IDG News Service - Last year was a tough one for most businesses, but for cybercriminals it was one of the best yet.
According to data released Friday by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), victims reported total losses of US$559.7 million in 2009, more than double the tally for 2008.
The most frequently reported scam was one that used the FBI's own name to try and trick victims into handing over cash or sensitive information. One such scam involved an e-mail claiming to be from FBI Deputy Director John Pistole. Here the scammers tried to trick people into paying bogus fees in order to receive an even larger sum of money, a payout that never arrives.
FBI -themed scams accounted for 16.6 percent of the 336,655 complaints that the IC3 received last year.
Total complaints for 2009 were up 22.3 percent from the previous year, when victims posted 257,284 complaints and registered $265 million in losses.
Other common scams involved the non-delivery of merchandise or payments -- a common form of fraud on online marketplaces such as eBay -- advance-fee fraud similar to the John Pistole scam, and identity theft. Fake antivirus software was also common in 2009, the FBI said.
Its report also talks about a few bizarre scams.
Some victims reported getting e-mail from someone claiming to be a hitman hired to assassinate them. The hitman offers to cancel the job if the victim sends $800 to the U.K. within 72 hours.
In another scam, Web surfers have reported bogus pop-up messages that promise free astrological readings. "The victim must provide his/her birth date and birth location to receive a free reading," the IC3 report says. "After receiving the reading, the victim is enticed to purchase a full reading with the promise that something favorable is about to happen."
Instead of good news, however, the victim gets only silence as the promised horoscope never materializes.
- University of North Florida breach exposes data on 107,000 individuals
- Zeus Trojan bust reveals sophisticated 'money mules' operation in U.S.
- GAO slams White House for failing to lead on cybersecurity
- Man charged with attack on Web site of Fox News' Bill O'Reilly
- Heartland breach expenses pegged at $140M -- so far
- IT contractor gets five years for $2M credit union theft
- Democracy would suffer if Google left China, says MIT panel
- Gonzalez accomplice gets five years for hacking TJX
- Threat of cyberattacks from overseas high, federal IT execs say
- Botnets 'the Swiss Army knife of attack tools'
- 20 Best iPhone/iPad Games of 2013
- Google Chromebook Buyer's Guide
- 10 Signs You're Probably a Techie
- 8 Things Kindle Fire HDX Does That iPad Air Can't
- Slideshow: 5 ways to lock down your mobile device
- Slideshow: 10 mistakes companies make after a data breach
- How to rob a bank: A social engineering walk through
- Which smartphone is the most secure?
Cloud has proven to be a sticky marketing term, even (especially?) among non-technical consumers. There is a growing consensus that “the cloud” promises a quicker and cheaper way of purchasing IT than the traditional, build-it-yourself model. This in turn has led to internal debates between application developers and infrastructure teams on the best approach for implementing “the cloud” within IT organizations. (And of course, IT architects know that when they hear management say, “We want to move to the cloud,” they will be the ones who have to figure out how to do it!)
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Bring Networks and Applications Closer--Cisco ONE
- A series of sweeping trends is placing new requirements on the tried-and-true network model--requiring network infrastructure and applications to communicate. Get the open...
- Lippis Research Reviews the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X
- In this Lippis Report Research Note, Lippis Research reviews the latest edition of the "most popular access switch on the planet" -- the...
- Design Guide--Scaling Up to a Campus-Wide LAN
- Is it time to scale your network environment to a campus wired LAN? Here's the framework you need to set up your LAN...
- Comprehensive Security: Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series
- With a rich and comprehensive set of security features, Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches can help you address networking megatrends such...
- Be Energy Efficient--The Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series
- How much energy could be saved if all 230 million Layer 2 and 3 fixed managed switch ports sold in 2012 were as... All Government IT White Papers
- Tame the data explosion with IBM Real-time Compression Learn about IBM's unique Real-time Compression technology that can enable storing up to 5x as much data in the same storage space.
- IT Transformation: Making the Move to Services IT transformation is happening in businesses of all sizes
- How SIEM Addresses the Challenges of Big Security Data This webcast will help you understand today's big data security challenges and how intelligent and scalable SIEM solutions give IT the tools and...
- BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 In Action Designed for business leaders, IT decision-makers and IT administrators, this webcast features organizations that have migrated to BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 - or...
- BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 Implementation Solutions - BlackBerry Technical Services to Make your Deployment Fast, Effective and Robust Find out how BlackBerry® implementation and migration services can help you optimize your Enterprise Mobility Management infrastructure and ease your transition to BlackBerry®...
- All Government IT Webcasts