How Internet Schemes Work and the Cyber-Scammers’ Scorecard for 2011

Computer Monitor

A new report provides consumers and law enforcement not only data statistics for cyber-crime but an explanation of how each internet scam is run as well. 300,000 alleged criminal acts and attempts provide the data on which the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s (IC3) 2011 Internet Crime Report is based. Unfortunately, more than one-third of these 300,000 reported incidents of cyber-crime resulted in a “successful” scam. The total money lost to scammers in 2011 exceeded $485 million, and the amount for those reporting loss averaged over $4,100. The most reported crime was one in which person(s) claiming to represent the FBI demand payment on behalf of collection agencies. This was closely followed by Identity Theft. Of the major complaints (not restricted to monetary loss) received by IC3, “Work-from-Home” scam attempts were the highest, and FBI Impersonation scams ran second. In this report IC3 explains how all of these “Auto-Auction”, “Romance”, “Work-from-Home”, “Loan Intimidation” and “FBI Impersonation Email” scams run. Additionally, the report gives updates on new variations of attempts to defraud and new scams that are on the internet and in the media.

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