US net crime loss complaints almost twice in value from $265m in 2008 to reach $560m last year, according to official figures.
An annual report of the FBI-backed Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), relished on Friday, reports that the unit handled 336,655 complaints in 2009, a 22.3 percent increase on 2008.
Approximately 16 per cent of the complaints involved scams where criminals pretend to represent the FBI, while 11.9 per cent involved the non-delivery of merchandise or payment, the second most commonly reported claim of wrongdoing.
419 Advanced fee fraud scams ranked third with 9.8 per cent of complaints. Identity theft and overpayment fraud scams were also frequent causes for complaints.
Of these complaints 146,663 were referred to local, state or federal law enforcement agencies. Referred cases commonly concerned financial loses, focusing on five groups:
- Non-deliverey of merchandise and/or payment ranked (19.9 per cent).
- Identity theft (14.1 per cent).
- Credit card fraud (10.4 per cent).
- Auction fraud (10.3 per cent).
- And Computer fraud or hacking (7.9 per cent).
The highest median (average) dollar losses concerned reported incidents of investment fraud ($3,200), overpayment fraud ($2,500), and advance fee fraud ($1,500) complainants.
IC3 takes complaints in many different categories including auction fraud, non-delivery of merchandise, credit card fraud, and computer hacking, spam and child pornography. In addition to fraudulent federal agent cons, popular scam trends for 2009 contains hitman scams, astrological reading frauds, economic cons, job site hustles, and pop-up ads for fake antivirus software.