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Cybercrime statistics

As more of our lives become digital, the chances of falling victim to online crimes grow every year. And while cybercrimes are dangerous, they are rarely random. Aside from being careless online, most people fall victim to these crimes because their data gets leaked by companies and institutions around the world. They give malicious actors the necessary information to target their victims with phishing, fraud attempts, and other scams.

That’s why it’s important to see the entire online crime picture. Below we have cybercrime data - updated with 2021 data - from yearly breaches and density to cybercrime impacts, costs, and commonly targeted individuals by age group.

Global data breach heat map

Breached email account No./100 internet users:
≥10030-9920-29
10-195-90-4
Global data breach heat map

Breach density in North America

Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Highest
Guatemala
Guatemala
Lowest

Breach density in South America

Chile
Chile
Highest
Bolivia
Bolivia
Lowest

Breach density in Europe

Netherlands
Netherlands
Highest
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lowest

Breach density in Africa

Sudan
Sudan
Highest
Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Lowest

Breach density in Asia

Iran
Iran
Highest
Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Lowest

Breach density in Oceania

Fiji
Fiji
Highest
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Lowest
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Countries were sorted into 6 groups according to the breached email accounts per 100 users (breach density). The data breach map does not include countries with less than 0.5M internet users or internet usage penetration lower than 10%.

Looking at the total breaches in 2021, we see that 71.7% of our analyzed countries have lower than the global average breach density (16.5 leaked emails per 100 internet users). This shows that hackers target some countries more than others.

In 6% of all analyzed countries, breach rates are higher than 50%. To put this into perspective, more than half of the internet users in countries such as the U.S., Iran, Israel, U.A.E. and Qatar got breached in 2021.

In general, we see that hackers target developing countries a lot less often:

  • On a continental level, the lowest breached email address rates are in Africa with 4 and Asia with 12 breached accounts per 100 internet users.
  • North America has the highest breach rates: 1 in 2 internet users got breached in 2021. This number is 3 times higher than the global average. Oceania comes second with 2 out of 5 breached internet users.

Top 10 countries by cybercrime density

Country rank by cybercrime in 2021

1. U.K.
U.K.
40%
Victims/1M internet users4783
2. United States
United States
13%
Victims/1M internet users1494
3. Canada
Canada
7%
Victims/1M internet users174
4. Australia
Australia
22%
Victims/1M internet users102
5. Greece
Greece
75%
Victims/1M internet users72
6. South Africa
South Africa
2%
Victims/1M internet users52
7. Netherlands
Netherlands
50%
Victims/1M internet users41
8. France
France
20%
Victims/1M internet users33
9. Germany
Germany
9%
Victims/1M internet users18
10. Mexico
Mexico
14%
Victims/1M internet users16
Cyber victim density 2021 vs. 2020
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Average losses and victim count chart
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In this graph, you can see ten countries that reported the most cybercrimes to the FBI in 2021 and 2020. They were ranked according to cybercrime density (the number of cybercrime victims per 1M internet users).

Second year in a row, the U.K. tops the cybercrime density list with 4,783 victims (a 40% growth compared to 2020). Canada saw an increase of 7%, whereas the U.S. ranked second according to the crime density - 13% decrease in cybercrime victims since 2020. The highest year-over-year increase in cybercrimes was registered in the Netherlands with a 50% growth.

Impact of different cybercrimes

Investment fraud
Loss
$1455.9M
Average loss
$70,811
Victims
20.6K
Confidence or romance fraud
Loss
$956M
Average loss
$39,345
Victims
24.3K
Online payment fraud
Loss
$436.2M
Average loss
$4,665
Victims
93.5K
Tech support scam
Loss
$347.7M
Average loss
$14,545
Victims
23.9K
Identity theft
Loss
$278.3M
Average loss
$5,390
Victims
51.6K
Credit card fraud
Loss
$173M
Average loss
$10,328
Victims
16.8K
Government impersonation
Loss
$142.6M
Average loss
$12,584
Victims
11.3K
Spoofing
Loss
$82.2M
Average loss
$4,436
Victims
18.5K
Lottery scam
Loss
$71.3M
Average loss
$11,899
Victims
6K
Extortion
Loss
$60.6M
Average loss
$1,539
Victims
39.4K
Ransomware attack
Loss
$49.2M
Average loss
$13,196
Victims
3.7K
Phishing
Loss
$44.2M
Average loss
$136
Victims
324K
Health-care related scam
Loss
$7M
Average loss
$12,185
Victims
0.6K
Malware attack
Loss
$5.6M
Average loss
$6,910
Victims
0.8K
Online harassment
Loss
$4.4M
Average loss
$356
Victims
12.3K
Denial of service attack
Loss
$0.2M
Average loss
$197
Victims
1.1K
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Average losses and victim count chart
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There is a great disparity in types of cybercrimes that commonly affect people. For example, phishing continues to be the most common cybercrime for the third year in a row. In 2021, there were a total of 323,972 phishing victims. Or in other words, every second individual that fell for an online crime fell for a phishing attack.

However, each cybercrime comes at a different cost. Phishing victims on average lost the least amount of money ($136 per victim), while people that fell victim to investment fraud lost the most ($70,811 on average).

The least impactful online crime in 2021 was the Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. In 2021, only around 1.1K victims reported this crime with an average loss of $197. Malware and ransomware attacks are becoming more exclusive to businesses, they only claimed around 4.5K victims in 2021. Compared to phishing, that is more than 70 times fewer victims.

Yearly growth of cybercrime costs

Hourly financial losses

Hourly financial losses

Hourly count of victims

Hourly count of victims
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Average losses and victim count chart
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Cybercrime is on constant rise. Since 2001, the online crime victim count increased by 17 times (from 6 victims to 97 victims every hour) and financial losses grew almost 400 times (from $2,000 to $788,000 losses per hour). In total, cybercrime claimed at least 6,502,323 victims and $26,116,000,000 in losses over the 21 year period.

We also see that cybercrime rates go in tandem with global events:

  • 2009, the year after the Great Recession, resulted in a 115% increase in financial losses (from $260M in 2008 to $560M in 2009 per year) to cybercrimes.
  • In 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cybercrime victim count grew by 69% compared to 2019 (from 467K to 792K cybercrime victims per year). This was the highest cybercrime victim growth recorded since 2001.

Cybercrime victim count by age

Age groups:
Under 2020-2930-39
40-4950-59Over 60

2021

100K
80K
60K
40K
20K
0
Chart 2021
Victims by count

2020

100K
80K
60K
40K
20K
0
Chart 2020
Victims by count

2019

80K
60K
40K
20K
0
Chart 2019
Victims by count

2018

60K
40K
20K
0
Chart 2018
Victims by count

2017

60K
40K
20K
0
Chart 2017
Victims by count

2016

60K
40K
20K
0
Chart 2016
Victims by count

2015

60K
40K
20K
0
Chart 2015
Victims by count
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Average losses and victim count chart
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Historically, the group most resilient to cybercrimes was always people under 20 years old. Up until 2019, only around 10,000 people under 20 fell victim to cybercrime every year. However, this number increased by more than 100% after the students switched to online studying due to COVID-19. In 2021, this number decreased by 36%, but it is still 51% higher than the pre-Covid-19 average.

The age group most resistant to the COVID cybercrime spikes was seniors (55% increase in cybercrime victims). But while seniors were affected by the pandemic the least, they were generally the most vulnerable age group to cybercrime since 2016 (55K victims) with over 92K yearly victims in 2021.

Compared to 2020, two age groups (50-59 and seniors) saw more than a 10% decrease in 2021. The cybercrime rates among the people from the age groups (20-49), that are most likely to have a possibility to work remotely, stayed roughly at the same level.