"It's significant to note that, despite the fact that the IC3 study is supposedly a national US annual report, it concludes that the UK is in second position with 15.3% when it comes to the origin of US Internet crime reports," said David Hobson, MD GSS's. "This is significantly ahead of other cybercrime hotspots such as Nigeria (5.7 %) and Romania (1.5 %). It's also worth noting that Internet crime in the US hit an all-time high in 2007, with an almost 20% increase on the fraud reported in 2006," he added.
According to Hobson, reported Internet crime losses are only the tip of the cybercrime iceberg, as there are many more cases that go unreported for various reasons.
"This national US report should act as a wake-up call to any company that is failing to securely protect its IT resources. Organised criminal gangs are now commonplace on the Internet and they are after your company's money. How they achieve their fraud is irrelevant. If they can find a way in, they will," he said.
"The IC3 referred 90,008 complaints of crime to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies across the US. That's around one complaint every six minutes throughout the year, day and night. If that statistic doesn't make a company IT manager sit up and take note, I don't know what will," he added.
Internet crime resulted in nearly $240 million in reported losses in 2007, a $40 million increase over reported losses in 2006, according to the 2007 Internet Crime Report, issued today by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
During 2007, Internet auction fraud was by far the most reported offense, comprising 35.7% of referred crime complaints. That number was a 20.5% decrease from the 2006 levels of auction fraud reported to IC3. In addition, during 2007, the non-delivery of merchandise and/or payment represented 24.9% of complaints (up 31.1% from 2006). Confidence fraud made up an additional 6.7% of complaints. Credit and debit card fraud, check fraud, and computer fraud complaints represented 17.6% of all referred complaints. Other complaint categories such as identity theft, financial institutions fraud, threats, and Nigerian letter fraud complaints together represented less than 8.3% of all complaints.
Since the group started issuing its annual report, Internet crime costs have soared from $17.8 million in 2001 to the $240 million last year.
IC3 referred 90,008 complaints of crime to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies around the country for further consideration. The vast majority of cases referred alleged fraud and involved a financial loss on the part of the complainant. The total dollar loss from all referred cases of fraud was $239.09 million with a median dollar loss of $680.00 per complaint. This was an increase from $198.44 million in total reported losses in 2006.
The report notes a number of interesting facts, among them: