UK reports £5.7m of losses due to cybercrime

The UK has reported financial losses of £5.7m from 14,883 cybercrime incidents since the start of the year, with one third of the total losses, £1.9m, coming from businesses

The new study from click fraud prevention experts PPC Shield reveals that hacking, fraudulent use of social media, and email scams are the most common form of cybercrime so far this year accounting for 43% of all reported incidents since 1 January.

Other high-ranking categories are reports of malware/viruses, personal hacking, and extortion.

Data compiled from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau indicates that 5,000 reports have come from those under 40, which is the highest number of incidents reported by any age group.  

The PPC state that this suggests that scammers and hackers are predominantly targeting younger, more tech-savvy generations, which is the age group that is ‘used to juggling multiple social media accounts, email addresses, and banking apps’.

The study also found that 81% of offences were committed by an individual person, as opposed to a group, that was not known to the victim.

Concerning the tools used to commit cybercrime, malware which is software designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or network is at its lowest point since 2007, according to Google’s Transparency Report.

In contrast, phishing websites, which seek to gain passwords, credit card numbers, and other private information without the use of applications has seen an increase of more than 750% since 2007.

Eliran Yonani, founder and CEO, PPC Shield said: ‘With the internet such an essential part of our daily lives, taking care online and using robust security measures are of utmost importance. Always be aware of what you are clicking on and be especially wary of phishing sites and emails sent from companies or individuals that you are not familiar with.’

In May 2021 the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) saw a ‘15-fold rise’ in the removal of online campaigns over the last year compared to the previous three years combined.

The rise was fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic with a significant jump in the number of phishing attacks using NHS branding, with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout used as a lure via email and text message to obtain people’s personal information. Forty-three fake NHS Covid-19 apps hosted outside of official app stores were also pulled.

The study also included non-cyber assisted fraud, which showed that the UK had logged 253,736 reports that equate to total financial losses of around £1.2bn already this year.


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