Boom time for cybercrime The economy and online social networks are the latest fodder for scams
An online job search led to waves of spam and a disabled computer for Dan and Pat Quigley.
Photograph by Lincoln Potter
One in five online consumers were victims of a cybercrime in the past two years, according to the latest Consumer Reports State of the Net survey. That means there's a strong possibility that your money will be added to the $8 billion we estimate cybercrime cost consumers or that your computer will join the 1.2 million others that we figure were replaced because of software infections during that time.
The overall rate of cybercrime hasn't declined much over the five years we've tracked it. Crooks continue to take advantage of new technologies. And consumers, corporations, and the government haven't done all they could for protection.
The problem stands to get worse as rising unemployment and foreclosures fuel a wave of recession-oriented Internet scams. And the soaring popularity of social-networking services, such as Facebook, is creating more openings for identity thieves.
Those are some of the highlights from our research and the national survey of 2,081 online households conducted in January by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. Consider these additional findings:
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