Cyber-Crime Leads to Losses of More Than $525M in 2012
Almost 290,000 cases of fraud were filed with the Internet Criminal Complaint Center in 2012, almost 40 percent of which had some form of fraud loss.U.S. citizens reported almost 290,000 cases of fraud in 2012, costing them more than $525 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice's clearinghouse for Internet-crime complaints. In its latest report published May 14, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released data from the 290,000 complaints it received last year, about 40 percent of which resulted in some cost to the victim. Online auto fraud, where criminals sell vehicles that they do not own, topped that list of crimes, costing U.S. consumers nearly $65 million, according to IC3, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. The report's tally of damages is not out of line with other estimates, and is likely low, Al Pascual, senior analyst of security, risk and fraud at analyst firm Javelin Strategy & Research, told eWEEK. "This is only the people who reported the fraud, so I think the total amount is probably much higher," he said. "I would not be surprised if numbers reported by IC3 double or triple over the next few years."
Online crime has taken off over the past decade. In its 2003 report, the IC3 processed 63,316 cases of fraud causing more than $125 million in damages, with a median dollar loss of $329. In the 2013 report, the organization processed more than quadruple the number of cases—289,874—with a sharp increase in the median dollar loss to about $600. The total number of complaints has hovered around 300,000 for the past five years, while damages in 2012 increased 8 percent year-to-year, the group stated.