Get Safe Online: Cyber Fraud Cost UK £268 Million Last Year

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Cybercriminals are ramping up personalized attack campaigns designed to target individuals, with online fraud costing the UK over £268 million over a 12 month period, according to Get Safe Online.

The security awareness organization released the results of a specially commissioned poll designed to coincide with the beginning of Get Safe Online week today.

It revealed that nearly a quarter (21%) of UK victims of cybercrime think they were specifically targeted by fraudsters, with 37% claiming they feel vulnerable as a result.

Over half (57%) said they thought it was getting easier to fall victim to cybercrime while just 38% said it was merely bad luck that led to their cyber incident.

The most common type of attack seems to have been phishing emails or “vishing” phone calls (26%), followed by fake tax rebate emails (13%), phone/tablet/laptop hacking (9%) and identity theft (5%).

Nearly half (41%) of those who have suffered a cybercrime had some money taken, with the average sum at £738 per person.

National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) stats prepared for Get Safe Online revealed that between September 2014 and August 2015 over £268 million was lost in the UK to the top 10 internet fraud campaigns.

However, this is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg, given that 19% of cases go unreported.

Get Safe Online CEO, Tony Neate, argued that cybercrime is getting “more personal.”

“We used to get phishing emails saying ‘dear friends’ but now we’re addressed by name and a subject that appeals specifically to us,” he told Infosecurity.

“One tweet about looking for the best car insurance deal, and we could be a prime target for a scam offering us the best deals. More sophisticated scams do mean we’re more likely to be tricked, but these statistics show consumers are wising up.”

In that regard, 30% of respondents said they know more about online safety than they did last year, while nearly two-thirds (64%) said that the recent spate of big name data breaches has made them more cautious about sharing personal data with companies.

A report from the Office of National Statistics last week estimated there were 2.5 million cybercrime incidents and 5.1 million cases of fraud in the UK over the past year.

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