- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The FBI received a record number of complaints in 2017 from individuals reporting online crimes, the bureau revealed in a new report published Monday.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 301,580 complaints last year from individuals reporting a combined total of roughly $1.42 billion in related losses, according to the office’s 2017 Internet Crime Report.

The tally marks the most complaints received in a single year since the IC3’s formation in 2013, the FBI’s report said.

“As cyber criminals become more sophisticated in their efforts to target victims, we must continue to transform and develop in order to address the persistent and evolving cyberthreats we face,” said Scott S. Smith, assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division.

Scams in which victims sent either goods, services or money to cybercriminals without receiving anything in return ranked first last year with respect to the number of complaints received, according to the FBI. A total of 84,079 complaints received in 2017 were categorized as “Non-payment/Non-delivery” schemes totaling over $141 million in related losses.

Similar scams that target businesses and specifically employees who regularly perform wire transfer payments — Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Email Account Compromise (EAC), respectively — ranked first in terms of reported losses. The FBI received 15,690 BEC/EAC complaints in 2017 constituting over $675 million in adjusted losses, the report said.

The IC3 has received over 4 million complaints totaling a reported loss of $5.52 billion since launching in May 2013, the report said. The second-largest number of complaints ever received in a single year was 298,728 in 2016, when victims reported a record $1.450.7 billion in related losses.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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