Cybercrime continues to rise in scale and complexity, affecting essential services, businesses and private individuals alike. Each year cybercrime costs the UK billions of pounds and causes untold damage. For Digital investigations and Intelligence Unit & Complex Fraud Unit lead Detective Gemma Vinton, the ever-changing face of cybercrime is a challenge that she along with her team are tackling on a daily basis.

Cybercrime continues to rise in scale and complexity, affecting essential services, businesses and private individuals alike. Each year cybercrime costs the UK billions of pounds and causes untold damage.

For Digital investigations and Intelligence Unit & Complex Fraud Unit lead Detective Gemma Vinton, the ever-changing face of cybercrime is a challenge that she along with her team are tackling on a daily basis.

"According to Cisco, 25 years ago there were one million devices connected to the internet. Today there are 42 billion, and the number is predicted to exceed 50 billion next year.

"This massive expansion of the use of digital devices across a wide range of demographics has seen a significant change in the methods criminals are using to exploit vulnerable people and commit harm."

According to the statistics available by Action Fraud for Cybercrime, between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, Wiltshire saw:

  • 292 reports made to Action Fraud

  • £1.4 million was lost by victims

  • 13% of reports were from businesses and 87% from individuals

The top three cybercrimes toward businesses were:

  • 58% reported hacking via social media and email

  • 11% reported hacking via extortion

  • 11% reported hacking via servers

The top three cybercrimes towards individuals were:

  • 43% reported hacking via social media and email

  • 25% reported hacking via extortion

  • 16% reported personal hacking

Three out of ten victims were significantly affected by their cyber incident with 26% of victims requesting support from victim care.

On looking at the stats for Fraud reporting, 78% of Fraud cases/incidents were cyber-enabled. Cyber-enabled crimes are traditional crimes, which can be increased in their scale or reach by use of computers, computer networks or other forms of digital technology. Unlike cyber-dependent crimes, the crime types are whose which could also be committed without the use of digital technology. Two of the most widely published instances of cyber-enabled crime relate to fraud and theft.

Action Fraud reported the following fraud stats for Wiltshire between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019:

  • £5663 crimes were recorded, an increase in 21.9% from the previous year

  • A total of £10.2 million in victim losses

  • 50% of reports were from businesses and 50% were from individuals.

The top three frauds toward businesses were:

  • Cheque, plastic card and online bank accounts at 52%

  • Application Fraud at 23%

  • Telecom industry Fraud at 8%

The top three frauds towards individuals were:

  • 25% reported fraud on online shopping and auctions

  • 22% reported advance fee fraud

  • 16% reported computer software service fraud.

Detective Inspector Vinton added: "Modern criminals are targeting multiple victims across boundaries simultaneously, through the internet, automating their crimes, and continuing to exploit victims for extended periods remotely.

"Whether you are running a household or a company, people are incredibly busy- juggling schedules, activities and deadlines.

"We all need to be more mindful of the ever changing face of cybercrime, and that our 'switched-on' lives can cause additional risks, so it's essential that we take simple, actionable steps to stay safer online."

Visit our website for further tips on how you can avoid becoming a victim of online crime. https://www.wiltshire.police.uk/article/885/Cyber-Crime

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