The FBI, through its Internet Crime Compliance Center, has released the 2009 iC3 report which looks at the internet crimes reported in 2009. The website received 336,655 complaints in 2009, 146,663 of which were passed on to law enforcement for consideration.
According to the report, the majority of crimes reported involved fraud with a total dollar loss of $559.7 million. This dollar loss is more than double that which was reported in 2008 ($264.4) and includes a median dollar loss of $575.
The survey indicates that the number of complaints, as well as the total dollar loss, is on the increase, with the total dollar loss going up faster than the number of reports. Although fraud complaints came in a variety of forms, the number one scam was an advanced fee scam using the FBI name fraudulently. Other scams include hitman scams, astrological reading frauds, economic scams, job site scams and fake pop-up ads for antivirus software, the latter of which received a great deal of press within the year.
The report looks at information on the volume, scope of complaints, complaint characteristics, geographic information, types of scams and results. Of course, all of this data is based upon reported fraud, so it's important to both the corporate sector and to consumers that all suspicious activity be reported. That way, we can move forward with investigations and also with our understanding of online crime.