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Biggest scams around the world

Fraud and scams happen all around the world - there were over 260 million scams across the globe in 2021, and total losses ...


Fraud and scams happen all around the world - there were over 260 million scams across the globe in 2021, and total losses added up to around €41.3 billion - 15% more than the previous year. But which country is targeted the most by scammers?

 

InvestinGoal gathered data to find out which countries are targeted and lose the most money to scams, as well as those who do not see as many or lose as much money to them. Read on to find out which countries have seen the biggest increases and decreases in scams and why.

 

Brazil has the highest number of scams


The research revealed that Brazil was the country that saw the most scams in 2021, with an estimated total of 125,410,052 scams across the country, and around 590 scams per 1,000 people in 2021. India had an estimated total of 120,000,000 scams, with around 87 scams per 1,000 people - putting them in second place for the number of scams.




Between 2019 and 2020, Brazil saw its online fraud cases grow by 28%, and India saw a huge surge in scams during COVID-19 - credit card/banking scams were the most popular type of scam in India during this time. The USA remains the main target for online scams.

Country

Number of scams per 1,000 people

Estimated Total Number of Scams

Brazil

590

125,410,052

India

87

120,000,000

Mexico

42.7

5,500,000

Russia

37

5,330,000

Turkey

23

1,938,900

Australia

17.3

444,164

Sweden

14

145,333

UK

13

875,622

Ukraine

7.98

352,000

US

6.9

2,263.502

India lost the most money to fraudsters


India was the country that lost the most money to scams in 2021, with the estimated value lost being

€21,274,800,000 - the average amount lost per case in India was €87 and the average amount lost per person in 2021 was €15.42. Germany was the country that saw the highest amount lost per person at €37.14 - their total estimated value lost was €3,091,757,596.



Although China saw a lot of scams, the country did crack down on online fraud in 2020, arresting 361,000 people (121% more compared to 2019.) It was found that South Korea is being heavily targeted by crypto scams. The USA remains the main target for online scams.

 

Country

Total Value Lost (€)

Total Lost Per Case (€)

Total Lost Per Person (€)

India

21,274,800,000

177

15.42

Germany

3,091,757,596

9652

37.14

USA

2,815,798,425

1244

8.55

China

2,616,965,000

1235

1.87

UK

2,001,225,772

2285

29.77

Russia

1,740.503,550

327

12.08

Turkey

1,136,195,400

586

13.47

Australia

531,802,033

1197

20.7

Brazil

438,104,700

3.49

2.06

South Korea

387,597,021

1858

7.49


The Philippines aren’t targetted as often


Of all the countries that were researched, the Philippines appears to be the safest from scams, with zero scams per 1,000 people, and a total of 1,738 scams country-wide. Portugal is also fairly safe for scams, however, they were targeted more than the Philippines, with around 0.1 scams per 1,000 people and 1347 scams in total.




Saudi Arabia has recently been making an effort to fight cybercrime, and the fact they’re third on this list shows it’s paying off! Despite still being on the ‘safe’ list, France has seen an increase in cybercrime, and Poland reported an increase in Phishing attacks, however, Poland is committed to expanding the cyber team within its police force.


Country

Number of scams per 1,000 people

Estimated Total Number of Scams

Philippines

0.0

1,738

Portugal

0.1

1,347

Saudi Arabia

0.2

6,595


Argentina

0.3

12,966

Japan

0.3

40,581

Nigeria

0.3

61,501

Malaysia

0.4

11,511

South Africa

0.5

27,928

France

0.7

46,173

Poland

0.7

7,622

Portugal lost the least amount of money to scams


Portugal is evidently one of the countries that are fairly safe from scammers - as well as being one of the countries with the least number of scams, they are also the country which has lost the least amount of money to scammers. In total, Portugal has lost around €1,334,877 to scams -

losing around just 0.07 per capita, and €991 per case. Argentina is in the second position for the least amount of money lost to scams, losing €6,205,486 in total, €486 per case, and 0.14 per person.




Despite the above countries losing the least amount of money to scams and remaining the safest countries from scams when compared to other countries, many of them have still seen an increase in scams due to the pandemic, including Argentina, New Zealand, Poland, and more. In fact, the only country on this list that has actually seen an increase in scams is Belgium.

 

Country

Total Value Lost (€)

Total Lost Per Case (€)

Total Lost Per Person (€)

Portugal

1,334,877

991

0.07

Argentina

6,205,486

1197

0.14

Bulgaria

7,884,000

1080

1.14

Poland

8,231,760

1080

0.80

Nigeria

10,747,469

1076

0.05

New Zealand

21,658,444

1076

4.26

Austria

22,536,000

1200

2.53

Finland

23,700,000

1235

4.29

Pakistan

27,944,560

297

0.26

Belgium

36,400,000

1255

3.15


Money lost vs GDP


InvestinGoal also looked at each of these countries' Gross Domestic Product value and worked out which countries lost the highest percentage of their GDP from scams.



 Kenya saw the biggest loss when comparing the estimated lost value to their country's GDP, with a total loss of 0.3%. Turkey had the second-highest percentage loss at 0.2%.

 

Country

Total Value Lost (€)

Countries GDP (€)

GDP loss (%)

Kenya

251,600,600

93,867,359,600

0.268

Turkey

1,136,195,400

883,958,181,000

0.166

Germany

3,091,757,596

3,613,264,160,000

0.085

Ukraine

115,104,000

147,790,436,000

0.077

UK

2,001,225,772

2,572,085,480,000

0.077

Vietnam

197,006,980

257,588,472,000

0.076

Sweden

179,486,667

510,703,872,000

0.035

Brazil

438,104,700

1,372,359,850,000

0.031

South Africa

79,231,777

286,729,525,000

0.027


USA

2,815,798,425

19,889,021,400,000

0.014

The countries that have seen the biggest increase in scams


Despite many people being aware of scams, and many countries doing their best to prevent them, unfortunately, some countries are struggling with this, and the number of scams in 2021 increased a lot when compared to last year…

 

1.    Nigeria - 186% increase in scams

2.    Poland - 116% increase in scams

3.    Pakistan - 97% increase in scams

4.    Taiwan - 93% increase in scams

5.    India - 85% increase in scams

Interestingly, both Poland and Nigeria are in the top ten for the least amount of money lost to scams, and countries that have been targetted least, yet they have seen a high increase -Nigeria, in particular, saw a huge increase in scams during COVID-19.


India is the country which has lost the most money to scams and is also in the second position when it comes to the total number of scams - despite this, the number continues to grow, with COVID-19 also bringing a lot more scams to the country.

 

The countries that are handling scams


Whilst many countries are aiming to get these numbers lower by working with police forces or setting up websites and emails to advise and report scammers, there are a few countries in particular whose efforts have really paid off and have seen fewer scams than they did last year, or a much smaller increase…

 

1.    Belgium - 14% decrease in scams

2.    Switzerland - 11% decrease in scams

3.    Japan - 5% decrease in scams

4.    Netherlands - 1% increase in scams

5.    United Kingdom - 6.5% increase in scams

It’s great to see that countries are working on preventing scams, with both Belgium and Japan seeing a decrease, despite them already being some of the safest countries from scams.

 

Japan in particular has really been fighting against scams - residents in Japan can actually earn money from scamming a scammer with a crime-fighting program named ‘Pretend to be fooled.’ The program asks people who have been contacted by someone claiming to be a family member or friend in need of cash to notify the police - the potential victim and police then work together to catch the scammer, and the targeted victim later receives 10,000 yen (€77.50.)


To find out more about the most popular types of trading scams, and some helpful tips on how to spot and avoid scams, as well as what to do if you do fall victim, check out this article.


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