Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) 2019 Internet Crime Report includes information from 467,361 complaints of suspected Internet crime, with reported losses in excess of $3.5 billion. The top three crime types reported by victims in 2019 were phishing/vishing/smishing/pharming, non-payment/non-delivery, and extortion. In addition to the 2019 statistics, the report contains information about the IC3, the FBI’s work in combating Internet crime, and the most prevalent scams.
The IC3 provides the public with a reliable and convenient mechanism to report Internet crime. The IC3 categorizes and analyzes the data to identify and forecast trends to promote public awareness of emerging and ongoing cyber threats. Since its inception in 2000, the IC3 has received a total of 4,883,231 complaints. The quality of the data is a direct reflection of the information the public provides through the IC3 website.
The IC3 created the Recovery and Investigative Development (RaID) Team in 2019 to partner with financial and law enforcement investigators to dismantle money mule organizations. RaID comprises two groups: the Recovery Asset Team (RAT) and the Money Mule Team (MMT). While the RAT is primarily focused on financial recovery, the MMT performs detailed analysis and research on previously unknown targets to develop new investigations. The RAT, which was established as a standalone team in 2018, completed its first full year of operation in 2019, assisting in the recovery of over $300 million lost through online scams, for a 79% return rate of reported losses.
With the release of the 2019 Internet Crime Report, the FBI wants to remind the public to immediately report suspected criminal Internet activity to the IC3 at ic3.gov. By reporting Internet crime, victims are not only alerting law enforcement to the activity, but aiding in the overall fight against cybercrime.