Internet crime reports jump in '08

Most common complaints involve nonpayment, fraud

WASHINGTON -- Reports of Internet-based crime jumped 33% in 2008, according to a group that monitors web-based fraud.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center said in its annual report released Monday that it received more than 275,000 complaints last year, up from about 207,000 the year before.

The total reported dollar loss from such scams was $265 million, or about $25 million more than the year before.

About one in three complaints were for nonpayment or non-delivery. The other most common complaints were for auction fraud or credit and debit card fraud.

The ICCC is a partnership of the FBI and a nonprofit group that tracks white collar crime.

The group forwarded more than 70,000 of the complaints to various law enforcement agencies for further investigation.

According to the group's data, men appear to lose much more money to web-based scammers than women: Among those who filed complaints, men reported losing $1.69 for every dollar that women lost.

The ICCC's annual report said the gender gap in computer fraud may be a function of the different kinds of shopping men and women do online, and the different types of fraud they encounter.
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