UK reports a staggering £5.7m in cybercrime financial loss so far this year, study finds

British people and businesses have suffered financial losses of £5.7m from a reported 14,883 cybercrime incidents since the start of the year, a new study found.

The new study from click fraud prevention agency PPC Shield indicated that while cybercrime against corporate bodies only accounted for 10% of the UK’s reported offences, their financial losses of £1.9M accounts for a third of the total figure.

It further said that malicious hacking, fraudulent use of social media accounts and email scams are the most common form of cybercrime so far this year – accounting for 43% of all reported incidents since 1st January. Also in the high-ranking categories are reports of malware/viruses, personal hacking and extortion.

With respect to the tools used to commit cybercrime, malware 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 – have seen an increase of more than 750% since 2007.

In all cases of cybercrime that resulted in financial loss, one in three individuals discovered the offence through communications from their bank, building society or other financial institution.

Including non-cyber assisted fraud, the UK logged 253,736 reports that equate to total financial losses of £1.2bn this year. Health minister Lord Bethell previously warned consumers on the rise of phishing scams conducted over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, with an increase in fraudulent text and calls to mobile phones, with individuals posing as bank employees, HMRC and even the NHS charging for fake Covid-19 tests and track & trace.

In addition, data compiled from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau also indicated that those under 40 reported the most incidents this year, at a total of 5,000. Meaning that scammers and hackers are predominantly targeting younger, tech-savvy millennials – especially those who use multiple social media accounts, email addresses and banking apps.

A PPC spokesperson 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.”

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