Web

Looking for love in the wrong (online) places costs $5,700 every hour

looking for love in the wrong online places costs 5700 every hour spam folderIf your email is anything like mine, every day brings a new stream of messages that go directly into the spam folder with their promises of true love, hot sex or free money as long as you’d kindly fill in your personal details and send them along to make the transaction that little bit easier. And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll laugh at the new fictional sender name (Recently, the messages in my spam filters have either included the word “spam” as the sender’s last name – I imagine someone who’s actually called “Jessica Spam” getting frustrated every time one of her friends tells her that they didn’t see her email for some reason – or used the real names of popular movie directors and comic book creators from the 1980s) or mangled english used in the subject line, delete the message and wonder “Does anyone actually fall for that?”

The answer, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center – or IC3, for short – is a resounding, and somewhat depressing, yes. According to IC3’s 2011 Internet Crime Report, cyber crime rose 3.4 percent in 2011 compared with the previous year to an estimated adjusted dollar value of $485.3 million. The most common crime reported to IC3 during 2011 was, the report explains, “FBI-related scams, identity theft and advance fee fraud,” with most crimes reported in California (34,169 complaints filed), Florida (20,034), Texas (18,477), New York (15,056) and Ohio (12,661). California also hold the dubious crown of highest dollar losses reported, with a total of $70.5 million.

(Interestingly, when listed by highest complaints per capita, the top 5 list entirely changes, with Alaska coming first, followed by the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Nevada and Colorado.)

Overall, 314,246 complaints were reported to the Center over the course of the year, with the most common two frauds stemming from offers to Work-From-Home (17,382 complaints) or people pretending to be the FBI (14,350 complaints). In terms of reported crimes, FBI impersonation was top (35,764 complaints) with identity theft close behind (28,915 complaints). Also listed as a common complaint: “Romance Scams,” with the following information: Women are twice as likely to get scammed using this method as men – or, at least, twice as likely to report it, which may be an important distinction – and most victims are over 40 years of age, “divorced or widowed, disabled and often elderly.” “These scams not only take a high toll on victims emotionally, but monetarily as well,” the report adds, explaining that last year, reported losses from this type of scam reached $50.4 million, with the average victum losing somewhere around $8,900 in the name of untrue love. “At a rate of 15 complaints received per day,” the report concluded, “these scams saw daily reported losses of roughly $138,000, or more than $5,700 every hour.”

The idea that scam artists aren’t necessarily paragons of virtue isn’t exactly rocket science, but when you put a dollar figure to it – and that dollar figure is $5,700 every hour being scammed out of lonely, likely elderly, victims – there’s just something that little bit skeevier about the enterprise. Apparently, people do fall for spam email and other online scams, and the results can be expensive, embarrassing, and more than slightly tragic.

Smart Home

Picture this: The Aura packs thousands of photos in a single frame (for a price)

Are you one of those people who miss the good old days of flipping through photo albums to see each and every favorite photo? If so, you might love the Aura digital photo frame. We tested the device and came away impressed.
Mobile

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

The iPhone has some of our favorite games available for any mobile platform. Here are the best iPhone games for every big-name genre, whether you're into puzzles, strategy, or something else entirely.
Gaming

‘Tetris Effect’ makes the undying classic feel new again

Tetris is a game that everyone knows. The classic puzzler has appeared on just about every device since 1984. With music and visual flourishes, Tetris Effect remarkably manages to elevate the iconic game to new heights.
Computing

Changing file associations in Windows 10 is quick and easy with these steps

Learning how to change file associations can make editing certain file types much quicker than manually selecting your preferred application every time you open them. Just follow these short steps and you'll be on your way in no time.
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Mobile

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.
News

Zoom in on famous works through the Art Institute of Chicago’s new website

Art lovers, listen up. The Art Institute of Chicago has given its website a serious makeover with new features that let you get up close and personal with more than 50,000 artworks by famous (and not so famous) artists.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

Over a million veterans now eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program

Comcast's low-cost Internet Essentials program, which provides internet access for just $10 per month, has expanded to include U.S. veterans. One million veterans now qualify for the service.
Computing

Google’s Squoosh will get an image web-ready with in-browser compression

Google's latest web app development is an image editing and compression tool, Squoosh. In just a few clicks, it can take a huge image and make it much lighter and web-friendly, all in your browser.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.
Smart Home

Amazon has a huge team dedicated to enhancing Alexa and Echo

An Amazon executive on Tuesday, November 13 revealed the huge size of the team that's tasked with developing the Echo, the company's smart speaker, and Alexa, the digital assistant that powers it.