The Garlik UK Cybercrime Report

Credit Crunch Fuels Growth in CyberCrime

UK cybercrime has rebounded to worrying levels, not seen since 2006, as a result of the recession and consumer complacency.

The annual Garlik UK Cybercrime report, now in its third year, has analysed publicly available data to build a comprehensive view of cybercrime in the UK. The report reveals that during 2008 cybercriminals adapted to the social and economic changes in the UK to exploit victims in new ways and continue to extort funds. In addition, the report highlights that there is a growing complacency amongst consumers demonstrating poor understanding of their responsibility to protect their personal information against fraud.

Financial fraud soars

One of the most significant changes in cybercrime has been the 207% increase in account takeover fraud indicating that criminals have now shifted their efforts from opening new accounts with stolen identities to accessing existing accounts. Savvy criminals have got round the drying up of available credit in the current economic climate to maintain their illegal activities.

The report also highlights that online banking fraud has increased by a staggering 132%, with losses totalling £52.5 million, compared to £22.6 million in the previous year. This sharp rise can be mostly attributed to nearly 44,000 phishing websites specifically targeting banks and building societies in the UK.

The total number of cybercrimes has increased annually between 2006 and 2008, however, the good news is that sexual offences have decreased as a category each year.

Interesting facts

Nearly 3.5 million cybercrimes were reported in 2008

Overall cybercrime has risen over 4% since 2007

Account takeover* by a fraudster is up by 207%

Online banking fraud is up 132%.