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Losses in cyber crime double from $265m to $560m in 2009

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Victims of cyber crimes have altogether lost a total of $560 million in 2009 from $265 million in 2008, and complaints have reached 337,000, a rise of 22.3%, the Computer Weekly reported citing FBI reports.

It said fake emails that used the FBI’s name represented 17% of all complaints. Other popular scams included hitman extortions, astrology readings, economics or “government stimulus” fraud, fake job sites and fake pop-ups for antivirus software.

Some of the scams were identified to have come from Ghana, the US, Nigeria, the UK, Canada and Malaysia. But the majority of reported perpetrators (65.4%) were from the US.

The report revealed that just over half the complainants were men, with two-thirds aged 30 to 50. Men lost on average $1.51 to every dollar a woman lost.

The scams include non-delivered goods, 20% of complaints, followed by identity theft (14%), credit card fraud (10%), auction fraud (10%) and computer fraud (8%).

The costliest crimes were investment fraud, which averaged $3,200 per incident, followed  by overpayment fraud ($2,500) and advance fee fraud ($1,500).

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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