The UK Office of National Statistics has compiled a list of the ten most common cyber-crimes in the UK, with number of cases reported in the year to June 2016.
For those expats living in Portugal this may have some relevance, especially for those who have UK bank accounts and/or financial connections, such as pension schemes etc
- Bank account fraud – 2,356,000
Criminals trick their way to get account details. For example: “Phishing” emails contain links or attachments that either take you to a website that looks like your bank’s, or install malware on your system. A 2015 report by Verizon into data breach investigations has shown that 23pc of people open phishing emails.
- Non-investment fraud – 1,028,000
AKA Ponzi schemes. Examples include penny stocks, pension liberation, and investment in commodities, such as wine or art, that later prove worthless
- Computer virus – 1,340,000
Unauthorised software damages or takes control of your machine. For example: “Ransomware” encrypts your files and pictures then demands a payment to restore your access to it
- Hacking – 681,000
Criminals exploit security weaknesses to illegally access other machines or networks. They steal sensitive data or subvert machines for their own purposes, such as sending spam or launching other cyber attacks
- Advance fee fraud – 117,000
The victim is promised access to a great deal of money in return for a smaller upfront payment. For example, the classic “Nigerian Prince” email scam
- Other fraud – 116,000
One example is “solicito’s scams”, where a solicitor’s website is hacked, then clients asked to divert large payments into the criminals’ bank accounts.
- Harassment and stalking – 18,826
Threats, abuse and online bullying – what’s commonly been termed “ trolling” on social media
- Obscene publications – 6,292
Pornography that meets the definition of the Obscene Publications Act, thus generally involving some form of physical abuse
- Child sexual offences – 4,184
Assault, grooming, indecent communication, coercing a child to witness a sex act. These crimes maybe being under reported.
- Blackmail – 2,028
This includes threats to publish intimate photographs on-line