The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) was started as a joint effort between the FBI, National White Collar Crime Center, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Its purpose is to record complaints of cyber crimes for authorities at all levels from local to international. Yearly, the IC3 puts out a report on internet fraud statistics to provide an overall view of the annual cyber crimes.
General View of Cyber Crime in 2008
According to IC3s internet fraud statistics, cyber crime increased 33% from 2007 to 2008. In addition, total dollar loss as a result of online fraud was $265 million, also up from 2007 losses. On average, fraud victims lost $931 to cyber criminals.
Types of Fraud
The largest number of complaints came against internet retailers who failed to deliver merchandise and from internet retailers who failed to receive payment. This type of fraud complaint comprised 32.9% of all internet fraud complaints. Fraudulent auctions were next on the list with a reported 25.5% of all complaints. Finally, credit and debit fraud were named 9% of the time.
The Cyber Criminals
According to the 2008 internet fraud statistics, 77.4% of all cyber criminals were male. Half of these criminals lived in Washington, Florida, Texas, New York, California or the District of Columbia. There were also several Internet thieves from outside the United States as well. Topping the international list were the United Kingdom, China, South Africa, Canada and Nigeria.
According to the internet fraud statistics, the most common scam reported to the IC3 in 2008 was a specific fraudulent email campaign. These emails appeared to come from the FBI requesting personal information including bank accounts. The email states they need this information to confirm if a funds transfer from a possible criminal in Nigeria is legitimate. The email leads the recipient to believe they will earn some type of reward for cooperating.
Of all the victims reporting Internet fraud to IC3, 55.4% were male. Almost half of the cyber victims were between the ages of 30 and 50. 33% of the victims lived in New York, Texas, Florida or California. Almost all victims (92.4%) were from the United States, but IC3 also receives complaints from France, India, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Men lost more money to these cyber criminals than women. For every $1.00 a female victim lost, a male victim lost $1.69. The average male lost $994 and the average female lost $861. Most victims (74%) were contacted by email while 28% encountered fraudulent activity on a web page.
By reviewing the internet fraud statistics provided by the IC3, you can get an idea of the different ways cyber criminals try to take advantage of innocent victims. This is a great way to arm yourself against possible internet fraud.