Computer Crime Research Center


US cyber crime down, but the earnings are up

Date: April 07, 2008
By: Funny Money

Internet fraudsters find it increasingly difficult to find willing suckers for their schemes, but those who have fallen for them are handing out hundreds of millions.

An annual report by the FBI, which was released this week, revealed that fewer Americans fell for Internet fraudsters last year.

However, those who did parted with a record 239.09-million.

Just under 207000 complaints of online fraud were reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre last year.

This was down from 207492 complaints in 2006 and more than 231000 in 2005, the report said.

But the total dollar loss to fraudsters was 239.09-million last year, which is up from 198.44-million in 2006, the report said.

“We’re seeing more schemes involving bigger ticket items, get-rich-quick and work-at- home schemes, which involve higher dollar losses,” said FBI special agent John Hambrick, who is in charge of the crime complaint unit.

“But I’m optimistic that people are starting to catch on to some of these scams and we will continue to try to educate them to the dangers of Internet fraud,” he said, commenting on the decrease in the number of victims of online crime.

The preferred method of ensnaring a victim online is through spam e-mail, the source of 75% of Internet scams, the report said.

“A cyber criminal is only looking for a less than 1% return on all the e-mails he sends out, because he can still make money hand over fist,” said Hambrick.

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