Internet Crime Up by 33% in 2008

March 31, 2009 at 5:06 pm 1 comment

The National Internet Crime Center (NICC) just released a report that shows an increase of internet crime of 33% in 2008 over 2007. The majority of internet crime reported to the NICC as failure of payment/delivery. This happens when you pay for a product online, but the product is never delivered, or if you are selling something online, a customer buys it and you ship it, but the customer’s payment information is incorrect or false. Other top crimes included auction fraud and credit/debit card fraud. Less reported crimes include ponzi schemes and email schemes like the Nigerian email scams.

In times like these when criminals are taking advantage of the low economy to prey off individuals looking for a good deal or fooling people who have lost their jobs into get-rich-quick scams, it’s a good idea to remind yourself about the importance of online safety.

Prevention Works has just published a short article on protecting yourself online and offers some good suggestions. For starters, remember never to publish your personal information online. A first name or email address is usually okay, but avoid publishing your exact address, phone number, and birth date when possible. Also, remember to NEVER give your social security number, bank account information, or passwords to ANYONE though an email or instant message, even if that person claims to be a member of the government or law enforcement. If the FBI actually needs your bank account information to track a money-laundering ring, they will meet with you personally, not through email. If a family member needs the information, give it to them over the phone or (even better) meet with them in person.

Good luck. And remember, when you get an email from a deposed African Prince, the UK lottery, or a person claiming to be in the CIA, just delete it.

Search crime in your neighborhood at

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. scamvictimsunited  |  March 31, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    We have seen a huge increase in the Secret Shopper Scams being reported at our site.

    Shawn Mosch


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