FBI Knoxville
Public Affairs Officer Darrell DeBusk
(865) 544-0751
March 7, 2024

FBI: Scammers Stole $160 Million From Tennesseans in 2023

KNOXVILLE, TN—Tennessee residents lost more than $160 million to Internet scammers last year, according to a new report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The report highlights critical vulnerabilities and underscores the imperative for heightened cybersecurity measures in the Volunteer State.

In 2023, Tennessee ranked 31st in the country, with residents lodging a total of 8,484 complaints with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), reporting losses amounting to $161,195,036. These figures underscore the devastating impact cybercrime has on individuals and businesses statewide.

“We've noticed a steady stream of cybercrime here in Tennessee. This means we all need to be extra careful and take action to stay safe online,” said Joseph Carrico, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville Field Office. “Cybercriminals are always coming up with new tricks to scam people, whether you're a regular person or a big company. So, it’s really important for everyone in Tennessee to pay attention and make sure we're protecting ourselves online.”

Tech support scams, investment fraud, and business e-mail compromise (BEC) emerge as the leading categories for losses in Tennessee. Particularly alarming is the heightened risk faced by individuals over 60, who are most susceptible to falling victim to these cyber scams.

Nationwide, in 2023, the IC3 recorded a staggering 880,418 complaints, indicating a substantial rise in cybercrime activities across the nation. The total losses incurred from these incidents exceeded a staggering $12.5 billion, underscoring the severity of the cyber threat landscape.

Notably, this figure represents a significant increase compared to the average number of complaints received over the past five years. California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Ohio reported the highest number of victims, while California, Texas, and Florida also topped the list in terms of financial losses.

“Protecting yourself online is crucial. Make sure to use strong, unique passwords for your accounts, and be cautious about clicking on links or opening attachments in e-mails from unfamiliar sources,” said Jason Jarnagin, supervisory special agent leading the FBI’s cybercrime squad in Knoxville. “Keep your computer’s software up to date and consider using antivirus software. And most importantly, if something seems suspicious or too good to be true, trust your gut and double-check before sharing personal information or sending money.”

The FBI remains committed to working closely with local law enforcement agencies and community partners to mitigate risks and protect Tennesseans against cyber attacks. If your business is the victim of a cyber attack, contact your local FBI office immediately for assistance.

For more information on the 2023 Internet Crime Report and resources for cybersecurity, visit the IC3 website at www.ic3.gov.