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Online Scam Complaints in USA Dropped 10% During 2010

In its yearly research paper published on February 24, 2011, the IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center) reveals that during 2010, the agency got 303,809 complaints compared to 336,655 during 2009, accounting for a fall of 10%. PCWorld published this on February 25, 2011.

Moreover, there was also a fall in complaints of the most-reported malicious campaigns, which distributed virus-laced e-mails, posing as messages from the Federal Bureau of Investigation during 2009-10. During 2009, such fraudulent FBI e-mails posed a great problem as it accounted for 17% of the total complaints after which the rate dropped to 13.2% during 2010.

Also, reports of "advance-fee scams," wherein victims are told they can claim a huge inheritance alternatively lottery payout immediately when they'd wire a processing fee, too fell. The fall reportedly was from 9.8% to 7.6% over 2009-10.

Notably, IC3, which's a joint venture among the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center started during 2000, has got over 2m complaints on online crime.

States the research paper, the IC3 got a mean of 25,317 complaints every month during 2010. The maximum number of complaints was about merchandise or payments not being delivered (14.4%), and together with FBI-themed scams (13.2%) and ID-theft related scams (9.8%), the agency listed the 3 most-prevalent kinds of complaints.

Meanwhile, people victimized with spam told the IC3 that they were generally reached through e-mail towards requesting the permission for being a mystery trader. Victims making the request were instructed for sending their CV that would apparently be put to an elaborate scrutiny prior to issuing the permission.

The spam attack had other versions too wherein the permission seekers were asked for their bank account details so payments could be directly made through those accounts. But that meant that the fraudsters could gain admission into victims' accounts and thereby make unauthorized fund withdrawals.

Evidently, online crooks have gotten increasingly innovative while crafting methods for grabbing money from Internet users. But, the report provides some solutions as well like never replying to uncalled-for e-mails; not revealing one's financial or other personal details via e-mail; and never following web-links inside suspicious e-mails.

Related article: Online Card Fraud Shows Greater Tendency Than Chip and Pin

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