The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), has released the 2009 Annual Report about fraudulent activity on the Internet today. Online crime complaints increased substantially once again last year, according to the report.
The report details information related to the volume and scope of complaints, complainant and perpetrator characteristics, geographical data, most frequently reported scams and results of IC3 referrals.
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.
The report’s findings underscore the increasing threat posed by cyber criminals.
The figures in this report indicate that criminals are continuing to take full advantage of the anonymity afforded by the Internet, and 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.
- The IC3 received a total of 336,655 complaints, a 22.3% increase from 2008.
- The total loss linked to online fraud was $559.7 million; this is way up from $265 million in 2008.
- Although the complaints consisted of a variety of fraud types, advanced fee scams that fraudulently used the FBI’s name ranked number one at 16.6%.
- Non-delivery of merchandise and/or payment was the second most reported offense at 11.9%.