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BizReport : Law & Regulation : April 04, 2008

Fewer complaints of fraud, but losses up

Fewer Americans fell victim to Internet fraud in 2007, compared to 2006, but the total dollar loss increased, according to a recently released report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

by Helen Leggatt

fbi%20internet%20crime%20report%202007.jpgIn 2006, 207,492 complaints of online fraud were received by the FBI’s Crime Complaint Centre (IC3). That figure dropped to 207,000 in 2007 but the amount swindled rose to almost $240 million, $41 million up on 2006.

Of the complaints received by the IC3, just over 40% involved losses of between $100 and $1,000, 12% between $5,000 and $100,000 and 0.4% over $100,000.

"It means that the thieves are getting better,” said Avivah Litan, a Gartner analyst who believes the rise in dollar losses to be a disturbing trend. “Consumers can have their identity stolen, or maybe they thought they were buying something through a legitimate merchant. A lot of times, people can't tell the difference (between fraudulent and legitimate)."

The most prevalent Internet fraud occured on auctions, where consumers weren’t getting what they paid for or items were never delivered, found the report .

Tags: identify fraud, online auctions, online fraud

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