WASHINGTON (4/7/08)--Nearly $240 million was reported lost in crimes perpetrated over the Internet last year, with a median dollar loss of $680 per complaint. The total amount--a record high--represents a $40 million increase over losses referred to law enforcement in 2006. According to the 2007 Internet Crime Report, 206,884 complaints of crimes perpetrated over the Internet were filed last year with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The total is a decrease of 0.3% from the 207,492 complaints filed in 2006. Of the 2007 complaints, more than 90,000 were referred to law enforcement around the nation. Although Internet auction fraud was the most widely reported complaint, others included fraudulent activity such as non-delivery of purchases and credit/debit card fraud, and non-fraudulent activity such as computer intrusions, spam/unsolicited mail e-mail, and child pornography. The types of fraud of most interest to credit unions were in the middle of the pack in the Top 10 complaint categories and accounted for 23.2% of the frauds. A breakdown includes:
* Credit/debit card fraud, 6.3%; * Check fraud, 6%; * Computer fraud, 5.3%; * Identity theft, 2.9%; and * Financial institutions fraud, 2.7%.
Male complainants lost more money than females. Males lost $1.67 to every $1 lost per female. This may be a function of both online purchasing differences by gender and the type of fraud schemes by which they were victimized, said IC3. Electronic mail (73.6%) and Web pages (32.7%) were the two key mechanisms used in the frauds, the study found. Other findings:
* The fraudsters were mostly male (75.8%) and half resided in one of these states: California, Florida, New York, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Georgia. Most were from the U.S., but a significant number were located in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Canada, Romania and Italy. * More than half the victims were male (57.6%), nearly half were between 30 and 50 years old, and one-third resided in one of the four most populated states: California, Florida, Texas and New York. Most complaints came from the U.S., but IC3 also received a number of complaints from Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, India and Mexico.
IC3 is a division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.