FBI: Auction fraud tops computer crime complaints

The FBI says Internet auction fraud remains the most frequently reported cyber-crime

Internet auction fraud remains the most frequently reported online crime, but complaints over online purchases that are never delivered are on the rise, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Auction fraud complaints made up about 45 percent of the 207,492 complaints received by the IC3 last year, but that number is down significantly from 2005, when auction fraud was cited 63 percent of the time.

Overall, the number of complaints received by IC3 was down 10 percent from the previous year, when the IC3 logged 231,493 complaints. But the total dollar losses reported were up in 2006, totalling US$198 million for the year. In 2005 that number was US$183 million.

Complaints for non-delivery of merchandise represented 19 percent of complaints. They made up 16 percent in 2005.

The median dollar loss reported per complaint was US$724, according to the FBI.

Founded in 2000, the IC3 is a clearing house for all kinds of cyber-crime complaints designed to track the prevalence of Internet fraud in the U.S. It is run in partnership with the National White Collar Crime Center.

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