Interpol: Criminals Increasingly Use AI, Crypto and Online Scams

Опубликовано: 13 Март 2024

hacking-technology-matrix-code-data-codingFinancial fraud is carried out in most cases by a network of co-perpetrators who may be well-organized or rather loose in terms of structure, INTERPOL said. (Photo: Mohamed Hassan, PxHere, License)

Robbing banks or jewelry stores is so passé these days. Instead of guns and balaclavas, criminals now use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cryptocurrencies combined with phishing and ransomware - low cost and quite effective methods to steal people’s money, Interpol claims in a new report.

What seems to be particularly fashionable is investment fraud, advance fee fraud, romance fraud, and business email compromise conducted by trafficked people forced by criminals to work in ‘call centers’.

Especially popular are schemes in which people are tricked into romantic relationships that end up in broken hearts and empty bank accounts - a tactic known as the "pig butchering scam."

The convenient part is that the fraudsters can be on one continent and the victims on another, making it really hard for law enforcement to track down the villains.

In Africa, commercial email compromise remains one of the most common types of fraud, the agency said. In the Americas, phishing, romance, tech support, prepayment, and telecom frauds top the list. Meanwhile, in Europe, online investment fraud and phishing are the favorite fraud methods.

The report warns that Asia has now become a hotspot for fraud schemes. Criminal organizations are engaging in corporate-like structures to develop “pig butchering” and telecommunications frauds, in which they pose as law enforcement or banking officials to trick victims into revealing their credit card details.

“Changes in technology and the rapid increase in the scale and volume of organized crime have driven the creation of a range of new ways to defraud innocent people, businesses, and even governments. With the development of AI and cryptocurrencies, the situation is only going to get worse without urgent action,” the Interpol Secretary-General Jürgen Stock stated.

“It is important that there are no safe havens for financial fraudsters to operate. We must close existing gaps and ensure information sharing between sectors and across borders is the norm, not the exception,” he added.

In addition, Interpol also warned that there is an urgent need to strengthen data collection and analysis to develop effective fighting strategies against financial fraud.