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The number of scams in Brazil has more than quadrupled in the last five years: in 2022, 1,819,409 cases of the crime were registered, 326% more than in 2018, when there were 426,799 records. It was an average of 151,600 cases per month, almost 5,000 per day. The increase was 38.5% in the last two years, since in 2021 there were 1,312,964 cases. The data are from the Brazilian Public Security Yearbook 2023, a survey conducted by the Brazilian Public Security Forum (FBSP) and released on Thursday (20/07).

In addition to common scams, the country recorded an even more significant increase in crimes committed electronically, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, there were 120,470 cases reported; in 2022, there were 200,322 cases, an increase of 66.2%.

Common Scams

In 2021, there were 649.9 scams per 100,000 inhabitants in the country. The following year, there were 896, an increase of 37.9%.

Absolute Numbers

São Paulo is the state with the highest absolute number of scams (638,000), which means that more than a third of the cases in the country are registered in São Paulo.

States with the most cases:

  • São Paulo: went from 382,110 in 2021 to 638,629 in 2022 (+67%)
  • Paraná: went from 114,951 in 2021 to 134,154 in 2022 (+16.7%)
  • Minas Gerais: went from 105,476 in 2021 to 130,755 in 2022 (+23.9%)
  • Rio de Janeiro: went from 71,145 in 2021 to 123,841 in 2022 (+74%)

The greatest increases changes occurred in the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Scam by Electronic Means

In 2021, there were 115 scams for every 100,000 inhabitants in the country. In the following year (2022), there were 189.9, an increase of 65.1%.

Absolute Numbers

According to the survey, the record-breaking state for electronic fraud in Brazil is Santa Catarina, with 64,230 incidents in 2022. This represents 32% of cases in Brazil. However, six states (Bahia, Ceará, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo) did not provide data for the study.

States with more cases

  • Santa Catarina: went from 42,976 in 2021 to 64,230 in 2022 (+49.4%)
  • Minas Gerais: went from 25,574 in 2021 to 35,749 in 2022 (+39.7%)
  • Federal District: went from 10,049 in 2021 to 15,580 in 2022 (+55%)
  • Espírito Santo: went from 10,545 in 2021 to 15,277 in 2022 (+44.8%)

The biggest positive variations occurred in the states of Roraima (+1,186%) — which went from 59 cases in 2021 to 759 in 2022 — and Goiás (+1,041%), which went from 128 to 1,461 cases in one year.

Our Analysis:

Experts already expected this scenario because, since 2018, growth has always been exponential, almost doubling every year. In a span of five years, it generates an important change. This transformation is due to a set of factors, and it is international. It’s a trend that starts with the pandemic, a period when people stayed at home and people’s integration was online. No cars on the street, no opportunities for thefts at traffic lights or in front of schools. Which made the crimes also migrate to the internet. Another important point is that the strategy of organized crime may have made the number rise. According to specialists, organized crime is no longer interested in encouraging crimes involving violence, since the penalties are higher and attract more police attention. The intelligence sector of the Brazilian police is also not prepared to deal with such many cases of scams. We have a problem regarding the profile of civil police officers in Brazil. There are many police officers without a competition for several years, the agents do not have technological training, and this makes it difficult to investigate cybercrimes.

Source: Estadão, G1, Olhar Digital.

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