|EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 516 - April 10, 2003 - ISSN 1539-5065 3 of 3|
The IFCC referred 48,252 fraud complaints to federal, state and/or local law enforcement authorities last year, according to the Internet Fraud Report released on Wednesday. The IFCC (Internet Fraud Complaint Center) said this is triple the number of referrals (16,775) in 2001. The report also states that the total dollar loss from all referred fraud cases was $54 million, up from $17 million in 2001.
Internet auction fraud was the most reported offense, comprising 46% of referred complaints. Non-delivery of merchandise and non-payment accounted for 31% of complaints, and credit/debit card fraud made up nearly 12% of complaints.
Among victims who reported a dollar loss, the highest median dollar losses were found among Nigerian letter fraud ($3,864), identity theft ($2,000), and check fraud ($1,100) complainants.
The 2002 annual report offers a recap of Internet crime hot spots by state, statistical information, and victim demographic data gleaned through complaints IFCC has received and referred through its online Web portal from January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2002. In 2002, complaints filed with IFCC totaled 75,063.
"The IFCC helps victims by putting fraud information into the hands of law enforcement and then fosters inter-agency cooperation so these complaints are responded to quickly," said Assistant Director Jana Monroe of the FBI's Cyber Division.
California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Illinois were the top five states for victims of Internet crime. In cases where the perpetrator has been identified, nearly four in five were male and over half resided in the states of California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
Only one in four complainants contacted a law enforcement agency about their victimization prior to filing a complaint with IFCC.
Operational since May 2000, IFCC is co-managed by NW3C and the FBI. IFCC is an online resource to file Internet fraud complaints that will be referred to law enforcement authorities that have the ability to initiate a case on the consumer's behalf.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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