New research by SEON technology has identified the United States of America as the country with the highest total number of online fraud victims in the world.
The study titled, ‘The Gen-Z Fraud Report: A Global Outlook’ highlights countries that are most susceptible to crimes in the world, based on a 2020 survey.
While the US ranks first with 465,177 victims, the United Kingdom closely follows with 216, 633 victims while Canada ranks third with 5, 399 victims.
The incredibly high number of online fraud victims in the United States, according to the report, is closely tied to the size of the country's economy. The United States, with a population of 329.5 million has a GDP of about $20.95t and a GDP per capita of $63, 593.
“While the United Kingdom has less than half the number of victims in the USA, the UK has a population of around 20% that of the United States, suggesting that the United Kingdom has a much bigger internet fraud problem for its relative size.”
The number of online fraud victims in Canada is considerably lower than that of the United States and the United Kingdom, however, the count (5,399) is almost double that of fourth-place India, which saw 2,930 fraud victims over a population of approximately 1.38 billion.
From the survey, the countries which were the primary target of online fraudsters are predominantly English-speaking counties. The country which ranked fourth, India also holds a very large English-speaking population. This suggests that the lingua franca of the modern fraudster is English.
“It is also worth noting that the number of victims in these countries are ranked in the same order as their respective populations and GDPs, suggesting that fraudsters take into account the number of their potential targets as well as their overall wealth, with richer countries being the biggest target," the report noted.
However, some other highly developed countries with high GDPs such as Japan and South Korea were not included in the list.
“This is perhaps due to their languages being not as accessible and much less widely spoken or even studied, making them less viable targets for the international fraudster," it added.
Also, in identifying the age group that was most likely to fall to fraudsters’ tricks, those in the 25-34 age range were noted as the largest group of internet users accounting for 32% of users but in addition to the younger group of 18-24-year-olds, 50% of internet users are under 35.
“This highlights the fact that young people are the most prevalent age group for online activity, though whether this makes them a larger or smaller target is unclear.
“Fraudsters could target younger people as a group as there are more of them online, raising the likelihood of a successful con. However, these people are also the most familiar with the internet and have grown up in a digital world, meaning they are likely much more aware of internet security and common digital threats than many older people, on average," the report stated.