Cybercriminals Thrive in 2009

Paul Lilly

Cybercrime has never been more profitable, according to a new report by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The annual report notes more than 336,000 complaints in 2009, a 22.3 percent increase from 2008. Businesses and individuals unwittingly forked over nearly $560 million to online fraudsters last year, more than double the amount in 2008.

"Law enforcement relies on the corporate sector and citizens to report when they encounter online suspicious activity so these schemes can be investigated and criminals can be arrested," stated Peter Trahon , section chief of the FBI's Cyber Division. "Computer users are encouraged to have up-to-date security protection on their devices and evaluate email solicitations they receive with a healthy skepticism -- if something seems too good to be true, it likely is."

Ranking high on the too-good-to-be-true list of scams were advanced fee scams that fraudulently used the FBI's name. This was followed by non-delivery of goods and/or payment as the second most reported offense, IC3 reports.

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Image Credit: IC3

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