FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center Releases 2006 Statistics
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has released its annual Internet Fraud Crime Report. From Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2006, the center received 207,492 complaint submissions. These filings were composed of fraudulent and non-fraudulent complaints primarily related to the Internet and included many different fraud types such as auction fraud, non-delivery, and credit/debit card fraud, as well as non-fraudulent complaints including computer intrusions, spam/unsolicited email, and child pornography.
The Bureau says that the report demonstrates how widespread and sophisticated Internet crime has become.
All complaints received by IC3 are accessible to federal, state, and local law enforcement to support active investigations, trend analysis, and public outreach and awareness efforts. During 2006, IC3 referred 86,279 complaints of crime to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies around the country for further consideration. The vast majority of the cases were fraudulent in nature and involved a financial loss on the part of the complainant. According to the report, the total dollar loss from all referred cases of fraud was $198.44 million with a median dollar loss of $724 per complaint.
Internet auction fraud was by far the most reported offense, comprising 44.9 percent of referred complaints. Electronic e-mail and Web pages were the two primary mechanisms by which the fraudulent contact took place. Of those individuals who reported a dollar loss, the highest median losses were found among Nigerian letter fraud ($5,100), check fraud ($3,744), and other investment fraud ($2,694).
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a joint project of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.