Computer Crime Research Center


Damage from Internet fraud is comparable to Internet business incomes

Date: February 24, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Vladimir Golubev

Rate of annual damage from Internet fraud is comparable to total revenues from global e-business. Losses in 2003 year made up $ 122 million.

Typical scheme of fraud is distribution of huge amount of emails requesting assistance to find opportunity to transfer big sums of money to one of banks, as swindlers do not have that opportunity in their country. Then fraudsters offer option to exchange "in advance" small sum of money for part of transferred money in future. Last years large scaled arrests of such criminals were held in many countries including Australia, Canada and the USA. Total losses from Internet fraud in 2003 year, only in the US, came to $ 54 million, according to FBI.

Interpol also confirms that last years Internet became the sphere of active criminal growth. Average swindler is 30 years old man, committing fraud with help of his personal computer at his personal house in free from work time. As a rule he steals not much, 32% of successful "raids" bring in return less that $ 500, only in 3 cases his earnings make up more than $ 10 thousand. Statistics shows that companies-victims usually lose more money than individuals. Men became more frequent victims of such crimes than women, also elders more often than young.

According to Computer Crime Research Center, online auctions users have more "chances" to become victims of Internet fraud. "Seller" tries to sell certain item through the Internet auction. "Buyer", more often from abroad, informs "Seller" that he would draw a cheque to the sum of much more higher than requested price and send it by mail, if the "Seller" returns the difference between sum and item cost by money transfer. Unsuspicious "Seller" sends money and receives forged cheque.

Further state of affairs with Internet fraud in 2004 year, above all, depends on legislative and executive insight of his problem, experts think. These legislative and executive authorities exactly determine degree for intension of taken measures in fighting Internet fraud.

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