|IFCC 2002 Internet Fraud
|The Internet Fraud Report is the second annual
compilation of information on complaints received and referred by IFCC to law
enforcement or regulatory agencies for appropriate action. |
1, 2002 to December 31, 2002, the IFCC Web site received 75,063 complaints. This
total includes many different fraudulent and non-fraudulent complaints, such as
auction fraud, credit/debit card fraud, computer intrusions, unsolicited email
(SPAM), and child pornography. During this same time period, IFCC has referred
48,252 complaints of fraud, a three-fold increase from the previous year. The
total dollar loss from all referred cases of fraud was $54 million, up from $17
million in 2001, with a median dollar loss of $299 per complaint.
Significant findings from the 2002 report include:
- As has been
the case since IFCC began operation in 2000, Internet auction fraud was by far
the most reported offense, comprising 46% of referred complaints. Non-delivery
of merchandise and payment account for 31% of complaints, and credit/debit card
fraud made up nearly 12% of complaints. Investment fraud, business fraud,
confidence fraud, and identity theft round out the top seven categories of
complaints referred to law enforcement during the year (all at 1.0% or more).
Among those individuals 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.
- Among perpetrators, nearly four
in five (79%) are male and half reside in one of the following states:
California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Illinois. While most are from the
United States, perpetrators also have a representation in Nigeria, Canada, South
Africa, and Romania.
- Among complainants, 71% are male, half are between
the ages of 30 and 50 (the average age is 39.4), and over one-third reside in
one of the following four states: California, Florida, Texas, and New York.
While most complainants are from the United States, IFCC has received a number
of complaints from Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, and
- The amount lost by complainants tends to be related to a number
of factors. Males tend to lose more than females. This may be a function of both
online purchasing differences by gender, and the type of fraud the individual
finds himself or herself involved with. While there isn't a strong relationship
between age and loss, the proportion of individuals losing at least $5,000 is
higher for those 60 years and older than it is for any other age
- Electronic mail (E-mail) and Web pages are the two primary
mechanisms by which the fraudulent contact took place. In all, 66% of
complainants reported they had e-mail contact with the perpetrator and 18.7% had
through a Web page.
- Only one in four complainants had
contacted a law enforcement agency about the incident prior to filing a
complaint with IFCC. These individuals had a higher median dollar loss ($500)
than the total complainant population.
To read the Internet Fraud Report
go to www.ifccfbi.gov