Internet Crime: An Upward Spiral

Monday, May 14, 2012 @ 06:05 PM gHale

For the third year in a row, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received over 300,000 complaints.

On top of that, the 314,246 complaints received in 2011 is a 3.4 percent increase over 2010, with losses adding up to $485.3 million.

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In 2011, IC3 received and processed an average of more than 26,000 complaints per month. The most common complaints received in 2011 included FBI-related scams — schemes in which a criminal poses as the FBI to defraud victims — identity theft, and advance-fee fraud.

“This report is a testament to the work we do every day at IC3, which is ensuring our system is used to alert authorities of suspected criminal and civil violations,” said National White Collar Crime (NW3C) Center Director Don Brackman. “Each year we work to provide information that can link individuals and groups to these crimes for better outcomes and prosecution of cases.”

“Internet crime is a growing problem that affects computer users around the world and causes significant financial losses,” said Acting Assistant Director of the FBI’s Cyber Division Michael Welch. “The IC3 is an efficient mechanism for the public to report suspicious email activity, fraudulent websites, and Internet crimes. These reports help law enforcement make connections between cases and identify criminals.”

IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the NW3C, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Since its start in 2000, IC3 has become a mainstay for victims reporting Internet crime and a way to alert law enforcement of such crimes.

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