Who’s on the other end of the line when you get a scam phone call? Often, it’s a victim of human trafficking whose safety — and perhaps their life — depends on their ability to successfully steal your money. A recent UN report suggests there are hundreds of thousands of trafficking victims forced to work in sweatshops in Southeast Asia devoted to one thing: Stealing money. If they don’t, they go hungry, or they are beaten … or worse.
In other words, there are often victims on both ends of scam phone calls.
Americans report they are inundated with scam phone calls, emails and text messages, and FBI data shows losses are skyrocketing. Crypto scams alone increased more than 125% last year, with $3.3 billion in reported losses. These numbers are so large that they are meaningless to most; and you’ve probably heard before that this or that crime is skyrocketing, so perhaps that alarmist-sounding statement doesn’t penetrate. But let me say this: I spend all week talking to victims of scams and law enforcement officials about tech-based crimes, and by any measure I can observe, there is a very concerning spike in organized online crime.
A recent report published by the United Nations helps explain why.