Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Internet Scams At A New High

According to reports from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) money lost in Internet crimes reached nearly $240 million.

The 2007 Internet Crime Report compiled by the Internet Crime Complaint Center states they received 206,884 complaints of crimes perpetrated over the Internet during 2007. Of the complaints received, more than 90,000 were referred to law enforcement around the nation, amounting to nearly $240 million in reported losses. This represents a $40 million increase in reported losses from complaints referred to law enforcement in 2006.

The data shows that more men than women were scammed and at a costlier rate. The average loss for men was $765; for women, $552 men lost $1.67 to every $1 lost by women in online fraud.

Age was also a key factor in relation to losses, victims in their 20s lost $385 on average while people over 60 reported lost an average $760 per scam.

Although Internet auction fraud was the most widely reported complaint, others cited in the report include fraudulent activity such as non-delivery of purchases and credit/debit card fraud, and non-fraudulent activity such as computer intrusions, spam/unsolicited e-mail, and child pornography. In an effort to raise public awareness, the report also describes the characteristics of commonly reported scams such as those involving the purchase or sale of pets, check scams, e-mail spam, and online dating fraud.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). They serve as the governments clearinghouse for all complaints involving Internet related crimes

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