Public Service Announcement

Prepared by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

May 19, 2014
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The Internet Crime Complaint Center Receives 3 Millionth Complaint

Fairmont, WV — The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received its 3 millionth consumer Internet crime complaint. The 3 millionth complaint arrived on May 10, 2014 at 9:20 AM.

In May 2000 the IC3 initiated operations as a center to receive complaints of Internet crime. The IC3 received its one millionth complaint seven years later, in June 2007, and its two millionth complaint in November 2010. Over the last five years the IC3 received an average of nearly 300,000 complaints per year. The complaints consist of a wide array of Internet scams touching victims of all nationalities, ages, backgrounds, educational levels, and socio-economic levels. In 2013 alone, the verifiable dollar loss of complaints submitted to the IC3 totaled nearly $800 million. The total dollar loss claimed from all complaints over the life of the IC3 exceeds $2 billion.

The IC3 receives Internet crime complaints, builds them into referrals, and forwards the referrals to local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies for further investigation and, eventually, prosecution. For the past 14 years, the IC3’s work has led to innumerable arrests, seizures, and convictions. The success of the IC3 has inspired several nations, including Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany, to design their own national reporting mechanism for Internet crime.

In addition to helping law enforcement build cases for prosecution, the IC3 uses the complaint information to detect emerging trends and proactively increase public awareness of the Internet fraud. Accordingly, the IC3 produces monthly trend analysis reports, public service announcements, scam alerts, and other publications outlining specific scams and emphasizing the pervasiveness of online crime. The IC3 continually reviews its services and analytical tools to incorporate the latest advances in technology and meet law enforcement needs.

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