Internet users in the UK lose £190,000 on a daily basis due to cyber crime attacks, according to a new report compiled by Action Fraud.
The City of London Police, which runs Action Fraud, said more than one-third of cyber-crimes reported to the police were due to email or social media accounts having been hacked.
UK cyber crimes
Action Fraud said, in their latest report, that hackers stole £34.6m from online users between April and September 2018, a 24% increase compared to the previous six months.
Action Fraud figures show 13,357 people in the UK reported cyber-crimes during that period last year.
According to the report, more than 5,000 out of the 13,357 cyber-crimes reported in that period had their social media and email accounts hacked, costing victims £14.8m.
“Cyber-crime 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.”
TV license fraud
Action Fraud said that one method that causes people to hand over their bank details to fraudsters involves users clicking on a link that contains “convincing TV license information”.
One user, identified in a BBC report as Jerry Tack, was tricked into entering his bank details to resolve an issue with his TV Licence. Unfortunately, despite checking the website for any suspicious activity, Mr. Tack ended up losing £9,900 from his bank account.
When he realised what had happened, he contacted his bank and told them he had fallen victim to a ‘authorise push payment’ (APP) scam.
However, banks say they cannot reimburse individuals who are deceived by scams.
“Keep a strong, separate password”
Action Fraud is advising people to employ different security measures to ensure the protection of their accounts. The crime-reporting agency said that users should always use a strong, separate password for their email accounts.
“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 cyber-crime, please report it to Action Fraud.”