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Internet Fraud Complaints Tripled in 2002

The FBI is reporting that Internet fraud complains tripled in 2002. They report that they sent more than 48,000 complaints to prosecutors in 2002.

The top fraud complaints were:

  1. Auction Fraud
  2. Non-delivery of Promised Merchandise
  3. Credit Card Fraud
  4. Fake Investments

The total dollar value of losses was $54 Million for 2002, up from $17 Million reported in 2001. The average loss per auction fraud case was reported to be $320. Internet identity theft averaged $2,000 in losses, and check fraud losses averaged $1,000.

The largest case reported involved $922,000 in which Raj Trivedi of San Diego sold computers, camcorders and other electronic gear over the Internet, but never delivered any of it. In another case there was $800,000 in losses by 300 people in a scheme to sell computers online where the merchandise was never delivered.

How to Stay Safe

As more people use the Internet the number of fraud cases is expected to increase. Caution is the key.

  • Only deal with online vendors you trust
  • Only use credit cards to purchase things online
  • Never give out personal or credit card information when it doesn't seem appropriate
  • Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints
  • Keep good records of your online purchases

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