Record Number of Internet Crime Complaints Filed in 2008

By: Absolute Team | 4/6/2009

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released the 2008 Annual Report on the number of Internet crime complaints received for the year. IC3, which is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), recorded a record number of complaints for 2008, with the highest ever loss.

IC3 received a total of 275,284 complaints, up 33.1% over the previous year. Those complaints amounted to a $265 million loss as the result of online fraud, with an average individual loss of $931. This data is in line with the ITRC report from last year that indicated that individuals suffered an average of $550.30 in out-of-pocket expenses, and 116 hours in order to recover from identity theft.

Gartner estimated that 7.5% of Americans were victims of financial fraud in 2008. Given the current US population, that's more than 22 million people. That would mean that the fraud reported to IC3 represents only a very small portion of the fraud actually happening.

According to the IC3 report, credit/debit card fraud only accounted for 9% of the reported fraud, which also seems very low given the statistics we've seen before. What the report does indicate is a growing incidence of fraud that is Internet-based, as people fall for online scams. You can download the full report here.

Financial Services