Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

5/15/2013
06:54 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Internet Crime Cost Consumers More Than A Half-Billion Dollars Last Year

Number of cases reported by consumers to FBI-partnered Internet Crime Complaint Center increased by nearly 10 percent last year, with scams in auto fraud, FBI impersonation via email, extortion at the top of the list

Consumers lost an average of $1,800 last year in Internet crimes and a total of $535 million overall, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center's (IC3) annual report on consumer complaints it received in 2012.

IC3, a partnership between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, received 289,874 consumer complaints, 40% of which reported financial losses. That was an 8.3 increase in the total number of complaints from 2011. The median dollar loss for consumers who reported financial loss to the IC3 was $600, and the average dollar loss for those who reported financial loss was $4,573.

The states where consumers reported crime most were California (13.41 percent), Florida (7.9 percent), Texas (7.22 percent), and New York (5.7 percent).

Auto scams -- mainly fraudulent vehicle sales -- were the most commonly reported Internet crime, in 17,000 of the cases, incurring $65 million in losses. The victim is typically duped into sending full or partial payment for a vehicle via a wire transfer service, and never gets the car. "In a new twist, the criminals have attempted to pose as dealers instead of individuals selling a single car. This allows them to advertise multiple vehicles for sale at one time on certain platforms, potentially exposing more victims to the scam," the IC3 says in its report.

Scammers posing as the FBI in emails were big last year, too: The IC3 says it received 47 complaints per day from consumers about these types of scams, with a total of 14,141 complaints and $4.7 million in losses. Victims lost about $6,604 each day to this crime.

Other Internet crime scams reported to the IC3 last year were intimidation/extortion phone calls and hit man/extortion scams via email, which have evolved to use social media and other online intelligence-gathering to learn more about the victim and make the scam more customized and believable. The e-mails include threats to assassinate recipients or their family members, for example, unless they pay $8,000. There were 1,354 hit man/extortion email complaints last year, resulting in $1.9 million in losses.

Ransomware and scareware scams were reported 1,969 times, with $1.3 million in losses. The newest twist to ransomware: using the IC3's name in the attacks: "the victims' computers are hijacked, and a screen displays a warning of federal law violations. The victims are instructed to pay a fine to unlock their computers using prepaid money card services. If they do not comply in a specified time frame, they are told they could face prosecution," the report says.

Real estate scams use social media, phone calls, and emails to scam victims out of money for phony real estate deals, and romance scams were still hot last year, with 4,467 cases reported to the IC3 and losses of more than $55 million.

"Perpetrators use the promise of love and romance to entice and manipulate online victims. A perpetrator scouts the Internet for victims, often finding them in chat rooms, on dating sites and even within social media networks. These individuals seduce victims with small gifts, poetry, claims of common interest or the promise of constant companionship. Once the scammers gain the trust of their victims, they request money, ask victims to receive packages and reship them overseas or seek other favors," the IC3 report says.

The full IC3 2012 Internet Crime Report is available here (PDF) for download.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
10 Ways to Keep a Rogue RasPi From Wrecking Your Network
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  7/10/2019
The Security of Cloud Applications
Hillel Solow, CTO and Co-founder, Protego,  7/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-13611
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-16
An issue was discovered in python-engineio through 3.8.2. There is a Cross-Site WebSocket Hijacking (CSWSH) vulnerability that allows attackers to make WebSocket connections to a server by using a victim's credentials, because the Origin header is not restricted.
CVE-2019-0234
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-15
A Reflected Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists in Apache Roller. Roller's Math Comment Authenticator did not property sanitize user input and could be exploited to perform Reflected Cross Site Scripting (XSS). The mitigation for this vulnerability is to upgrade to the latest version of ...
CVE-2018-7838
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-15
A CWE-119 Buffer Errors vulnerability exists in Modicon M580 CPU - BMEP582040, all versions before V2.90, and Modicon Ethernet Module BMENOC0301, all versions before V2.16, which could cause denial of service on the FTP service of the controller or the Ethernet BMENOC module when it receives a FTP C...
CVE-2019-6822
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-15
A Use After Free: CWE-416 vulnerability exists in Zelio Soft 2, V5.2 and earlier, which could cause remote code execution when opening a specially crafted Zelio Soft 2 project file.
CVE-2019-6823
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-15
A CWE-94: Code Injection vulnerability exists in ProClima (all versions prior to version 8.0.0) which could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the targeted system in all versions of ProClima prior to version 8.0.0.