Cyber Crime Facts

by Scott Cornell

A cyber crime is defined as any type of criminal activity committed over the Internet. Cyber crime can be committed against people, the government and property. According to Cyber Crime Watch magazine, nearly three-fourths of all Americans have experienced some sort of cyber crime, whether it be via scam email messages, computer hacking, computer viruses or identity theft. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center revealed that reported cyber crimes are costing Americans more than $485 million.

2011 Statistics

There were more than 314,000 cyber crime reports in 2011, with about 116,000 reporting a loss, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. The center states that the top five cyber crime complaints were FBI-related scams, identity theft, advance fee fraud, non-delivery of merchandise fraud and overpayment fraud. The average cyber crime loss was estimated at $1,500, and the total annual loss was more than $485 million.

Age Factors

People ages 20 to 59 are more likely to be victimized by cyber crime than those 60 and older and those younger than 20, according to findings from the Internet Crime Complaint Center. In 2011, the complaint center revealed that the highest percentage of cyber crime complaints -- 43 percent -- came from people between 40 and 59 years old, and 40 percent came from people ages 20 to 39. Conversely, Americans 60 and older reported 14 percent of cyber crime complaints, and people younger than 20 reported 3.1 percent of complaints.

Cyber Crime by States/Country

Data from the Internet Crime Complaint Center reveals that California and Florida, respectively, had the highest amount of cyber crime complaints in 2011. California had about 12 percent of all documented complaints, while Florida had 7 percent. Texas had 6.46 percent, New York 5.27 percent and Ohio rounded out the top five at 4.43 percent. In terms of international crime complaints, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and India top the list.

Miscellaneous Facts

According to Cyber Crime Watch magazine, about 75 million scam email messages are sent every day, victimizing about 2,000 people. The majority of Internet hackers -- 66 percent -- are American. According to the magazine, Americans have discouraging views on cyber crime. While it's estimated that about 25 percent of all cyber crimes go unsolved, 78 percent of Americans believe most criminals won't be caught, and only 2 percent believe they won't experience cyber crime at some point in their life.

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