A milestone entry in cyber crime was reached on November 9, 2010, when the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) logged its 2 millionth consumer complaint alleging online criminal activity.
The IC3, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, became operational in May 2000 and received its 1 millionth complaint seven years later, on June 11, 2007. It took half that time to receive the 2 millionth complaint, which illustrates the IC3’s increased visibility and the continued growth of cyber crime.
The IC3 receives, develops, and refers cyber crime complaints to local, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies. The IC3 gives cyber crime victims a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations.
Since its inception, the IC3 has referred 757,016 criminal complaints to law enforcement around the globe. The majority of referrals involved fraud in which the complainant incurred a financial loss. The total reported loss from these referrals is approximately $1.7 billion, with a median reported loss of more than $500 per complaint.*
Many complaints involved identity theft, such as loss of personally identifying data, and the unauthorized use of credit cards or bank accounts. The IC3 uses information from the complaints to detect emerging trends and proactively fight consumer victimization through educational efforts with project partners, various publications and the consumer education website, www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com.