Cyber Crime Reaches Milestone

November 16, 2010

Complaints about Internet crimes have reached a milestone. On Nov. 9, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) logged its 2 millionth consumer complaint alleging online criminal activity.

The IC3, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, became operational in May 2000 and received its 1 millionth complaint seven years later, on June 11, 2007. It took half that time to receive the 2 millionth complaint., which may be due to the IC3’s increased visibility as well as the continued growth of cyber crime.

The IC3 refers cyber crime complaints to law enforcement agencies. Since its inception, the IC3 has referred 757,016 criminal complaints to law enforcement around the globe. The majority of referrals involved fraud in which the complainant incurred a financial loss. The total reported loss from these referrals is approximately $1.7 billion, with a median reported loss of more than $500 per complaint.

Many complaints involved identity theft, such as loss of personally identifying data, and the unauthorized use of credit cards or bank accounts.

In an earlier report, the FBI said that among Internet crimes, advanced fee scams that fraudulently used the FBI’s name ranked number one. Non-delivery of merchandise and/or payment was the second most reported offense.

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