IC3.gov, the FBI’s online complaint tool, just released its 2009 Online Fraud Report. The numbers are sharply higher – they received 336,655 complaints, a 22.3 percent increase from 2008, resulting in $559.7 million in losses. 54% of complainants were male and top scams included hitman scams, astrological reading frauds, economic scams, job site scams, and fake pop-up ads for antivirus software.
While these large and rising numbers in part can be explained by a general increase in online activity, they also point to a great difficulty facing the FBI and other law enforcement agencies – the amount of fraud and crime online is growing far faster than their resources. We believe this clearly points to the need for services like Sitejabber which can scale along with the problem and enable consumers to get help from other consumers rather than relying solely on law enforcement.
Here’s hoping for a safer 2010 online.