A new report from the Internet Crime Complaint Center shows an 8.3 percent increase in unverified losses from fraudulent online activity since 2011.
In 2012, IC3 received and processed about 24,000 complaints monthly for a total of 289,874. These complaints incurred a $525,441,110 adjusted dollar loss, an 8.3 percent increase since 2011. The new figures are part of the 2012 Internet Crime Report, released May 14.
“Criminals are increasingly migrating their fraudulent activities from the physical world to the Internet,” said Richard McFeely, executive assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. “Computer users who suspect or become victims of online fraud schemes—including suspicious emails, fraudulent websites and Internet crimes—should report them to the IC3. The IC3 analyzes and makes connections among these reports and packages them for potential action by law enforcement.”
The 2012 report includes a new section for each of the 50 states, with charts, demographic, complaint and dollar loss data that can be compared across states. Also included in the report are frequently reported Internet crimes and case excerpts. FBI impersonation email scams, intimidation crimes and scams using computer “scareware” to extort money from Internet users were the most common complaints, according to the report.
To deal with the increase in fraudulent activity, IC3 embarked on a campaign to inform the public about online scams, posting multiple public service announcements and providing tips to Internet users for avoiding scams.
IC3’s Internet crime report is designed to provide an annual summary of reported fraudulent activity including relevant data and statistics. IC3, a partnership between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, provides of Internet crime victims with a reporting mechanism to alert authorities to online fraudulent activity. In addition, IC3 supports law enforcement agencies by investigating and prosecuting perpetrators.