Online crime complaints rose by 22.3% on year ago
Online fraud losses in the US more than doubled in 2009, with email scams that fraudulently used the FBI’s name accounting for 16.6% of all complaints, according to a report from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).
Peter Trahon, section chief of the FBI’s Cyber Division, said: “Law enforcement relies on the corporate sector and citizens to report when they encounter on-line suspicious activity so these schemes can be investigated and criminals can be arrested.
“Computer users are encouraged to have up-to-date security protection on their devices and evaluate e-mail solicitations they receive with a healthy skepticism-if something seems too good to be true, it likely is.”
According to the report, total online crime complaints rose by 22.3% to 336,655, compared to 275,284 in 2008 while the total loss linked to online fraud was up from $265m in 2008 to $559.7m. The total complaints received were 231,493 in 2005 with total loss of $183.12m.
Non-delivery of merchandise and/or payment was the second most reported offence, accounting for 11.9% of the total complaints received and advance fee fraud made up 9.8% of total complaints.
Donald Brackman, director of NW3C, said: “The figures contained in this report indicate that criminals are continuing to take full advantage of the anonymity afforded them by the internet. They are also developing increasingly sophisticated means of defrauding unsuspecting consumers. Internet crime is evolving in ways we couldn’t have imagined just five years ago.
“With the public’s continued support, law enforcement will be better able to track down these perpetrators and bring them to justice.”