Over 7,000 reports of internet fraud were made last year in Belgium, a slight rise from 2017 figures which signals to an increasing number fraudsters choosing to operate behind the screen.
The Belgian economic inspection received 7,082 reports from both private consumers and businesses, but the majority of cases concern citizens who report falling victim to fraudulent sales transactions online.
Out of the total number of online frauds reported last year, 6,604 were from citizens and 478 were businesses.
“The economic inspection notices an evident change, as fraudsters are increasingly operating online,” Economy Minister Kris Peeters said.
In 2017, the number of frauds reported online was 6,348. Last year’s figures, reported Tuesday by Dutch-language daily De Tijd, confirm a rising trend in the number of scams reported since the service was created in 2016, year in which 2,456 reports were made.
Although every report receives a follow-up, not all lead to an investigation. Since 2016, the economic inspection has started investigations on over 5,000 of scams reported.