The UK has seen a three-fold increase in financial losses incurred from fraud and cybercrimes in the first six months of 2021.
In total, £1.3bn has been lost to these kinds of crimes, a stark increase compared to the figure of £414.7m from last year. Cybercrimes, in particular, saw a seven-fold rise, going from 39,160 to 289,437.
The Bureau’s figures show that the most severe spike in crimes occurred between January and March of this year – the height of the UKs second pandemic lockdown.
Regionally, Scotland fared relatively well in comparison with the rest of the UK in weathering fraud and cybercrimes, with losses of £47.6m. This is compared to London – who suffered the worst with over £629m lost.
The rest of England didn’t fare much better, showing that the country has become a pointed target for fraudsters and cybercriminals.
This is shown by monetary loss figures of £236.2m in the South East and £233.3m in Eastern England. Tarian – the Regional Organised Crime Unit covering the Dyfed-Powys, Gwent and South Wales Police forces – reported $45.9m in losses and finally, £24.5m in Northern Ireland.
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Christos Betsios, cyber operations officer at Obrela Security Industries, said the data highlighted the increasing severity surrounding the general issue of cybercrime – made only worse since the beginning of the pandemic – the results of which can now be clearly seen in the figures.
“The fact that the financial losses have increased by three times in just the last year is very worrying and the bad news is that things are only going to get worse,” said Betsios.
“The UK government must take urgent action and take more steps in educating the public on cyber crime and the techniques criminals use, particularly around text scams, which are said to be the fastest rising and most commonly used technique in the country today.
“People must be reminded not to click on links in emails unless they know for sure they are genuine, not to transfer money to someone they don’t know and to avoid opening email attachments unless they can verify they are not malicious.”