Internet usage is all-time high and with its significant advantages come considerable dangers. These dangers include online scams: Phishing, Business Email Compromise (BEC), Romance Scams and hundreds of other types and sub-types of scams exist up to this day.
The Ecommerce Foundation has scoured the internet to take a deeper look at the state of online scams in different countries, in order to get an overview of the current state of online scams globally.
The first conclusion that stands out when looking at different countries is the difference in the definition of an "online scam" and in the strategy to fight them. Most countries publish their crime reports at the end of the year, however, only a handful of them specify an “online crime”. This leads to a lack of attention towards internet scams and less results in fighting online scams.
The second assessment is that the focus fighting scams differs per country. Countries like Australia and the Netherlands heavily focus on internet scams, the United States of America and Brazil are focusing on the strengthening of their cybersecurity, the United Kingdom is combating credit card fraud, South Africa is fighting consumer scams. While Canada's goal is to limit fake employments.
These dynamics lead to our third conclusion; that countries fight online scams in many different ways. In some countries, there are specialized helpdesk centres for victims of online fraud, and other countries take responsibility to evaluate every single scam and share it online. However, most countries do not focus on individual scams; they instead send victims to report an online fraud to the police. Again, depending on the country, there are specialized police forces that concentrate on cybercrime - including online scams, and then there are which force consumers to report scams physically at their local police station. Finally, many countries hardly register online scams let alone prosecute them.
Finally we discovered that in most countries the Consumers Protection agencies do not take an active role in fighting online scams. While our previous study “Why consumers fall for scams” indicated that consumers are mainly looking to these organizations to protect them.
In short, we have a long way to go. Online scams actually need to be reported and prosecuted on a global level as most of the scammers operate outside the country. The reality is that in most countries online fraud reporting is hardly organized let alone that prosecution is centralized into specialized teams.
Despite this sad conclusion we hope you will enjoy our report.
Download the report here
About the Ecommerce Foundation: Scamadviser has been part of the Ecommerce Foundation since 2018. The Ecommerce Foundation is an independent organization working with NGO’s, ecommerce associations worldwide and other ecommerce institutions with the mission to foster global digital trade.
Scamadviser uses an algorithm to determine if the website is legit with real reviews or a phishing website, selling fake products. Apart from Scamadviser. Ecommerce Foundation is the initiator of Safe.Shop, the Global Ecommerce Trustmark.
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