Money lost in Internet crimes hit a new high last year, topping about $240 million, according to a government report showing increases in scams involving pets, check-cashing schemes and online dating.
The number of reported Internet scams dropped slightly from previous years, but the total lost jumped by $40 million, according to the report released Thursday by the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.
The report, based on data from the Internet Crime Complaint Center, shows that more men than women were scammed over the Internet. The average loss for men was $765; for women, $552.
The report also shows the amounts lost increased with age. Victims in their 20s lost $385 on average while people over 60 reported lost an average $760 per scam.
Among complaints of a reported money loss, more than half involved a loss of less than $1,000. About a third reported losses between $1,000 and $5,000.
Money lost in Internet scams hits new high—(source)
The state of Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has a Cyber Crime & Internet Safety guide that has a Cyber Crime Initiative overview and guides to online safety for youths and consumers. CraigsList also offers some good info on internet scams and fraud. As always, it’s best use common sense when dealing with strangers whether online or offline. If something smells fishy, it probably is.