April 04, 2008
They're each among the top ruses used by Internet scam artists in 2007, according to a comprehensive report on online crime just issued by the Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3.
According to the 2007 Internet Crime Report, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) 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. All complaints received by IC3 are accessible to federal, state, and local law enforcement to support active investigations, trend analysis, and public outreach and awareness efforts.
"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," said FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director James E. Finch. "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."
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.
Secret Shoppers and Funds Transfer Scams
Adoption and Charity Frauds
Fraud stats. The report provides a complete breakdown of statistics on Internet crime in 2007. For the year, total complaints were down slightly with 206,884 submissions, but total losses were at their highest level ever, nearly $240 million. See the report for plenty more details about victims, perpetrators, and common categories of complaints.
Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a joint venture of the FBI and the non-profit National White Collar Crime Center, serves as a central federal clearinghouse for all reports of Internet crime.
Logging a complaint is easy: just go to the IC3 website, click on "File a Complaint," type in the details, and hit "next." Review your information and click on "submit" when you're ready to send. The good folks at IC3 will take it from there.
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