How to File an Internet Crime Complaint to FBI
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is embarking on a campaign to increase awareness of the IC3 as a reporting mechanism to submit information on suspected Internet-facilitated criminal activity to the FBI.
As part of the campaign, digital billboards featuring the IC3’s contact information are being placed within the territories of a number of Bureau field offices around the country.
The FBI field offices taking part in the billboard campaign include Albany, Buffalo, Kansas City, Knoxville, New Orleans, New York City, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City, and San Diego.
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According to FBI, they were selected because they house multi-agency cyber task forces that participate in an IC3 initiative called Operation Wellspring.
This initiative connects state and local law enforcement with federal cyber resources and helps them build their own cyber investigative capabilities, which, according to FBI, is important because not all Internet fraud schemes rise to the level necessary to prosecute them federally.
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Through the Wellspring initiative, IC3 personnel—using the complaint database and their analytical capabilities—create intelligence packages focused on particular geographic regions.
These packages can highlight trends, identify individuals and criminal enterprises based on commonalities in complaints, link different methods of operations back to the same organization, and detect various layers of criminal activities.
The packages also contain results of preliminary investigative research performed by IC3 analysts, including criminal records checks.
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Once complete, these intelligence packages go to the appropriate FBI cyber task force and are then handed off to state and local task force members trained to investigate these kinds of crimes.
“IC3 is often the first piece of the investigative puzzle,” said IC3 Unit Chief Donna Gregory. “We receive victim complaints and then analyze, aggregate, and exploit those complaints to provide law enforcement with comprehensive reports that can be used to open new investigations or enhance existing ones.”
FBI suggests that if you or someone you know is victimized by a cyber fraudster, you can submit a complaint to the IC3. And for additional information on filing a complaint, you can review the IC3’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
Photo courtesy: FBI