The FBI released the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) 2017 Internet Crime Report this week. The report highlights trending Internet scams.
The information in the report was compiled from complaints of suspected criminal Internet activity filed with the IC3 in 2017. The report’s data represents a total of 301,580 complaints with reported losses in excess of $1.4 billion.
“I like to think of doing business on the internet as being at the train station of a major city and having to make sure that you are not a target of a pick-pocketer or putting yourself in harm’s way by not paying attention to your surroundings,” said attorney Jeff Weinstein. “When you are buying, selling or exchanging information on the internet, you must be very careful at all times. If you think something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”
The top three crime types reported by victims in 2017 were non-payment/non-delivery, personal data breach, and phishing. In addition to the 2017 statistics, the report contains information about the IC3, an explanation of the support provided to law enforcement by the IC3, and hot topics including business email compromise, ransomware, tech support fraud, and extortion.
The FBI is increasing public awareness about current Internet scams and fraud; reiterating the importance of the IC3 in understanding, mitigating, and combating cyber crime; and encouraging victims to report Internet crime through the IC3. By reporting Internet crime, victims are not only alerting law enforcement to the activity, but aiding in the overall fight against cyber crime.
To further highlight the need for public support in the fight against cyber crime, the FBI released 30-second public service announcements for radio and television featuring Criminal Minds actress Kirsten Vangsness encouraging the public to report suspected Internet crime to www.ic3.gov.
The IC3 report and more information about the IC3 can be found at www.ic3.gov. Suspected criminal Internet activity can also be reported at www.ic3.gov.
The IC3, which has received more than 4 million victim complaints from 2000 through 2017, routinely analyzes complaints like these and disseminates data to the appropriate law enforcement agencies at all levels for possible investigation. The IC3 also works to identify general trends related to current and emerging Internet-facilitated crimes, and it publicizes those findings through periodic alerts and an annual report.