When it comes to being taken in by Intenet fraudsters, men have a knack of losing cash, according to a new report from Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Data compiled from more than 206,000 complaints received by the U.S. ICCC shows that men lost U.S. $1.67 to every $1 lost by women on online fraud. The organisation says that buying patterns and human natureplay into the findings.

Historically men were more apt to purchase large ticket item like electronics… that could explain a lot of it. But with women now spending more online, the difference is also due to the fact that certain types of schemes tend to suck men in. Men tend to fall victim… to business investment schemes and some other schemes that have a higher monetary loss.

Investment fraud complaints, where the average loss is more than $3,500, were overwhelmingly submitted by men. Compare that to something like auction fraud, where men and women are frequently victimized. The average loss there is just over $480.

Men also tend to be victims of check fraud (average loss: $3000) and Nigerian letter fraud scams($2000). Overall Internet crime is netting the bad guys more money than ever. Total losses from 2007 complaints came to $239 million, up $40 million from 2006. The number of complaints was actually down for the second year in a row.


The drop in complaints can be credited to increased consumer awareness, but according to a director of research in computer forsenics, there may be another explanation. Alot of time has been spent studying the criminals and researchers have noticed that credit card numbers have often been stolen and then not used. One theory is that nobody want to go to jail for stealing $40. So when they get access to these accounts, they are using only the ones that they can get most value from.

Often criminals will do a balance check and then sell only the cards with the highest balances. There is a little bit of filtering on the criminal side that’s at play here.

There was another interesting finding in the 2007 data. The ICCC found that many countries that were commonly linked with cybercrime were the sources of incidents it tracked, but it did not list China as the top source of perpetrators.

China has been named as the source of many online attacks over the past year, but it didnt make the list of top 10 countries by perpetrators. Leading the list were the U.S. , the United Kingdom and Nigeria.