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IC3 and FBI Claims that Cyber Activities Doubled in 2009

According to a latest report by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), online crime is on a high and the consequent financial loss almost doubled in 2009 compared to 2008.

As per the report, in 2009, the amount of money Americans lost to web-based scams and fraud reached $559.7 Million. IC3 received a total of 336,655 complaints of online fraud during 2009the year. The report stated that hackers have become more refined and, consequently, a lot wealthier.

According to the report, the "famous scam trends for 2009" included: phony pop-up advertisements for antivirus software. Victims allegedly get ads cautioning them of the presence of menacing viruses and unlawful content reportedly found on the victim's system in such scams. The FBI informs that these scammers have earned over $150 Million in 2009.

Moreover, the use of FBI's name was regarded as the most regularly reported scam. For example, an e-mail that claimed John Pistole, FBI Deputy Director as a sender, was involved in such phishing con. The hackers duped people into revealing their personal details.

Further, FBI informs that the online "hitman" hacker, who warns to kill recipients if they do not pay several dollars to the sender, is still circulating volumes of spam e-mails to the gullible users.

Apart from these two scams, the FBI stated that Astrological Reading scam has reappeared, wherein, a victim gets pop-up or spam messages providing free astrological readings. To get a free reading, the victim must give his\her date and place of birth. After getting the free reading, the victim is lured to buy a complete reading with the assurance that something positive is likely to take place.

The FBI has also compiled the non-delivery of products or payments, which are considered as a frequent kind of fraud on online marketplaces such as advance-fee frauds and eBay in its report.

National White Collar Crime Center Director Donald Brackman opined that the figures in the report shows that the cyber crooks are exploiting the obscurity provided by the Internet, as reported by dallasnews.com on March 13, 2010.

Related article: ICC Cup Event Could Be Fodder for Phishers

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