When you look at the list of uses, advantages and opportunities that the Internet provides, it’s seemingly never-ending, yet there are some “dark” sides to it as well. One of those dark sides is that the Internet provides criminals with lots of opportunities to scam good people. The IC3 just released their 2007 report on Internet Crime and what they found is that the money lost in Internet-related crimes hit a new high last year. In all, around $240 million dollars were reported in losses which is a $40 million increase from the prior year.
When you think of Internet-related crimes, what do you think of? Maybe spam email, phishing attempts, and eBay scams? Those all contribute to the reported crimes, but add to the list online dating scams, crimes involving pets, check-cashing schemes, and people asking for “charity” donations. The three main types of crimes that were committed include:
- Fraud – where consumers didn’t get the right merchandise they paid for
- Non-delivery – consumers didn’t receive a purchased good
- Confidence fraud – where scammers ask consumers to rely on them
The IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center) reported that men actually lost more on average, than women. Each male that made a complaint lost on average $765 compared to $522 for women. Age also made a difference as well. The “younger” crowd, those in their 20’s lost $385 on average while the “older” crowd, those over 60 lost $760 on average per scam. In the end, about 1/2 of reports involved an amount less than $1,000 while 1/3 of complaints involved amounts between $1,000-$5,000.
While we have sympathy for those who have lost money due to Internet crimes, it’s still hard to believe that it happens as often as it does and people lose as much money as they do. By now, you’d think more people would be educated about the major dangers of the Internet thanks to news agencies covering it, and thus would be able to easily spot a scam. Do you know anybody who has been a victim of Internet Crime?
Note: If you’d like to view the complete report, click here and then click on the 2007 IC3 Annual Report to download it.
Source: NY Times