During a recent luncheon meeting with the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce, the Management and Program Analyst from the FBI’s Cyber Division described in detail the role of the Internet Crime Complaint Center in processing cybercrime complaints from industry and private citizens and in alerting law enforcement agencies throughout the world. 

“You may be getting SCAMMED if you answer ‘yes’ to certain questions,” he said, “such as:  Are you about to cash a check from an item you sold on the Internet?  Did it arrive by an overnight delivery service?  Is it from an account that is different from the person buying your product?  Is it for more than the item’s selling price?  Did you win an international lottery you didn’t enter?  Have you been asked to pay money for an inheritance from another country?  Or are you receiving a commission for accepting money transfers through your bank or PayPal account?” 

The speaker described an International Mass Marketing Fraud involving Charity, Counterfeit Cashiers Checks, Foreign Lotteries, Investments, Mortgages, Romance Scams, Telemarketing, and one described as the West African Advance Fee.  He urged use of the website  LooksTooGoodToBeTrue.com  which was built to educate consumers against being victimized by internet fraud.  The United States is the number one victim in the world, he said, while in 2013 there were 262,813 complaints received involving the loss of $ 782.1 million.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, is an alliance between the National White Collar Crime Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is staffed by FBI agents with expertise in cybercrime. Complaints can include the theft of intellectual property, computer intrusion, economic espionage, online extortion, and international money laundering.  To report an online crime, go to  www.IC3.gov  where information is compiled and shared with FBI and law enforcement personnel.  The National White Collar Crime Center may be reached at  www.nw3c.org while the Federal Bureau of Investigation is at  www.fbi.gov