Nearly 6m Fraud and Online Crime Cases Last Year

Locked-Password-Phone1.jpgAlmost 6m fraud and cyber crimes were committed in England and Wales last year, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics, with bank account fraud the most common type of online crime during the period.

The figures estimate there were around 2m computer misuse offences and 3.8m fraud offences between March 2015 and 2016. The past year is the first time fraud questions have been added to the official Crime Survey for England and Wales.

The news is likely to raise awareness over the lack of network security that persists in Britain, and the general lack of public awareness over security and fraud issues.

“The extent of fraud is difficult to measure because it is a deceptive crime; victimisation is often indiscriminate, covering organisations as well as individuals,” said the report. “Some victims of fraud may be unaware they have been a victim of crime, or that any fraudulent activity has occurred for some time after the event. The level of fraud reported via administrative sources is thought to significantly understate the true level of such crime.”

The figures come just a few months after the governments Cyber Security Breaches Survey suggested that two thirds of large UK businesses had been hit by cyber attacks or security breaches in the past year, with 70 per cent of those attacks involving viruses, spyware or malware.

“The UK is a world-leading digital economy and this Government has made cyber security a top priority,” said Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Digital Economy at the time when the figures were announced. “Too many firms are losing money, data and consumer confidence with the vast number of cyber attacks. Its absolutely crucial businesses are secure and can protect data.”

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