Today the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released the 2012 Internet Crime Report—a summary of reported fraudulent activity, including data and statistics. In 2012, the IC3 received and processed 289,874 complaints, averaging more than 24,000 complaints per month. Unverified losses reported to IC3 rose 8.3 percent over the previous year.
A new section in this year’s report includes charts for each of the 50 states detailing demographic, complaint, and dollar-loss data. The section allows for easy comparisons and convenient reference. Additional content includes frequently reported Internet crimes, case highlights, and graphs that explain the lifecycle of a complaint. The most common complaints received in 2012 included FBI impersonation e-mail scams, various intimidation crimes, and scams that used computer “scareware” to extort money from Internet users. The report gives detailed information about these and other commonly perpetrated scams in 2012. The IC3 works to educate the public and law enforcement about fraud trends.
“The 2012 Internet Crime Report reveals both the volume and the scope of Internet crime, as well as the efforts of IC3 and law enforcement to combat these crimes,” said National White Collar Crime Center Director Don Brackman. “As technology continues to advance, so will our efforts to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals.”
Richard A. McFeely, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, said: “Criminals are increasingly migrating their fraudulent activities from the physical world to the Internet. Computer users who suspect or become victims of online fraud schemes—including suspicious e-mails, 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.”
IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Since its start in 2000, the IC3 has become a mainstay for victims reporting Internet crime and a way for law enforcement to be notified of such crimes. IC3’s service to the law enforcement community includes federal, state, tribal, local, and international agencies that are combating Internet crime.
IC3 receives, develops, and refers criminal complaints of cybercrime. IC3 gives victims a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the local, state, federal, and international levels, IC3 provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving online crime.