FBI: Internet crime pays

FBI: Internet crime pays
FBI: Internet crime pays 

By Austin Modine in Mountain View 
19th March 2007 

Cyber-crime is alive and kicking in the USA, and playfully swimming 
through its riches like Scrooge McDuck in a money vault, the FBI's 
Internet Crime Complaint Center annual report [1] reveals today.

In 2006 US consumers filed 207,492 complaints about internet crime and 
reported record losses of $198.4m. Online auction fraud, such as 
receiving a different item than expected, topped the list, accounting 
for 44.9 per cent of complaints. Undelivered merchandise and payments 
were next in line, accounting for 19 per cent.

Greedy fools are still falling for the 419 scam (which the FBI calls 
"Nigerian Letter Fraud"). On average, victims last year lost $5,100 a 
pop to the countless princes of Nigeria, by sensibly moving their 
Majesties' assets to the US.

Another notable email scam, with 115 complaints received last year, goes 
straight for the jugular: the fraudster demands money in return for not 
murdering [2] the recipient through a hired assassin.

Three-quarters of the offenders caught were male, half residing in 
California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania and 
Tennessee. Most were located in the US although significant numbers were 
located in the UK, Nigeria, Canada, Romania and Italy.

Some 61.2 per cent of complaints were filed by men, half of them aged 
between 30 and 50. Men lost an average of $1.69 for every $1 reported by 
women. Nearly 74 per cent of complainants were contacted through email 
and 36 per cent through websites.

Here are some suggestions [3] from the FBI for avoiding internet crime - 
to which we add the following: don't be a complete twit.


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