Hacking of social media and email accounts continues to be the most prolific means of scamming people online, contributing to more than 5,000 cases out of the 13,357 cyber crimes reported in the six months between April and September 2018. It is estimated such hacking has cost victims £14.8 million.
People falling prey to cybercrime have reported losing £34.6 million, the latest numbers from Action Fraud show which is a 24% increase on the previous six months. More than £190,000 a day is lost in the UK by victims of cyber-crime, police statistics show.
“Cybercrime is a growing trend with the total losses increasing by 24%,” said Commander Karen Baxter of the City of London Police. “In particular criminals are targeting social media users and online account holders in a bid to make money and steal personal details. This leaves victims out of pocket and at risk of identity theft,” added Baxter.
The figures show 13,357 people in the UK reported cyber crimes over six months.
The City of London Police, which runs Action Fraud, has warned people to keep separate passwords for online accounts. They are advising people to step up their online security measures by ensuring their password is strong and to be careful of unsolicited requests for personal data.
“To avoid falling victim, it’s important that people keep a strong, separate password for their email accounts,” Commander Baxter continued.
“They should also use the latest software and app updates. Always be suspicious of unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information and never call numbers or follow links provided in unsolicited texts or emails; contact the company directly using a verified and trusted email or phone number. If you or someone you know believes they have fallen victim to cybercrime, please report it to Action Fraud.”
Commander Karen Baxter said cybercriminals were targeting people’s social media accounts “in a bid to make money and steal personal details”, adding it could leave victims “at risk of identity theft”.