According to previous estimates by security agencies and the financial industry, between $1.5 Trillion to $2.5 Trillion is laundered around the world each year.
In order to combat terrorist financing, drug trafficking profits and tax evasion, countries have implements various financial regulations and created inter-governmental bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force. In order to comply with the anti-laundering regulations, financial firms and banks in the United States spend an estimated $7 Billion per year in compliance measures.
The results from these measures leads to a 0.2 percent seizure rate of laundered money in the United States.
One reason given for the difficulty of seizing illicit funds is due to the small amounts needed to create terrorism. According to Bloomberg, the September 11 attacks cost less than $500,000 to plan and implement. The Al-Qaeda attacks in Madrid and London cost $100,000 to carry out.
(See more money laundering statistics.)
Source: Charles Kenny, “Why the World Is So Bad at Tracking Dirty Money,” Bloomberg Business, February 23, 2015.
At the start of 2015, media reports place the average ransomware demand to be $500.
This figure is based upon several public sources.
The first source is based upon a writer in the New York Times who stated that her mother was a victim of ransomware. The authors mother had her computer locked up based on CryptoWall. After encrypting the computer, the malware demanded $500 to be paid by Bitcoins release the hold. If the amount wasn’t paid by the end of the week, then the demand would increase to $1,000.
The second source is from a report by The Economist. In its article, the magazine reports that the average ransom has fallen from $800 several years ago. It uses examples of extortion victims who paid $644 (€510) in Italy, and a sheriffs office in Tennessee that paid $572 to recover thousands of files that were encrypted. The Economist also states that between August and December 2014, around 16,000 people paid $7 Million (8 Million Australian Dollars) after their computers were encrypted with ransomware.
The owner of the Bitcoin wallet that received the ransom in Italy received up to $109,400 worth of bitcoins in following 8 days after the ransomware was discovered.
Source: Alina Simone, “How My Mom Got Hacked,” New York Times, January 2, 2015.
Source: “Your money or your data,” Economist, January 15, 2015.
According to security reporter Brian Kerbs, hackers are selling computer programs that automatically click on competitors advertisements in order to drain their budget.
The service automotates bots that commit click fraud throughout the Google Adsense network. By having bots click on the ads, a business can quickly drain their competitors ads to prevent it from being seen.
The service is available for sale on underground Russian forums and has both subscription and flat rate options. For $100, buyers of the service can target 3 to 10 ad units for up to 24 hours. For a flat rate of $1,000, small businesses can drain the ads of a handful of competitors and prevent them from being seen indefinitely.
Fees are paid upfront with the use of virtual currencies such as WebMoney.
(More prices of underground hacking services.)
Source: Brian Kerbs, ” Hacker service drains Google AdWords budgets,” Sydney Morning Herald, June 28, 2014
The agency responsible for anti-money laundering campaigns in Singapore reported an increase in cases during 2013.
According to the Commercial Affairs Department, the agency received 22,417 suspicious transaction reports during the 2013 year, and increase of 25 percent from the previous year. In 341 instances, the agency provided intelligence to foreign agencies, up from the 160 cases of intelligence sharing that took place in 2012.
In total, security officials in Singapore seized over $92 Million (115 Million Singaporean Dollars) in suspected criminal proceeds.
According to a spokesman for the agency, more transnational organized crime groups are using the country’s financial industry in order to move their illicit funds.
(Examples of money laundering.)
Source: Andrea Tan, “Singapore Says More Overseas Criminals Seek Bank Accounts,” Bloomberg Businessweek, July 2, 2014.
Between 2011 and 2013, authorities in Chile seized 362,752 pirated books from stores across the country. The pirated books were valued at $1.5 Million. In 2013, a total of 6,559 pirated books valued at $106,000 were seized in Chile. The rate of seizures has increased in 2014, with 13,181 pirated books being seized in the first three months of the year, or more than doubled the total amount for 2013. Most of the pirated books seized in Chile are children’s books and literature books. However, police have seen an increase in pirated textbooks in 2014. For example, the textbook Atlas of Human Anatomy is the main book used for health programs in universities in Chile. Officials have seized 34 pirated copies in the first 3 months of 2014. The pirated textbook costs $35, while an original copy of the textbook cots $200. According to security officials, pirated book smugglers from Peru have strapped copies to their bodies and have smuggled it into the country by copying the tactics of drug traffickers.
Two cases of illegal gambling syndicates in Asia highlight the amount of money being wagered on the 2014 World Cup.
Police in Macau broke up a ring that took in $645 Million during the opening matches. 22 people were arrested by police in China, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The syndicate was operating out of three hotel rooms in Macau where they took internet and phone bets from people around the world. One gambler allegedly placed a $5 Million bet with the syndicate.
In the same hotel, police broke up a different illegal gambling ring that took in up to $645,000 in bets in a single day during the World Cup.
Hong Kong police seized illegal betting slips that had around $10 Million in bets placed and arrested 39 people in the first two weeks of the tournament. Illegal sports betting in Hong Kong generates about $64.5 Billion each year in the territory.
Singapore security officials arrested 15 people in a illegal gambling ring that took in $640,000 in World Cup bets during the opening stages of the World Cup.
Over half of all illegal sports gambling takes place in Asia.
(See all illegal sports gambling statistics and figures here.)
Source: Sophie Brown, “Macau busts $645 million World Cup betting ring,” CNN, June 23, 2014.
A report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and computer security company McAfee reported that up to$445 Billion a year is being lost globally to cybercrime activities.
Online crime, hacking and the theft of intellectual property could cause up to 200,000 jobs being lost in the United States and up to 150,000 jobs in Europe.
A reported 50 million people in the United States had their personal identification stolen within the past year.
Source: Chris Strohm, “Cybercrime Remains Growth Industry With $445 Billion Lost,” Bloomberg, June 9, 2014
A survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce found that an estimated $1.3 Billion (43.5 Billion Thai Baht) in illegal gambling bets is expected to be placed in Thailand during the 2014 World Cup Tournament. By comparison, an estimated $789 Million (25.7 Billion Baht) is expected to be spent on consumer goods and parties, such as new television sets.
Thailand has a huge illegal gambling industry. There are over 3 million gamblers in Thailand who gamble at any of the 700,000 to 1 million illegal casinos across the country.
Source: Phusadee Arunmas, “World Cup a boon to spending,” Bangkok Post, June 6, 2014.
A reporter in Dubai investigating fake online degrees reported on a company that was offering MBA degrees for sale. According to the report, the online company was claiming to transfer work experience into college credit that would allow a student to easily obtain an MBA degree online.
The unaccredited university was offering MBA degrees online for $500. After contacting the “university”, academic counselors repeatedly contacted the reporter using high pressured sales tactics in order to get the reporter to buy a degree. In the span of two days after initial contact, one diploma mill contacted the reporter 27 times, while another online diploma mill contacted the reporter 24 times.
The price of a MBA degree for sale is in line with other reported prices of degrees. It was previous reported that the cost to buy a degree online was $495 for a Bachelors degree and $525 for a Masters Degree.
(See more prices of fake diplomas online.)
Source: Mazhar Farooqui, “Online fake degrees: XPRESS investigation part 2,” Gulfnews.com, June 4, 2014.
A study by Oxford Economics and the International Tax and Investment Center found that the Philippines Government lost $357 Million (15.6 Billion Philippine Peso) in tax revenue due to the sale of illegal cigarettes.
17.1 Billion cigarettes that were sold on the black market were smoked in the Philippines in 2013, up from the 6.1 billion illegal cigarettes smoked in 2012. 1.8 billion counterfeit cigarettes were smoked in the Philippines in 2013 as well.
(All cigarette smuggling statistics.)
Source: Jon Carlos Rodriquez, “Philippines lost nearly P16-B on illegal cigarette sales in 2013 – study,” ABS CBN News, June 5, 2014.