FBI Targets Online Fraud, Gambling

8 May 1998

In the past six years, the FBI's National Computer Crime Squad (NCCS) has investigated over 100 cases of online fraud in several industries. Now it's seeking to focus on illegal Internet gambling as well.

FBI officials point to financial deals offering online investors exorbitant returns on their investments as being the most common fraudulent schemes. The NCCS uncovered a scheme last year, for example, in which investors were promised returns of up to 420 percent, but ended up being duped of more than $3 million.

Upon setting its sights on gambling, the NCCS recently raided two Internet gambling operations that earned an estimated $56 million in illegal proceeds in 1996. Agent Mark Pollitt suggested that private businesses can greatly aid the FBI's efforts by taking their own data security steps. This would entail preserving potential evidence in computer crime cases by backing up corporate data and identifying potential suspects and fraud schemes.