Nigeria has been ranked 16th in the FBI's list of countries that are worst affected by internet crimes.

The data, which covered last year, includes information from 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crime, an increase of more than 300,000 complaints from 2019.

The report listed Nigeria and South Africa among the ‘worst’ 20. While South Africa was rated sixth with 1,754 victims, Nigeria had 443 victims.

According to the report, the top countries affected by crimes include "1. United Kingdom; 2. Canada; 3. India; 4. Greece; 5. Australia; 6. South Africa; 7. France; 8. Germany; 9. Mexico; 10. Belgium; 11. Brazil; Philippines; 13. Italy; 14. Spain; 15. Netherlands; 16. Nigeria; 17. Pakistan; 18. China; 19. Colombia; 20. Hong Kong."

A further breakdown of the statistics revealed that phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams and extortion were the top three crimes reported by victims in 2020, and it was also learnt that victims lost the most money to business email compromise scams, romance and confidence schemes, and investment fraud.

It added there was also the emergence of scams exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic as over 28,500 complaints related to COVID-19 was recorded with fraudsters targeting both businesses and individuals.

The FBI noted that Business E-mail Compromise (BEC) schemes continued to be the costliest. There were 19,369 complaints with an adjusted loss of approximately $1.8 billion.

The FBI stated that it released the 2020 Internet Crime Report to remind the public to immediately report suspected criminal internet activity to the IC3 at ic3.gov.

The American agency added that by reporting internet crime, victims are not only alerting law enforcement agents to the activity but aiding in the overall fight against cybercrime.

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