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March 16th, 2010

Cybercrime Related Losses Doubled In 2009, Financial Losses Totaled 559.7 Million

According to an annual report from FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), financial losses resulting from cybercriminal activities have doubled last year compared to 2008. Advanced fee scams abusing FBI’s name was the most reported type of fraud.

The IC3 is a partnership between the FBI, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). Its purpose is to serve as a bridge between authorities and cybercrime victims by providing the latter with an easy mechanism of submitting complaints about fraudulent activity on the Internet.

According to IC3′s 2009 Annual Report on Internet Crime, almost half of the received complaints mentioned financial losses, which totaled $559.7 million. This is a more than one hundred percent increase over 2008, when reported losses accounted for $264.6 million.

The number of complaints also increased by 22% in 2009 to 336,655, out of which 146,663 were forwarded to authorities. The average dollar loss was $575, but males lost considerably more than females. According to the statistics, for every dollar lost by a female, a male lost $1.51.

The most popular type of fraud registered across 16.6% of complaints consisted of email scams misusing FBI’s name. Meanwhile, 11.9% of complaints reported cases of non-delivered merchandise or payment. Advance fee fraud (9.8%), identity theft and overpayment fraud complete the list of top five complaint types submitted to IC3 in 2009.

As far as perpetrators go, only 38% of complaints specified their residence and 35.1% their gender. Even so, the statistics show that over three quarters of the perpetrators were male. Furthermore, the District of Columbia was the most active cybercrime hub, with a number of 116 perpetrators for every 100,000 inhabitants. It was followed by Nevada, with 106, Washington, with 81, Montana, with 68 and Utah, with 60.

“Although this report can provide a snapshot of the prevalence and impact of cybercrime, it is worth noting that knowledge of the ‘typical’ victim or perpetrator of these types of crimes does not imply that atypical Internet users are safe, or that atypical individuals do not commit Internet crimes. Anyone who uses the Internet is susceptible,” the center advises.

Credit: News

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