Internet Fraud Cases Rise in 2002

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The Internet Fraud Complaint Center referred nearly three times as many fraud complaints to federal, state and/or local law enforcement authorities last year as in 2001, according to the IFCC's annual Internet Fraud Report released yesterday.


There were 48,252 referrals last year, up from 16,775 in 2001. The report also states that the total dollar loss from all referred fraud cases was $54 million, up from $17 million in 2001.


For the third straight year, Internet auction fraud was the most reported offense, comprising 46 percent of referred complaints. Non-delivery of merchandise and non-payment accounted for 31 percent of complaints, and credit/debit card fraud made up nearly 12 percent.


Among victims who reported a dollar loss, the highest median dollar losses were found among Nigerian letter fraud ($3,864), identity theft ($2,000) and check fraud ($1,100) complainants.


California, New York, Florida, Texas and Illinois were the top five states for victims of Internet crime. In cases where a perpetrator was identified, nearly four in five were male and more than half resided in California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois or Pennsylvania.


The IFCC also processed 36,920 complaints on unsolicited e-mail, child pornography and other violations of law.


Operational since May 2000, the IFCC is co-managed by the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, which provides support services to law enforcement agencies investigating high-tech crime.


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