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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 295 - April 11, 2002 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 3

New Report: Online Auction Fraud Tops List of Internet Fraud Complaints

By Ina Steiner
April 11, 2002

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Nearly 43% of all reported Internet fraud comes from auction fraud, according to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC)'s annual data trends report. Non-deliverable merchandise and non-payment accounted for 20.3% of complaints and Nigerian Letter fraud made up nearly 15.5% of complaints. Credit/debit card fraud and confidence fraud round out the top five categories of complaints referred to law enforcement during the year. Nigerian letter fraud ($5,575), identity theft ($3,000), and investment fraud ($1,000) complainants filed the highest median dollar losses.

"Fraud committed via the Internet makes investigation and prosecution difficult because the offender and victim may be located thousands of miles apart. This borderless phenomena is a unique characteristic of Internet crime and is not found with many other types of traditional crime," said Thomas Richardson, Deputy Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative Division of the FBI.

AuctionBytes recommends that consumers who have been the victims of online auction fraud file a complaint with the FTC by calling 877-382-4357 or by visiting the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov. Although the FTC won't act in individual cases, it can act against a party if it sees a pattern of possible law violations. You should also contact your state Attorney General and your local consumer protection office.

The IFCC is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and this week released its first annual compilation of information on complaints received from victims and referred to law enforcement. For more information on the IFCC, or to obtain a copy of the 2001 annual data trends report, visit http://www.ifccfbi.gov.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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