NEWS

Reported Cybercrime Cost U.S. $240 Million

By Matthew Harwood

A new U.S. government report says cybercrime cost Americans $240 million last year, reports UK's The Register.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reports that losses increased by $40 million, or 20 percent, from 2006, but the article notes that if unreported crime is factored in, true losses are much bigger.

Online auction fraud ranked as criminals' favored way to defraud their victims, but other crimes reported include "non-delivery of purchases and credit card fraud. Computer hacking attacks, spam and child abuse on the net formed the subject of other complaints. Commonly reported scams involved the purchase or sale of pets, cheque fraud, email spam, and online dating fraud."

The report also noted certain demographics were more susceptible to cybercrime, according to PCWorld.com:

The statistics gathered are mind boggling as it shows that men are losing more, on average, and individuals over the age of 60 are losing almost double of what individuals in their 20s are losing.

The average amount lost for men is $765, while the average lost for women is at $552. People over the age of 60 are losing $760 per online scam compared to $385 for individuals in their 20s.

FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director James Finch said the best way victims of cybercrime can notify authorities is through filing a IC3 complaint.

The IC3 is a partnership between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.  The center provides online crime victims a centralized reporting mechanism, allowing it  "to further research, develop, and refer the criminal complaints to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for any investigation they deem to be appropriate."

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