In 2012, the IC3 received and processed about 24,000 complaints monthly for a total of 289,874. These complaints incurred a $525 million adjusted dollar loss, an 8.3 percent increase since 2011. The new figures are part of the 2012 Internet Crime Report.
According to the report, criminals are increasingly focusing their fraudulent activities on the Internet. The report includes a new section for each of the 50 states with charts, demographic, complaint, and dollar loss data that can be compared across states. Also included in the report are frequently reported Internet crimes and case excerpts. FBI impersonation email scams, intimidation crimes, and scams using computer “scareware” to extort money from Internet users were the most common complaints.
To deal with the increase in fraudulent activity, the IC3 embarked on a campaign to inform the public about online scams, posting multiple public service announcements and providing tips to Internet users for avoiding scams.
Computer users who suspect or become victims of online fraud schemes—including suspicious emails, fraudulent websites and Internet crimes—should report them to the IC3. The IC3 analyzes and makes connections among these reports and packages them for potential action by law enforcement.
This report should serve as a reminder to continually encourage your customers to be aware of and remain vigilant regarding phishing and other Internet-related scams. It also brings to the forefront the ongoing discussion regarding the importance of offering PIN transactions in more places, including online and mobile.