Internet fraud losses doubled last year

Mar 12, 2010 By DEVLIN BARRETT , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- The cost of Internet fraud doubled in 2009 to about $560 million, the FBI said Friday. The most common type of frauds reported were scams from people falsely claiming to be from the FBI.

Individual complaints of Internet scams grew more than 20 percent last year, according to a report issued by the FBI in partnership with a private fraud-fighting group, the .

The amounts taken by individual frauds ranged from less than $30 to more than $100,000, officials said.

The most frequently reported scams were those that falsely used the FBI's name, accounting for 16 percent of the more than 300,000 complaints received last year. Some of those frauds have even featured e-mails purporting to be from FBI Director Robert Mueller, though the e-mail addresses of the senders often betray the con, authorities said.

Peter Trahon, head of the FBI's cyber division, said people should evaluate the e-mail pitches they receive "with a healthy skepticism - if something seems to good to be true, it likely is."

For example, one popular last year involved a phone pitch made by someone who sounded a lot like President .

The recorded message told people to visit a Web site to get government stimulus money. When victims who visited the site entered personal information and paid $28 in fees, they were promised a big stimulus check, but got nothing.

Explore further: Facebook tuning mobile search at social network

More information: Internet Crime Report: http://www.ic3.gov/media/annualreport/2009-IC3Report.pdf

3.5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

IM interoperability raises virus threat

Jan 30, 2006

Interoperability of instant-messaging services will allow worms and viruses to propagate more easily, creating more risk in online security, according to Postini's annual Message Management and Threat Report.

Recommended for you

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

13 hours ago

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

Aug 29, 2014

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

Ecuador heralds digital currency plans (Update)

Aug 29, 2014

Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, ...

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

Aug 28, 2014

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

User comments : 0