20 percent of UK cyber-crime victims feel fraudsters target them

News by Danielle Correa

According to the tenth annual Get Safe Online Week survey, one in five victims of cyber-crime in the UK think that they were definitely targeted by fraudsters.

According to the tenth annual Get Safe Online Week survey, one in five victims of cyber-crime in the UK think that they were definitely targeted by fraudsters. Over one third (37 percent) of victims felt vulnerable after the attack and over half (57 percent) feel that it's becoming easier to become a cyber-crime victim. The survey polled 2,000 people in the UK.

The survey continued to show that 26 percent of victims had been scammed by phishing emails or ‘vishing' phone calls. In this instance, the fraudster uses data about the victim from various sources such as social media and intercepted correspondence and manipulated victims into sharing confidential information.

Victims are also targeted through fake tax rebate emails (13 percent), phone/tablet/laptop hacking (nine percent), identity theft (five percent), cyber-bullying or harassment (four percent), and personal images stolen through webcam hacking (one percent).

Forty one percent of people that have been victimised by cyber-crime lost money, the average person lost £738. The UK public lost £286 million to cyber-crime from September 2014 through August 2015. This figure comes from reports of fraud, determined when the first contact to victims was through an online function.

A significant amount of cyber-fraud cases still go unreported yet the true economic cost to the UK is likely to be much higher. Almost 19 percent of victims don't report a cyber-crime.

Thirty percent of those surveyed think that the know more about online safety now as opposed to a year ago and 21 percent say that they know more than they did two years ago.

High profile data breaches have made people more cautious about their online behaviour.

Sixty four percent of the public is being more cautious about sharing their personal data with companies. The study also discovered that women are much more cautious (69 percent) than men (60 percent).

The survey shows that people still struggle with basic safety precautions. Almost two thirds (65 percent) say they could do more to stay safe online. Almost one fourth, 22 percent, are not conscious about using strong passwords. Thirteen percent still have public social media accounts and one in ten don't use security software on their connected devices.

Chief executive officer of Get Safe Online, Tony Neate, said, “As we spend more of our lives online, our digital footprints inevitably get bigger. Sadly, that means opportunist fraudsters will use information about us to make their scams more believable and difficult to detect. Being online offers so many great opportunities for everyone and we would never discourage anyone from enjoying and benefiting from them. However, we do urge people to take precautions so they don't make themselves vulnerable to underhanded scammers. The results of our survey show that cyber-crime is getting much more personal so this Get Safe Online Week we're calling for people to be aware of this and take the small steps to keep themselves safe. Don't let the criminals win!”

Crime & Threats

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Video and interviews