FBI: Online Fraud Costs Skyrocketed in 2009

Source: ic3.gov

Reported losses from online fraud more than doubled last year, from $265 million in 2008 to nearly $560 million in 2009, according to figures released Friday by the FBI.

The figures come from complaints referred to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. Last year, the IC3 received some 336,655 complaints, a 22.3 percent increase from the year prior.

Ironically, among the largest sources of complaints (16.6 percent) were e-mail scams that fraudulently used the FBI’s name to gain information from the recipient. Of the top five categories reported to law enforcement during 2009, non-delivered merchandise and/or payment fraud ranked nearly 20 percent; identity theft 14 percent; credit card and auction fraud, just over 10 percent each. The median dollar loss was $575, while the highest median losses were associated with investment fraud ($3,200), overpayment fraud ($2,500) and advanced-fee fraud ($1,500).

The full report is available from this link at ic3.gov (.pdf).

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