Internet crimes cost individuals a shocking $240-million in 2007 – about $40-million up from the previous year, although the actual number of scams decreased.
A report from the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Centre, based on information from the Internet Crime Complaint Centre, shows that people continue to lose money to scams involving, among other things, pets, cheque-cashing and online dating hoaxes.
On average, men lost more than women – $765.00 compared to R552.00 – and older victims lost more than younger counterparts – $760.00 for people older than 60 compared to $385 for people in their 20s.
Auction fraud is the most common Internet crime, with users not getting the goods they paid for – either the item didn't match the description or it simply wasn't delivered.
Con tricks were the second most-popular crime.
There has also been in increase in pet and online dating scams, as well as in spam and phishing. Appeals for donations that ended up in scammers accounts also increased.
Most losses were under $1 000.00, but about a third were up to $5 000.00.