Cybercrime wave sweeping Britain

Cybercrime wave sweeping Britain
Thursday 30 Oct 2008 [10:29]

Online identity firm Garlik's cyber crime report has claimed that more than 3.5 million online crimes were committed in the UK last year.

The majority of crimes were related to fraud and abusive or threatening emails. One positive to take from this is that there was an 8% drop in online identity theft and sexual offences fell by 2%

Tom llube from Garlik said he had expected to see a growth in online financial fraud due to the current credit crunch.

Online financial fraud was the type of fraud that rose the sharpest in 2007, there were over 250,000 incidents reported. This was a rise of 20% over the previous year.

Highlighted in the report was growing number of professionalism among online criminals, with personal and credit details being traded online.

19,000 illicit traders were identified as the information black market doubled according Garlik

More than two million people were the victim of an abusive email, false accusation or blackmail attempts as online harassment increased.

One of the possible reasons for this is thought to be the growing popularity in social networking sites

A drop of 8% was recorded in cases of online identity theft, to just over 80,000 reported cases. The number of online sexual offences also fell to 2% to 830,000.

The report by Garlik also warned that a rise in overall cyber crime was to be expected, with more people resorting to illegal activities as the economic climate worsens.

Cyber crime is one of the fastest-growing activates and covers a wide rang of offences, including financial scams, hacking, harassment and identity theft.

Some people are thinking that this report is the tip of the iceberg. Andrew Goodwill from fraud prevention specialist 'The 3rd Man' has said that cyber crime was mushrooming completely out of proportion.

"Cyber crime costs the country hundreds of millions every year," he said.
"Retailers alone lost more than £270m in 2007 from internet fraud. And that's just the figures reported by banks.
"These numbers are a shadow of the real figure. Pretty much everyone who goes online will be the subject of some kind of internet crime, be it phishing emails, virus attacks or malware," he said.

The UK is home to many of the perpetrators according to the FBI, in 2007 a report by its internet Crime Complaint Centre, Britain came second after the United States, and before Nigeria who were third. Chief executive Tom llube from Garlik sounded a warning for the future, "It's critical in this time of financial crisis that individuals are vigilant with their personal information, because as long as the credit crunch continues, we can expect to see a real growth in online financial fraud," he said.

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