IC3 details internet crime trends in new report
The IC3 received more than 300,000 complaints last year with reported losses of more than $1.4 billion
By PoliceOne Staff
WASHINGTON — The Internet Crime Complaint Center has released its annual internet crime report.
On Monday, the IC3 released the 2017 Internet Crime Report, which showed that the center received more than 300,000 complaints last year with reported losses of more than $1.4 billion. Among the top 10 crimes reported to the IC3 were fraudulent investment opportunities, personal data breaches and e-mail compromises, which accounted for $676,151,185 in victim losses.
From 2000 to 2017, the IC3 has received more than 4 million victim complaints. The IC3 analyzes complaints and disseminates data to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
The center also works to identify trends related to current and emerging internet-facilitated crimes. One of the examples of the impact the IC3 had on internet-facilitated crime was aiding law enforcement in investigating a fraudulent investment scam that led to federal charges this year.
In 2015, the IC3 began to forward complaints regarding fraudulent offers of investment opportunities by perpetrators impersonating U.S. bank officials and financial consultants to the FBI’s Houston Field Office. Victims in different countries, including the U.S., were deceived into believing they would receive millions of dollars from joint ventures if they paid upfront fees.
The fees would range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and as a result, victims lost more than $7 million from this scam.
The complaints submitted to the IC3 helped uncover an elaborate international advance fee and money laundering scheme. In February, six individuals were federally charged in Houston in connection to the scam.
“We want to encourage everyone who suspects they have been victimized by online fraudsters to report it to us,” IC3 chief Donna Gregory said. “The more data we have, the more effective we can be in raising public awareness, reducing the number of victims who fall prey to these schemes, and increasing the number of criminals who are identified and brought to justice.”