An Urgent Message From Nigerian Prince Aba Abacha

We have all received such email messages asking for help to get money out of Nigeria or other West African country, assuring us we “will benefit greatly from our assistance and cooperation”.  Most of us realize it is a scam and laugh it off.  Unfortunately, some people do believe and fall for this scam as well as other internet frauds.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recently released the 2011 Internet Crime Report—an overview of the latest data and trends of online criminal activity. According to the report, 2011 marked the third year in a row that the IC3 received more than 300,000 complaints. The 314,246 complaints represent a 3.4 percent increase over 2010. The reported dollar loss was $485.3 million.

The Report reveals both the scope of online crime and IC3’s battle against it.   The most common complaints received included FBI-related scams—schemes in which a criminal poses as the FBI to defraud victims—identity theft, and advance-fee fraud.

The report also lists states with the top complaints, and provides loss and complaint statistics organized by state. Based on victim complaints, the top five states were California (34,169), Florida (20,034), Texas (18,477), New York (15,056) and Ohio (12,661).

IC3 serves as a powerful conduit for law enforcement to share information and pursue cases that often span jurisdictional boundaries. Collaboration within this partnership has produced a number of technological advancements to streamline how the public’s complaints are processed and referred to investigators. Initially established as simply a convenient method for citizens to report Internet crime information, IC3 has evolved into a vital resource for both victims of online crime and for law enforcement across the country that investigate and prosecute a wide range of cases.

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