Internet auction fraud remains the most frequently reported online crime, but complaints over online purchases that are never delivered are on the rise, according to US data released by the FBI’s internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3).
Auction fraud complaints made up about 45% of the 207,492 complaints received by the IC3 last year, but that number is down significantly from 2005, when auction fraud was cited 63% of the time.
Overall, the number of complaints received by IC3 was down 10% from the previous year, when the IC3 logged 231,493 complaints. But the total losses reported were up in 2006, totalling $198m (£99m) for the year. In 2005 that amount was $183m (£95m).
Complaints for non-delivery of merchandise represented 19% of complaints. They made up 16% in 2005.
The median pound loss reported per complaint was £360, according to the FBI.
Founded in 2000, the IC3 is a clearing house for all kinds of cyber-crime complaints designed to track the prevalence of internet fraud in the US. It is run in partnership with the US National White Collar Crime Centre.