The whole report is well worth reading, I amazes me how so many people are gullible enough to fall for basically the same old scams. Here’s the start of the conclusion section:
The data indicates that fraud is increasing; however, reported complaints remained relatively level with 206,884 complaints in 2007, down from 207,492 complaints in 2006, 231,493 complaints in 2005, and 207,449 complaints in 2004. This total includes many different fraud types, non-fraudulent complaints, as well as complaints of other types of crime. Yet, research indicates that only one in seven incidents of fraud ever make their way to the attention of enforcement or regulatory agencies. The total dollar loss from all referred cases of fraud was $239.09 million in 2007 up from $198.44 million in 2006.
Only 1 in 7 incidents are reported and those total 239 million dollars so, the total Internet fraud take is likely more than 1.5 billion dollars in 2007, ouch. This doesn’t even take into account all the non-Internet specific forms of fraud that often involve television, telephone and print advertising as well as Internet methods for finding suckers (e.g. ultrasonic pest repellents, diet pills and books, books on running your car on water, psychics, astrology). The total dollars lost annually to all the various scams must be in the tens of billions of dollars. 😦
Appendix – 2 of the report “Best Practices to Prevent Internet Crime” is a good reference for avoiding becoming a victim of fraud. For reports from previous years and broken down by state go to the IC3 Annual Reports page. Some good sources to help you spot and avoid scams are listed below.