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Publication Date


First Advisor

Mariyana Zapryanova

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Online crime, Anti-phishing laws, Credit freeze laws


In the past four years, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported $7.45 billion dollars in total losses from spam, malware, data breaches, and other forms of online crimes. Yet little is known about what drives online crime and whether state legislation, such as phishing and credit freeze laws, affect this type of crime. This paper contributes to the existing literature in two major ways. First, using data on consumer-filed complaints from the IC3 from 2004 to 2018, I analyze to what extent labor market, internet access, and demographic state characteristics impact online crime reports. OLS results report unemployment, income, race, and sex as significant predictors for complaint and loss rates. The state fixed effect specifications, however, show that unemployment and the level of broadband internet access are significant predictors, and these effects are observed only for number of complaints and not the dollar amount of losses. Second, using a difference-in-differences empirical strategy, I find no effect of anti-phishing and credit freeze laws on the number of reported online crimes and associated losses.


2020 Emily Yunfeng Liu. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.




40 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 32-33)