Internet Fraud Statistics and Facts

The Internet provides a global network of communication and also a venue for deceptive marketing and advertising. From advertisers selling you cheap Viagra, to scammers promising you Nigerian Money Offers, to being announced the monthly winner of a foreign Lottery Club. You may wonder what made the top ten 2006 list of Internet scams.

The top ten Internet scams as listed by the National Consumers League’s (NCL) Fraud Center, in 2006 included:


    1. Online Auctions: Misrepresented or undelivered goods
    2. General Merchandise: Misrepresented or undelivered goods not purchased through auctions
    3. Fake Check Scams: Consumers used fake checks to pay for sold items, and asked to have the money wired back
    4. Nigerian Money Offers: Deceptive promises of large sums of money, if consumers agreed to pay the transfer fee
    5. Lotteries: Asking winners to pay before claiming their non-existent prize
    6. Advance Fee Loans: Request a fee from consumers in exchange of promised personal loans
    7. Phishing: Emails pretending to represent a credible source, ask consumers for their personal information (e.g. credit card number)
    8. Prizes/Sweepstakes: Request a payment from consumers in order for them to claim their non-existent prize
    9. Internet Access Services: Misrepresentation of the cost of Internet access and other services, which are often not provided
    10. Investments: False promises of gains on investments



Statistics on Internet Fraud

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a joint venture of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, in 2007 found:


  • Online auction fraud was the most reported type of fraud and accounted for 44.9% of consumers’ complaints
  • Non-delivered merchandise and/or payment made up 19.0% of complaints
  • Check fraud represented 4.9% of complaints
  • About 70% of the fraud victims were scammed through www (e.g. online auctions)
  • About 30% of the victims were scammed by emails



Payment Methods

Top methods of payment used by victims of Internet fraud include:


    1. Wire
    2. Credit Card
    3. Bank Debit
    4. Money Order
    5. Check


The average loss for all Internet frauds was $1,500. More than half of these losses occurred through auctions. So protect yourself from becoming the next victim of an auction fraud. Read the tips on how to prevent auction frauds from happening to you.



Tips on How to Prevent Auction Frauds


  • Learn as much as you can from the seller
  • Read and examine the feedback on the seller
  • Check the location of the seller. If the seller is abroad and a problem arises it will be harder to solve.
  • Ask if shipping and delivery are included in the auction price. So you receive no unexpected or additional costs.
  • Refuse to give the seller your social security number or driver’s license number to prevent identity theft.


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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.