Over the past year, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received and processed 289,874 complaints, averaging more than 24,000 complaints per month, a new report said.
In addition, unverified losses reported to IC3 rose 8.3 percent to over of $525 million from the previous year.
Of the 289,874 complaints received last year, 39.64 percent, or 114,908, reported some type of financial loss, the report said. The median dollar loss for those reporting a loss was $600, while the average dollar loss overall was $1,813 and the average dollar loss for those reporting a loss was $4,573, according to the report.
The top ten states that recorded victim complaints were in order: California, Florida, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Ohio and Washington.
The top five countries that recorded victim complaints were in order: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and India.
The most common complaints received in 2012 included FBI impersonation email scams, various intimidation crimes, and scams that used computer “scareware” to extort money from Internet users.
“The 2012 Internet Crime Report reveals both the volume and the scope of Internet crime, as well as the efforts of IC3 and law enforcement to combat these crimes,” said National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) Director Don Brackman. “As technology continues to advance, so will our efforts to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals.”
“Criminals are increasingly migrating their fraudulent activities from the physical world to the Internet,” said Richard A. McFeely, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. “Computer users who suspect or become victims of online fraud schemes — including suspicious emails, fraudulent Web sites 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.”
IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), NW3C and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Since its start in 2000, IC3 has become a mainstay for victims reporting Internet crime and a way for law enforcement to be notified of such crimes. IC3’s service to the law enforcement community includes federal, state, tribal, local, and international agencies that are combating Internet crime.
Click here to download a copy of the report.