The City of London Police, the national lead force for fraud which runs Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, has revealed that cyber crime victims lost Â£28 million between October 2017 and March 2018.
The cyber statistics are based on the 12,372 cyber crime reports that were made in the same six month period to Action Fraud. The City of London Police, which is a founding member of the Global Cyber Alliance, also runs Cyber Protect, its team dedicated to protecting the public and businesses from fraud and cyber crime.
The report also shows that with 4,796 reports, hacking of social media and email accounts was the primary reason for people reporting cyber crime to Action Fraud. These victims are believed to have lost a total of Â£11 million.
Unlike most other crimes, cyber crime is often committed by criminals who never come into contact with their victim, and around half of all fraud and cyber crime comes from abroad. A national reporting service means the UK can better identify investigate and detect fraud and cyber crime.
The key to protecting yourself from cyber crime is to always install the latest software and app updates on your phone and computers as they contain vital security updates which help protect your device from viruses and hackers. You should also ensure that you use a strong, separate password for your email account, as hackers can use your email to access many of your other personal accounts. Consider also enabling two factor authentication (also known as two step authentication or two step login) where services support it.
For protection advice based on the expertise of the National Cyber Security Centre and specifically targeted at protecting small businesses and individuals from cyber criminals, please visit Cyber Aware.
Temporary Commander Pete Oâ€™Doherty of the City of London Police said: â€œCyber crime is a growing trend. In particular criminals are targeting social media users and online account holders in a bid to make money and steal personal details. This leaves victims out of pocket and at risk of identity theft.
â€œTo avoid falling victim, itâ€™s important that people keep a strong, separate password for their email accounts. Always be suspicious of unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information and never call numbers or follow links provided in unsolicited texts or emails; contact the company directly using a verified and trusted email or phone number. If you or someone you know believes they have fallen victim to cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud.â€