The Cost of Online Crime in the US
According to a report on cyber crime losses by Security Management in March of 2010, the most common types of complaints received by Internet fraud websites, such as the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), come from those whose identities have been compromised. In fact, the IC3 reports that “one of every five complaints is identity theft." Unfortunately, the IC3 saw a 22% increase in cyber crime costs in 2009 compared to 2008, and that’s a number we all can’t afford. Only a fraction of the over 330,000 complaints were forwarded to law enforcement (146,633), realizing cyber crime losses of nearly $560 million in 2009.
In fact, the IC3 states that 2009 cyber crime costs, “ballooned to $5,580 when using the mean average of all the losses reported." The IC3, a joint venture with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says that more American males than females are victims of cyber crime, and when looking at Internet fraud globally, the percentage of American victims is a whopping 65%.
In the United States, the FBI was also able to identify areas that have a tendency to suffer from higher cybercrime losses; Washington, D.C., Nevada, Washington State, Montana and Utah, respectively. Finally, US cyber crime costs for men averaged $650 per individual and $500 for each woman.
These are scary numbers for American web users and more of us need to be prudent about protecting ourselves from online fraud.