Report: Losses due to Internet crime rose in '07

While overall number of complaints declined compared with previous years, the total dollar value in losses hit a record, Internet Crime Complaint Center report shows.

Worried about online auction fraud? If you're a man you should be, according to the latest Internet Crime Complaint Center report (in PDF). On average, men lost more money to online fraud than women in 2007. Men also perpetrated most of the online crime, accounting for 75 percent of the total reports last year. And while the overall number of complaints declined when compared with previous years, the total dollar value in losses rose to a record high of $239 million in losses in 2007. That's $40 million more than in 2006.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership among the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and publishes annual statistics on the complaints it receives throughout the year. It offers assistance to victims and Web sites affected by Internet crime. The information collected by the project also supports active investigations, trend analysis, and public outreach and awareness efforts.

The IC3 report for 2007 states that the category with the most complaints was online auction fraud, followed closely by non-delivery. But in terms of dollars lost, investment fraud ranked No.1, reporting an average $3,547 per complaint, as opposed to the dollar losses associated with auction fraud, a mere $438 per complaint.

In a press release, FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director James E. Finch said, "What this report does not show is how often this type of activity goes unreported." So the amount in losses could be much higher than that reported.

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