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Over one third have been a victim of ‘online shopping scams’

This research shows that the UK is a target for a wide range of cybercrimes and fraud. It’s increasingly important that companies and individuals understand the risks online and how to best protect themselves.

Connected to social media network. — © Digital Journal / File
Connected to social media network. — © Digital Journal / File

While the Internet has advantages from shopping online to banking, its disadvantages may leave some people feeling vulnerable to cybercrime.. This is perhaps justified for data pertaining to the U.K. reveals that 7 in 10 people are afraid of being a victim of cybercrime.

To arrive at this finding, the global identity verification company, Veriff, analysed the UK’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s Fraud and Cyber Crime Dashboard (NFIB) alongside surveying 1,000 UK adults to uncover the fraud and cybercrimes we are most afraid of and how often these are happening.

The report finds that London has the highest number of fraud and cybercrime across the UK per capita with 101.7 reports per 10,000 people.

The locations which are experiencing the most fraud and cybercrime are:

RankLocation (based on police force jurisdiction)Reports per 10,000 people (June 2021 – May 2022)
1London101.7
2Dyfed-Powys89.8
3Dorset72.3
4Hertfordshire71.6
5Surrey70.2
6Bedfordshire69.0
7Nottinghamshire68.4
8Kent65.4
9Cambridgeshire64.7
10Thames Valley64.5

In second place is Dyfed-Powys, an area in Wales which includes Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys, where there are 89.8 reports for every 10,000 residents.  In third place is Dorset, with 72.3 reports per 10,000 people, followed by Hertfordshire (71.6) and Surrey (70.2).

In terms of the types of cybercrime, the most frequent cybercrime is ‘online shopping and auctions’ with 35 percent of reports being made by people in the U.K. Following this, ‘romance scams’ have increased in search volume by 126 percent since 2018 as the fastest growing form of cybercrime.

With the fraud and cybercrimes people are most afraid of and how often these are happening, these are set out in the table below:

Type of crimeReported cases as a % of all reported online crimes% of survey respondents scared of crime
Online shopping and auctions34.71%3.40%
Advance fee frauds12.48%2.20%
Online banking scams10.97%16.80%
Consumer non-investment fraud10.77%1.00%
Computer software service fraud (when fraudsters posing as legitimate companies tell you that there’s a problem with your computer)5.73%4.40%
Hacking – social media and email5.70%8.50%
Romance scam3.79%2.00%
Computer virus/ malware/ spyware2.90%9.70%
Share scams or boiler room fraud2.62%1.60%
Hacking – personal2.15%6.80%

To arrive at the data, Veriff surveyed 1,000 U.K. adults to find which cybercrimes they are most afraid of, then analysed search data alongside government data to find out more about the current state of cybercrime. 

Commenting on the research, ​​Caroline Mogford, CMO at Veriff tells Digital Journal: “This research shows that the UK is a target for a wide range of cybercrimes and fraud. It’s increasingly important that companies and individuals understand the risks online and how to best protect themselves.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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