A total of 351,936 complaints of internet crime were submitted to the FBI IC3 in 2018, resulting in monetary losses exceeding $2.7 billion. The most common crimes were scams on electronic purchases, personal data breaches and extortion, while the most costly crimes involved investment scams, business email compromises, and romance/confidence fraud. Persons over the age of 50 were more likely to be victims of internet crimes.
In 2018, the FBI IC3 developed the Recovery Asset Team (RAT) to assist with the recovery of funds for victims who transferred funds to domestic accounts under false premises. This agency succeeded in recovering 75% of losses reported to these types of internet crimes.
The IC3 was established in May 2000 and has received over 4.4 million complaints since then. The majority of victims of internet crime in 2018 lived in California, Texas, Florida, Washington, Illinois, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia, and Colorado. The highest monetary losses were reported in California, Texas, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Social media and virtual currency were two of the most common tools used to engage in internet crime.
The prevalence of internet crimes continued an upward trend in 2018 and the FBI IC3 advises that awareness and reporting are crucial to the prevention and intervention of these crimes.
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Author: Andrea Page