Internet schemes increase 33 percent

WASHINGTON, March 30 (UPI) -- Reports of fraud perpetrated through the Internet increased 33 percent last year, U.S. officials said Monday.

Fraud cases are surging amid the nation's souring economy, the FBI reported. U.S. Internet fraud losses reached a record high $265 million in 2008, the report said.


A total of 275,284 Internet fraud complaints were received in 2008. The average individual loss was $931.

"This report illustrates that sophisticated computer fraud schemes continue to flourish as financial data migrates to the Internet," FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director Shawn Henry said.

The report shows the need for law enforcement officials to be vigilant and computer users to be cautious, the FBI said.

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