By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
In 2016, Alabama residents lost $7,178,091 to internet crime, averaging $1,926.49 per person.
OpenVPN teamed up with a mathematician and statistician to publish a state-by-state study of cybercrime. The authors analyzed reports from the FBI and CSN in 2015 and 2016, concentrating on internet crime, fraud and identity theft. According to the FBI crime data, 47,077 Alabamians reported cybercrime in general, mostly women and people 50 – 69 years old.
More and more Americans do their shopping online rather than spending hours and hours actually going to stores, getting out in the weather and wasting time away from home and work. According to a recent study, e-commerce is growing 23 percent year-over-year, and a whopping 80 percent of Americans with an internet connection have made an online purchase in the last month. E-commerce totaled $3.39 billion last year, and 2017 is expected to surpass that total.
Unfortunately, thieves and other miscreants have followed the shoppers online. Malicious attacks against consumers increased almost 40 percent last year.
The state with the most cybercrime is California. California is ranked the worst state in the country for total reported cybercrimes, fraud and identity theft per capita in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, Californians lost $255,181,657.00 to internet crime, averaging $6,452.62 per victim. People in California fell victim to cybercrime – internet crime, fraud, and I.D. theft – in California last year. While losing money is an obvious con to cybercrime, losing time, becoming stressed and dealing with the hassle are also major downsides.
Florida is the second worst. In 2016, people of the Sunshine State lost $88,841,178 to internet crime – an average of $4,216 per person. There were 324,569 known victims. Females were victims more than males, and most victims were 60 years and older.
Nevada had the third worst cyber crimes in 2016. Nevadans lost $15,246,405 to internet crime, costing the average person a total of $4,038.78. Of the 33,404 people victimized directly by cybercrime,Women in particular fared the worst, and men and women 40 to 49 years-old reported the most cybercrime.
Texans lost $77,135,765 to internet crime, resulting in an average loss of $3,597.58 per person. Across the state, 320,002 people in Texas reported cybercrime. Men, in general, suffered the most, and so did men and women ages 30 to 39.
The fifth worst state was New Mexico, where 17,618 people were victims of these attacks. The people of New Mexico lost $870,1654, or an average of $5,112.61 per person. Men were targeted the most, but all adults over 60 years-old fell victim most often.
New York, Arizona, Virginia, Colorado and Washington round out the top ten.
Alabama is 35th for cybercrime. Most of the victims were women and people 50 to 69 years old.