Internet has given birth to many an anonymous crime. From financial frauds to online identity thefts, the web has been cast over gullible surfers. Internet crime is defined as any illegal activity involving one or more components of the Internet, such as websites, chat rooms, and/or email, Internet crime also involves the use of the Internet to communicate false or fraudulent representations to consumers.
The Internet Crime Complaints Center (IC3), established as a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), serves as an answer to all the fraudulent. It serves as a mean to receive Internet-related criminal complaints and to further research and refer the criminal complaints to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement and/ or regulatory agencies for any investigation they deem to be appropriate. The IC3 was intended and continues to emphasize on serving the broader law enforcement community ti include federal as well as state, local, and international agencies, which are combating Internet crime and in many cases participating in cyber crime task forces.
Since its inception, the IC3 received complaints across the spectrum of cyber crime matters to include online fraud in its many forms, including intellectual property rights (IPR) matters, computer intrusions (hacking), economic espionage (theft of trade secrets), online extortion, international money laundering, identity theft, and a growing list of other crimes through web. Since June 2000, it has become increasingly evident that regardless of the label placed on a cyber crime matter, the potential for it to overlap with another referred matter is substantial. Therefore, the IC3, formerly known as the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC), was renamed in October 2003 to better reflect the broad character of the cyber nexus matters referred to the IC3 and to minimize the need for one to distinguish Internet fraud from other potentially overlapping cyber crimes. The IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local, and international level, IC# provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet related crimes.
Filling a Complaint
If you believe you are the victims of an Internet crime, or if you are aware of an attempted crime, you can file a complaint on IC3s website. The Internet Crime Complaints Center accepts online Internet crime complaints filed by the per son who believes they were defrauded or field by a third party to the complaints. After filing a complaint, you will receive an email containing your complaint ID and password. This email will contain a link to an area on our site where you can view, download your complaint and also provide additional information to be added to your complaint.
As Internet crime complaints are reported online, the IC3 electronically compiles the data. Trained analysts review and research each complaint, disseminating information to the appropriate federal, state, local, or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies for criminal, civil, or administrative action, as appropriate. You would need to submit your name, e-mail address, telephone number, name, telephone number and e-mail address of the fraudulent individual or business, specific details on how you were defrauded and any other relevant information necessary to support your complaint.
Updation and evidence
If, at any time, you would like to report additional information pertaining to a complaint you have already filed, you can update your complaint by providing your previously assigned complaint number and password. The Internet Crime Complaint Centre does not collect evidence regarding complaints. While you may include copies of electronic information in your complaint, you must be sure to keep all original documents in a secure location. In the event that a law enforcement or regulatory agency opens an investigation, they will request the information directly from you.
You must file a complaint regarding Spam e-mails on the website as Internet Crime Complaint Centre does not have a specific email address established for the receipt of such information. Be sure to copy and paste the entire email, including the header information, in the complaint.