Outsmarting Internet Commerce Fraud

Outsmarting Internet Commerce Fraud

Internet crime is up again-and substantially, at that-for 2009. This, of course, should come as no surprise; it is no secret that this plague is spreading farther and deeper by the hour.

And here’s another  headless commerce definition

 unsurprising piece of news: at the head of the pack, same as the last many years: Internet Commerce Fraud.

The FBI Numbers

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NWC3), recently released its 2009 figures on cybercrime complaints received and referred to law enforcement.

From January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009, the (IC3) Web site received 336,655 complaint submissions. This was a 22.3% increase over 2008 when 275,284 complaints were received. Of the 336,655 complaints submitted to IC3, 146,663 were referred to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies around the country for further consideration.

The vast majority of referred cases contained elements of fraud and involved a financial loss by the complainant. The total dollar loss from all referred cases was $559.7 million with a median dollar loss of $575. This is up from $264.6 million in total reported losses in 2008, and is a 111.2% increase over the 2008 figures, a sad indication that Internet crime seems to pay.

Again, the numbers showed that crimes related to Internet commerce-which include Non-Delivery of Merchandise/Payments, Advance Fee Fraud, Overpayment Fraud, as well as Auction Fraud-were by far the most reported offense in 2009, comprising at they did 34.7% of all complaints.

The Top 10 Complaint Types-Definitions

1. FBI Scams-Scams in which it appears that the FBI is trying to get something from the complainant (e.g., money, identity information, etc.).
2. Advance Fee Fraud-An incident involving communications that would have people believe that to receive something, they must first pay money to cover some sort of incidental cost or expense.
3. ID Theft-An incident in which someone stole or tried to steal an identity (or identity information), but only when there is no other discernible crime involved (e.g., credit card theft).
4. Non-Delivery of Merchandise (non-auction)-An incident in which the complainant bought something, but it never arrived.
5. Overpayment Fraud-An incident in which the complainant receives an invalid monetary instrument, with instructions to deposit it in a bank account and to send excess funds or a percentage of the deposited money back to the sender
6. Miscellaneous Fraud-Incidents involving a fraudulent attempt to get the complainant to send money and where nothing is bought or sold.
7. SPAM-Unsolicited and unwelcome email, usually mass distributed.
8. Credit Card Fraud-An incident in which someone is attempting to charge goods and services to the complainant’s credit card or account.
9. Auction Fraud-A fraudulent transaction or exchange that occurs in the context of an online auction site.
10. Computer Damage-(Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property)- This category is used to classify complaints involving crimes that target and cause damage.

Buying and Selling Online

You can view the Internet as the largest garage sale ever, and still growing.

However, the problem with this garage sale is that you don’t know the seller

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