US logs one million online crime complaints

Online consumers in the US have made a million complaints to the government’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3).

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Online consumers in the US have made a million complaints to the government’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre.

Launched seven years ago as a clearing house for reports of online fraud, the IC3 is jointly run by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Centre. It passes on information to law enforcement agencies, and keeps track of trends in cybercrime.

To date, it has referred nearly a half-million complaints representing almost $650m (£325m) in losses to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Crime has changed since the IC3 first opened shop, according to Donna Gregory, an FBI employee who is a supervisory management program analyst with IC3.

"Most of the complaints we saw at the beginning were your typical non-delivery auction fraud," she said. "Now we are seeing more complex schemes, involving identity theft and issues where people are using anonymisers and are being affected by keystroke loggers... everything is more sophisticated now."

Gregory did not say what the 1 millionth complaint was about, but she said that auction fraud and online financial scams are still the top problems. Auction fraud accounted for nearly half of the complaints received by the
IC3 last year.

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