Instances of reported online fraud in the U.S. and the U.K. dwarfed those in the rest of the top ten global fraud markets. As the largest economy in the world, with the most mature e-commerce market, the U.S. was the most targeted by fraudsters in 2020, according to the analysis by antifraud technology provider SEON. The study found there were more than 460,000 reported victims of online fraud in the U.S.
The U.K. placed second on the ignominious list with nearly 217,000 reported victims. While this is less than half the number of victims as the U.S., however, the U.K. only has 20 percent of the population, suggesting fraud is relatively a larger problem for Britons than for Americans, SEON said.
After the top two spots, the number of victims from each country drops precipitously. Canada—third on the list—only counted 5,400 victims. India, Greece, Australia, South Africa, France, Germany and Mexico rounded out the top ten. In total, the bottom eight countries reported only around 20,000 victims of online fraud.
“This data suggests that anglophone countries are the primary target of online fraudsters. All of the top three countries are predominantly English speaking, as is Australia—which took sixth place—while fourth-place India has a very large English-speaking population as well,” the report’s authors noted. “This is likely because English is the most widely spoken language in the world with 1.38 billion speakers, making it the lingua franca of the modern fraudster. 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.”