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Top 10 Internet Crimes of '06 102

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the so-much-pwnzing dept.
An anonymous reader notes that "The Bad Guys blog at USNews.com offers a look at the top ten Internet crimes of 2006. The federal study cited draws on over 200,000 complaints to US law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Top crime: auction fraud, followed by other online rip-offs. "
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Top 10 Internet Crimes of '06

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  • I think I've been involved in half of these and I consider myself safe.

    I guess mail order bride's leaving you isn't a crime. DAMN.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think I've been involved in half of these and I consider myself safe.
      Impressive! Most criminals could have only pulled one or two of those off.
    • by Bicx (1042846) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:12PM (#18785645)
      eBay is an awesome, secure site, and I really doubt there are that many cases of auction fraud. Where else could I have bought Intel's new 7-core processor? It's arriving sometime this week. w00t!
      • I bought the same thing, but mine was a "mystery" auction. So, I could get a bag of peanuts, a check for 10% of my money back, a box of pci slot plates or the 7 core, core 3 trio.
  • by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:04PM (#18785477)
    Internet Explorer 7.

    *rimshot*

  • Skewed results (Score:5, Insightful)

    by orclevegam (940336) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:07PM (#18785529) Journal
    The article mentions that the results are probably skewed by the likes of E-Bay providing direct links to file complaints, and it also doesn't say if the complaints were ever followed up on or not. This is probably a list of all complaints, rather than those that were shown to be legitimate.
    • ... E-Bay ... doesn't say if the complaints were ever followed up on
      Errrr, no.
    • by owlnation (858981)
      Yes, but my guess is that there are considerably more every day cases of auction fraud that do not get reported. So, I agree it's skewed, but in a way that under-reports the extent of the problem.
  • Bullshit! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:15PM (#18785683)
    My list of the The top ten internet crimes:
    1. Windows Vista
    2. Microsoft Office
    3. RIAA lawsuits
    4. Slashdot "editors" [slashdot.org]
    5. Web sites with blinkey flashey ads and two paragraphs per page for a grand total of fifteen blinkey flashey pages I could read in less than two minutes except I have to wait for all the bullshit to load before I can read the next pair of paragraphs. There is a damned good reason they got rid of the <blink> tag, you know!
    6. DMCA. The law itself is a crime
    7. Bono Act (AKA "Steamboat Willie Preservation Act"). Again, the law itself is the crime.
    8. Jack Thompson
    9. Sony's rootkit
    10. Cowboy Neal
    • 3. RIAA lawsuits
      6. DMCA. The law itself is a crime
      7. Bono Act (AKA "Steamboat Willie Preservation Act"). Again, the law itself is the crime.
      I was looking for those in the article before I read your comment, but I didn't see one instance of any form of "pirate" or "infringe" in the article. So is there a reason that copyright infringement, such as through peer-to-peer file sharing networks, is not one of the top 10 Internet crimes of 2006?

      There is a damned good reason they got rid of the <blink> tag, you know!
      O RLY? Gecko supports the <blink> element and even has a corresponding CSS attribute for it: text-decoration: blink [domedia.org]. Luckily, blinking text in recent Gecko is easier to read than blinking text in older browsers because recent Gecko blinks with a duty cycle [wikipedia.org] of 75 percent on, unlike older browsers that used 50 percent on.
      • Not a crime (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CasperIV (1013029)
        "I was looking for those in the article before I read your comment, but I didn't see one instance of any form of "pirate" or "infringe" in the article. So is there a reason that copyright infringement, such as through peer-to-peer file sharing networks, is not one of the top 10 Internet crimes of 2006?"

        Copyright infringement is not the same as these criminal activities. It's a violation of the copyright, not a criminal act that can be prosecuted.
        • Copyright infringement is not the same as these criminal activities. It's a violation of the copyright, not a criminal act that can be prosecuted.

          U.S. Code treats some intentional infringements of copyright as criminal offenses. See 17 USC 506 [cornell.edu] and 18 USC 2319 [cornell.edu].

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        So is there a reason that copyright infringement, such as through peer-to-peer file sharing networks, is not one of the top 10 Internet crimes of 2006?

        Crimes = criminal. Copyright violations are generally punishable only by civil suits, with the exception of high volume piracy by a single individual for profit, but that generally occurs through physical media rather than online. Unless you consider contributory infringement, most online piracy by individuals probably does not reach the volume to make

        • Copyright violations are generally punishable only by civil suits, with the exception of high volume piracy by a single individual for profit, but that generally occurs through physical media rather than online.
          O RLY? What about high-profile warez group raids such as Operation Fastlink [wikipedia.org]? Or did none of those happen to occur during 2006?
      • Blink has gone away becuase flash is a better way to really annoy people.
    • by ady1 (873490)

      1. Windows Vista
      2. Microsoft Office

      No no. These aren't the crimes. These are the motives.
    • by Matt Edd (884107)
      11. Unlawful Internet Gambling Act [casinocitytimes.com]
  • get rich quick book I bought off of eBay several months ago. Is that considered auction fraud or non-delivery?
  • by Nukenbar (215420)
    How are these still the #1 loss per incident crime? Have people really learned nothing, or are all of these crimes targeting new users of the internet.

    I would say that auction fraud could happen to just about anyone.

    • by tibike77 (611880)
      Human greed and stupidity (or, in some cases, guillability). That properly explains just about everything.
    • by Lockejaw (955650)

      How are these still the #1 loss per incident crime?
      Maybe because it's loss per incident? Nobody gets hit with a 419 scam for a few hundred dollars -- they get hit for a few thousand. Auction fraud is certainly more common, but a single instance of auction fraud probably costs less than a couple hundred dollars.
      If you count total losses, auction fraud probably is number one.
    • by treeves (963993) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:51PM (#18786273) Homepage Journal
      I've learned about the tragedy of being stuck with $20 million in your bank account and not being able to access it without assistance from a dear kind sir like myself, whom you have the fortune of soliciting in the most urgent case.
    • Woah, I clearly remember receiving my first Nigerian $20M fax (yes, fax not email) waaaaay back 'round '92. You'd think they'd catch this guy! How does he manage to send so many personalised emails? He must stay-up late at night!
      • Fax? I used to get letters in the mail from Nigeria in the mid-80's. They stopped after the email thing got going, but to my great surprise I got another letter in the mail a couple of weeks ago. First one in fifteen years or so.
         
        Maybe the email thing isn't paying off as well as it once did, so they are back to sending letters, hoping to find a new audience?
  • I mean c'mon - it's the most widely distributed piece of spyware YET. And it occasionally calls legitimate users thieves and reports them. And blackmails people. How did that not make the list?

  • I notice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:17PM (#18785733) Homepage Journal
    That child pornography accounts for 1% of all internet crime. Yet, somehow, this seems to be the only crime I've heard of the FBI cracking down on. Is this because of skewed news reporting? Or is it because of the relative severity of child pornography? Or is it "thinkofthechildren"ism?
    • Re:I notice (Score:4, Insightful)

      by faloi (738831) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:24PM (#18785867)
      Probably neither. It's probably more about jurisdiction to pursue certain types of cases. Then again, anything with children gets top billing in the press, so it's possible the FBI releases dozens of "we caught someone who committed fraud" press releases that get ignored.
    • by Russ1642 (1087959)
      Child pornography is a violent crime in some/most cases. A kid being molested on the internet is WAY more important than being ripped off $200 via auction fraud.
      • Violent act = act that violates a person's body.
        Violent crime = criminal violent act.

        Unless you are a teenager shooting yourself, a live child-porn vids is a violent act.
        Unless you are a teenager shooting yourself, creating child porn is a violent act.

        Distributing or watching child porn is not a violent act. By the time someone watches it, the violence is over. The violence may even date from 30 years ago. It is evidence of a violent act. It is also a very serious crime in most of the world.

        If the viole
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gstoddart (321705)

          Unless you are a teenager shooting yourself, a live child-porn vids is a violent act.
          Unless you are a teenager shooting yourself, creating child porn is a violent act.

          I'm not sure I 100% agree with this. For the simple reason that it fails to differentiate between images of consentual sex involving a minor who has reached the age of consent and child porn.

          Find me a jurisdiction in which a 17 year old can consent to sex, even if the other party is above the age of majority (they exist), and I'll show you on

      • Re:I notice (Score:5, Informative)

        by StewedSquirrel (574170) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @04:20PM (#18787455)
        Would you be surprised to know that almost 50% of those arrested on child porn charges in 2007 are actually minors themselves?

        Most people don't know that. It doesn't tend the make the news since minors charged of a crime don't get press releases in most cases.

        I ran into that in a DoJ study on the issue. It cites broad statistics but doesn't reveal much in the way of details, citing "protecting children" *chuckles*

        Stew
    • by thegnu (557446)
      The major problem with child porn isn't an internet crime, it's the fact that you're fucking children, which is never nice.

      Fucking children falls outside of the normal criticism of thinkofthechildrenism, because it's a crime, like rape or murder.
      • Fucking children falls outside of the normal criticism of thinkofthechildrenism, because it's a crime, like rape or murder.

        You are right much of the time.

        Except when the laws doom teens fooling around or taking cell-phone pictures of themselves into life on the sex-offender register.

        The Georgia case of Genarlow Wilson [foxnews.com] is an extreme case.

        1. Pass overly broad laws to protect children from predators.
        2. Enforce them to the letter
        3. ???
        4. Profit!!!

        I think not. Won't someone thinkoftheteenagers?

        Lobby your lawmakers for sane predator-protection laws.

      • by Virak (897071)

        Fucking children
        This thread is about child porn, which does not necessarily involve fucking children as possesion is also illegal and not merely production.

        falls outside of the normal criticism of thinkofthechildrenism
        Nothing is beyond criticism.

        because it's a crime, like rape or murder.
        Basing your morality on the law is fucking stupid.
        • by thegnu (557446)
          This thread is about child porn, which does not necessarily involve fucking children as possesion is also illegal and not merely production.

          Right. That is true on technicality. Driving your car != killing iraqis. But there's a distinct relationship that all but the most conveniently myopic can see.

          Nothing is beyond criticism.

          My point is that thinkofthechildrenism is associated with reactionary policy based on people's own fear projected onto children. This is the 'normal criticism of thinkofthechildreni
    • by SL Baur (19540)
      It's one of the 4 Horsemen of the Infocalypse and used since the inception of the world wide web to justify censorship, mandated governmental spying on all internet traffic and the like.

      I've never seen any data that suggests that it's either as big of a problem as is claimed, or that there's a whole lot of traffic outside of law enforcement agents trying to sting people. I don't believe for a moment that it's as much as 1% of all internet crime.
    • I figure you don't have children. The FBI (and legal entities all over the world except for Thailand et al.) is cracking down on it because it's among the worst crimes there are, in the same league as torture and rape. Screw those idiots who send money to people without having the goods first.

      Notice that I don't think new or stricter laws are necessary, I rather consider them counter-productive. All those thinkofthechildrenisms are a joke. When I was a kid, there weren't all those crazy laws we have today,
    • by haagmm (859285)
      you forgot internet piracy that violates the NET act.
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      I notice that murder accounts for a similar minority of crimes.

      Here's a thought: Maybe the cost to society counts for more than the quantity of the crime. Almost as if there were various degrees of infraction...
  • by vivaoporto (1064484) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:18PM (#18785765)
    There is no such thing as "Internet Crime", and the data presented by this article, according to themselves, is not significant. From TFA:

    The feds caution that these figures don't represent a scientific sample of just how much Net crime is out there. They note, for example, that the high number of auction fraud complaints is due, in part, to eBay and other big E-commerce outfits offering customers direct links to the IC3 website. And it's tough to measure what may be the Web's biggest scourge, child porn, simply by complaints.
    Just take a look at the Top 10 list:

    2006 Top 10 IC3 Complaint Categories (Percent of Total Complaints Received)

    • Auction Fraud (44.9%)
    • Non-delivery (19.0%)
    • Check Fraud (4.9%)
    • Credit/Debit Card Fraud (4.8%)
    • Computer Fraud (2.8%)
    • Confidence Fraud (2.2%)
    • Financial Institutions Fraud (1.6%)
    • Identity Theft (1.6%)
    • Investment Fraud (1.3%)
    • Child Pornography (1.0%)


    Internet is only the communication channel used by the crooks, all the crimes depicted there are good old fashioned real life crimes. Being perpetrated via Internet is only a detail that should be irrelevant when categorizing crimes. What I would really like to see is the ratio of these same crimes perpetrated in real life vs. via internet. That would really be insightful and newsworthy.
    • But they have several reasons to call them internet crime

      1) But "internet communication based/reliant crimes" is longer to say
      2) "internet communication based/reliant crimes" does not really useful for narrowing the subject down
      3) It gives idiots who are overly picky about pointless semantics something to bitch about so they can't do any real harm to themselves and others - it's a community service kinda thing.
      • 1) But "internet communication based/reliant crimes" is longer to say
        2) "internet communication based/reliant crimes" does not really useful for narrowing the subject down

        It's not semantics. I'm not discussing how this "category of crime" (Internet crime vs. internet communication based/reliant crimes) should be called. What I'm saying is that there is no way to narrow down all these crimes using the fact of the Internet being involved in some way. This information simply has no correlation with the cr

        • Except you said there is no such thing as "internet crime" and that the internet is only the communication channel used for the crime.

          That seems awfully semantic, when the internet being a channel for the crime is a valid classification (although I'll agree with you, it was not usefully used in that report).

          As for the mirror statement, I had not argued something as being trivial simply due to it's minor semantic omissions.
    • by Merl3 (828604)
      Don't RIAA and its lawyers count as Internet Criminals?

      These are the people who are suing 10-year-old girls (who were 7 at the time of the alleged download), using information obtained by one Time-Warner company (AOL) to shake down people for another Time-Warner company (Warner Brothers Records, Inc.), and who sue 61-year-old school teachers (with law enforcement training and no children in the home) whom RIAA and its lawyers know or should realistically have known before filing suit wouldn't be using a d

    • If they were to count illegals, they would be at the top.

      Estimates are 12M, but if it's like last time, 40M+ illegals. (Weather on Comcast in Spanish!)

      In addition to entering illegally, two types of fraud and 1 count of identity theft/or fraud (SSN) is required for an illegal to pay the TAXES the pro-illegals are so proud of.

      That works out to 120M+ plus illegal entry +40M, for a total of 160M, which should make it #1.

      If as they say, when they are legal, they can bring in up to 8 family members,
      the real crim
  • Seriously? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mr EdgEy (983285)
    Net crime and no mention of piracy? Glad to see they're accepting it as a non-crime now :)
  • Whenever you see the RIAA whining about how Piracy/IP Theft/Copyright Theft etc. is a major crime, remember this list [usnews.com].
    Piracy is not even in the top ten.
    • by bcattwoo (737354) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @03:46PM (#18786995)

      Whenever you see the RIAA whining about how Piracy/IP Theft/Copyright Theft etc. is a major crime, remember this list [usnews.com].
      Piracy is not even in the top ten.
      Because copyright infringement is a civil matter, not a criminal one.
      • Because copyright infringement is a civil matter, not a criminal one.

        Not according to the MAFIAA. Why else do they try and get the FBI to enforce it? Have you learned nothing from all those FBI warnings on the front of your DVDs? Oh wait, pirates remove them ;)

  • I'm just curious how check fraud, at 4.3% of complaints, qualifies as internet crime. Even if someone writes a fraudulent check for goods purchased online, I'm not sure it should be classed as internet crime, since the internet is incidental to the crime.
    • by Billosaur (927319) *

      I think they may be referring to instances where items/services can be paid for with an on-line "check". I know that at some of the sites where I pay bills, I do so by authorizing them to write a "check" against my checking account. Assuming a crook had your name, address, bank routing number, and checking account number, they could easily purchase goods as you, with money drawn directly from your account. The hitch of course being if there's any money in the account to begin with...

      • I think that would be wire fraud, not check fraud, if you provide them with info for ACH debit and they use your account info to make other purchases.
  • well I guess they don't call it sleaze bay for nothing!
  • by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:41PM (#18786141)
    I expected a listing of the biggest individual cases, not broad categories that pretty much cover everything on or off the 'net.

    Much sound and fury, signifying nothing.
  • Spam? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by soft_guy (534437) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:50PM (#18786239)
    Why isn't spam on the list? It is a crime in many places to send certain kinds of spam such as forged headers. I would think this would the most common type of cyber crime.
  • Has got to be believing the article, after all it's put out by the same branch of government that is reading your email without a warrant.
  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @03:07PM (#18786501)
    Surely Myspace has to be considered some sort of ongoing internet crime against decent taste and humanity in general.
  • In Other News (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nuintari (47926) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @03:09PM (#18786527) Homepage
    Tomorrow we will be seeing the top 10 slashdot top ten stories on the front page!

    Really, how many top ten, bottom ten, best of, and worst of lists have we had in recent memory? Seems like I see a new one or two every day, getting a little ridiculous. Sure, the occasional top ten list is funny, but they are rarely newsworthy.
  • Last I heard... sending out billions upon billions of spam emails was a crime.

    Last I looked, I'm still getting tons of spam email.

    Last I checked, spam tends to require the internet.

    Why wasn't it on the list again?
  • With the Department of Fatherland Security and the FBI's illegal wiretapping, collecting of personal data in regards to phone and internet companies, Bush's statements on how he wants to track all e-mail and uploaded images I think government fraud should be on this list.
  • by Tatsh (893946)
    ...USNews.com should learn how to design sites properly, with percentages not exact pixel widths. GRRRRRRR
  • YouTube is down right now... that's a crime.

    After a conversation with friends and a promise that I could find I Love Lucy's "Vitameatavegamin" video within a minute, we get nothing...

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