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Over 50% of Americans have been scammed online, study says

Digital Citizens Alliance, a group focused on helping consumers understand online risks, interviewed 1,215 Americans about their online behavior and future expectations from government.

As 1 in 3 Americans has been a victim of online scam, identity fraud or data theft, internet users are more aware of the risks they are exposing themselves to online, fearing the wide web is not as secure as five years ago. Consequently, the internet needs tougher laws to fight online crime, argued 71 percent of Americans interviewed, while 10 percent reported their damage was worth over $1,000.

“We’ve reached a point where Americans are bracing for what comes next – a stolen credit card, a breach of sensitive information, or criminal scam,” said Tom Galvin, Executive Director of the Digital Citizens Alliance. “It’s a bad sign when Americans think the internet is becoming less safe, so it’s vital that governmental entities such as the Federal Trade Commission and others ensure that crime does not pay.”

Consumers are advised to pay close attention to the websites they visit and to the links they click on to make transactions. 69 percent of respondents found malware on their computers after accessing content theft websites and 1 in 5 never received the product they purchased online on suspicious retail websites. Overall, internet users don’t feel safe when browsing the web or when making transactions and thus expect the government to implement regulations to increase online security.

“Americans want their leaders – whether they work in government or at the tech companies that bring us technology – to step up and combat this epidemic of online crime and risk,” said Galvin. “Americans deserve to feel safe whether they are shopping in a mall or on Amazon. They shouldn’t have to worry about someone stealing their credit card information, whether it’s at a restaurant or on Etsy.”

About the author


From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.


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  • In today's date definitely, online crime is quite high compared to previous years and that's also for sure that cyber criminals are getting smart day after day as the technology is advancing. So, to think that in coming years it will end, is not legit at all. Only thing can be done to be safe is to educate ourselves so we don’t become victim to any of the scam run out in market. Getting scammed or not is completely in our hand, if the person have a proper or even a basic knowledge on online security, these type of situations can be avoided easily rather than becoming a victim.

    Some of the things to do before transferring any sensitive information on website is to know about the website itself in which the person is about to deal with. For example, person should always look for some of the visible clues like is website have a green URL bar or not, you can also look for the review about that website, some other things like the register form is asking only valid questions or also getting little too personal while collecting information.

    Lastly, I would like to add that several websites collect email address and start spamming them, so it’s best to avoid giving out on any subscription of website which you don’t want it. Some other things which should be watch out are like to know that the email address which contains links should not be clicked if it’s not from the trusted party or else to do little search from the email has come like to search for the email address of the sender on internet.

  • Headline suggests 50% have been scammed, body of article suggests 1 in 3. Now, I'm not great at mental arithmetic, but I figure that doesn't equal a well written article.