restructuring.

The lawsuit alleged that Herbalife deceived consumers into believing they could earn significant profits from selling the company’s products. However, after investigating the business model, it became apparent that “it’s virtually impossible to make money selling Herbalife products.” The FTC said in a press release.

FY 2019 – a record year

In total, from the fiscal year 2016 to the fiscal year 2019, the Federal Trade Commission, or companies and individuals that were a part of fraudulent schemes, refunded more than $10.5 billion to scam victims.

In some cases, the FTC sends out the refunds by themselves. The FTC directly sent out $977.5 million in refunds since the fiscal year 2016. Over 9.1 million people cashed out these checks. The administrative costs of distributing the money reach $22.1 million.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Technology

Top 10 iOS Game Apps Record Over 190k Daily Installs in the US

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app store

10 iOS Game Apps Record Over 190k Daily Download in US

Data presented by Stock Apps indicates that the top ten games apps on iOS in the United States recorded an estimated 190,385 cumulative daily installs. The installs areas of as of September 23, 2020.

Pandemic spurs mobile gaming growth

Clash of Clans ranks top with about 21,667 daily installs. Pokémon GO has the second-highest installs at 21,346 followed by Coin Master with 20,824 daily installs. Among Us and Candy Crush Saga occupy the fourth and fifth spots at 19,890 and 18,898 respectively.

Other notable isntalls were recorded by Call of Duty(18,771), Homescapes(18,046), Roblox(17,040), Gardenscapes (16,948) and Toon Blast (16,864)

The research also overviewed the gross revenue for the day for the ranked games. Cumulatively, the games generated $9.75 million. Roblox leads with $2.48 million followed by Pokémon GO at $1.92 million while Candy Crush comes third at $1.86 million. Coin Master is fourth with a revenue of $978,273 while Homescapes closes the top five categories with $865,142.

Other game apps to generate significant revenue include Gardenscapes(16,948), Clash of Clans(21,667), Toon Blast(16,864), Call of Duty (18,771)and Among Us(19,890).

This has witnessed the growth of mobile gaming due to various factors. According to the research report:

The daily installs and revenue can be considered high having built on the moment established during the coronavirus pandemic. At the peak of the health crisis, most people were in lockdown and shifted to mobile games as a means of passing time. Notably, before the pandemic, mobile gaming on iOS and other platforms was growing rapidly. iOS game developer companies have been investing more resources into creating new games and mobile versions of well-known stationary games.”

The penetration of mobile devices is further expected to spur growth.

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Technology

Nigeria, South Africa, Others Experience Millions of Cyber Attacks in 2020

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Kaspersky Lab

South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria Saw Millions of Cyber Attacks in 2020 and the Year is Not Over Yet

Kaspersky security solutions have reported 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) they have accounted for by the beginning of August 2020. These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programs that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programs that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves. However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones. While calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, the researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware. They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the program is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programs on their device and that in some cases, such programs are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads. This is why many security solutions, including ours, flags such programs to make sure users are aware of its presence, influence on their device and activity,” says Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware. Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3,8 million malware attacks and 16,8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much. Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections. Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances.

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Finance

Healthcare Startups Raised $111.4bn in Total Funding, a 34% Jump Year-on-Year

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Startups in the Healthcare Sector Raises $111.4bn in Funding

The coronavirus pandemic put enormous pressure on the healthcare industry, forcing pharmaceutical giants and institutions to roll out clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine at breakneck speed. But behind the COVID-19 outbreak as the main healthcare issue in 2020, large health systems and venture capital firms continued investing millions in startups whose products could bring critical healthcare delivery innovation.

According to data presented by Buy Shares, UK, the total amount of funds healthcare startups raised over time hit $111.4bn in September, a 34% jump year-on-year.

Total Funding Amount Surged by 162% in Three Years

In 2015, healthcare startups worldwide raised $5.4bn in funding rounds, with the cumulative value of investments reaching $24.4bn that year, revealed the CrunchBase data. During the next two years, this figure surged by more than 68%, reaching $45.5bn in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Statistics show that 2018 delivered a $19.2bn of investments into healthcare startups, while the cumulative funding value rose to $64.7bn. In 2019, the total value of raised funds jumped by $24.7bn to $89.4bn, the most significant increase year-on-year.

The Crunchbase data revealed the first quarter of 2020 delivered $7.1bn worth investments into healthcare startups, a 51% increase year-on-year. Between April and June, the cumulative value of funding rose to $103.7bn and continued growing. Statistics show the total funding amount healthcare startups raised over time surged by 162% in the last three years.

Analyzed by geography, North America represents the leading region with $72.4bn of investments in healthcare startups. The US companies raised more than 97% of that amount, with California and San Francisco as the leading hubs. Asian startups hit $25.5bn in total funding, ranking as the second-leading region globally. European healthcare startups follow with $12.8bn worth funding rounds.

Three Largest Funding Rounds in 2020 Worth Over $2bn

The CrunchBase data also revealed the three largest healthcare startup funding rounds this year hit over $2bn value.

Last month, JD Health, the healthcare unit of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, raised more than $830 million from Hillhouse Capital in Series B funding, the largest investment in 2020. The company announced it would use this capital to further strengthen its pharmacy supply chain capabilities and explore additional healthcare services opportunities in the broader healthcare sector.

In July, Seattle-based biotech startup Sana Biotechnology raised $700 million in initial financing that will be used to advance the company’s discovery and development programs that deliver engineered cells as a treatment for different types of diseases.

Statistics show that Lyell Immunopharma`s $493 million worth Series C funding round represents the third-largest healthcare startup investment in 2020. Last year, the San Francisco-based company joined forces with GlaxoSmithKline plc to develop new technologies to improve cell therapies for cancer patients.

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