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What is the most common internet crime?

The kinds of Internet crimes can vary, but it's most common to run into the nondelivery of items or merchandise, not identity theft or other scams. Interestingly, the most common kind of fraud involves people who pretend to be the very FBI agents that are investigating them.

While identity theft and other crimes are considered common and must be dealt with, the crime that takes place most is actually the nondelivery of items that are ordered online. As a manufacturer or seller, you could be accused of this kind of crime if you fail to mail out items or if too many begin to get lost. You may not be intending to be fraudulent, but if you can't fulfill orders, then you can be accused of leading on your customers and stealing their money through a scam. If you're accused, then your attorney may have to work with you on a defense of your actions.

Identity theft, in comparison, is the third most common Internet crime. A total of 9.8 percent of the crimes reported online were classified as identity theft cases. Other kinds of fraud were also rated high. Computer crimes made up 9.1 percent of reports, auction fraud made up 5.9 percent, and overpayment fraud made up 5.3 percent of reports.

The most common fraud including failing to deliver an item could be associated with relief efforts or other scams. For instance, if a relief effort takes money and says it will deliver goods to Africa, most people expect that to happen. When the money disappears, the case becomes one the FBI has to investigate for fraud.

Source: GCN, "Pay up: The most common type of online crime," Kevin McCaney, accessed Oct. 22, 2015

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