The first in-depth study of internet related crime, the UK Cybercrime Report, has come back with estimates of the numbers of online crimes occurring within Britain.
The report believes there were around 3,000,000 online offences last year which equates to around 300 online crimes being committed each and every hour.
As you may expect, from the number of scam emails you may receive, such as those from good old Peggy Morrison, around two thirds of these crimes were targeted at individuals rather than corporations. ‘Advanced fee’ and abusive emails were most prevalent with attempted identity theft following closely behind.
The report also stated that there were around 200,000 instances of financial fraud reported during the course of 2006 with criminals using impersonation of victims to gain jobs in addition to the obvious direct financial implications.
Other key points from the report’s conclusions are –
1. 2 million cases of online harassment reported
2. 90% of the above harassment is never reported to authorities
3. 850,000 cases of unwelcome atttention and ‘cyber stalking’
The report, compiled by 1871 Ltd, an online criminology firm, suggests that the relative anonymous nature of the internet could be to blame for fostering an environment that was attractive to criminals.