Reported Dollar Loss from Internet Crime Reaches All Time High
By Ina Steiner
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 206,884 complaints of crimes perpetrated over the Internet during 2007. Internet auction fraud was the most widely reported complaint, comprising 35.7% of referred crime complaints. This represents a 20.5% decrease from the 2006 levels of auction fraud reported to IC3. Of all complaints received, over 90,000 were referred to law enforcement around the nation, amounting to nearly $240 million in reported losses - a $40 million increase over 2006.
FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director James E. Finch said, "The Internet presents a wealth of opportunity for would be criminals to prey on unsuspecting victims, and this report shows how extensive these types of crime have become. What this report does not show is how often this type of activity goes unreported. Filing a complaint through IC3 is the best way to alert law enforcement authorities of Internet crime."
In addition to Internet auction fraud, other complaints included fraudulent activity such as non-delivery of purchases and credit/debit card fraud, and non-fraudulent activity such as computer intrusions, spam/unsolicited email, and child pornography. 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 as part of an effort to raise public awareness.
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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