Increase In Internet Fraud Instances
Official crime figures released this month show that although there was a drop in overall crime rates, the number of Internet fraud cases had risen dramatically. There was also a reported increase in rapes and sexual offences, which experts have said is down to the Jimmy Savile effect that means victims are more willing to come forward, and the number of knife crimes that were reported, which is the first year that these have risen since 2010.
Internet fraud is seen as a relatively easy way for criminals to take money, and because it can prove very difficult for investigators to catch perpetrators of this type of crime, it means that many criminals and criminal gangs have turned their attention to online and Internet fraud. Companies, banks, and the police have tried to stay ahead of the move to online fraud, but the latest figures suggest that they are losing the battle.
Internet fraud is typically and commonly associated with identity theft, and while some techniques can be very complex, others are deceptively simple. Emails and messages simply ask victims for details, and if they are convincing enough, some people will ultimately provide everything that the criminal needs to know in order to be able to access bank accounts, get to the money in those accounts, and even set up new accounts, take out loans, and perform other actions in the victim’s name,
There was a 9% increase in overall fraud offences, with 15% increase in non-investment fraud. This category of fraud includes online shopping and computer software fraud. Computer software fraud can include phishing and malware attacks; users are encouraged to ensure that they do not provide bank or personal details to anybody unless they are absolutely sure of who they are talking to and why those details are required.
The Policing minister Mike Penning said that the overall figures were good, and that he believed the increase in sexual offences meant that public perception of the police had improved and that people were increasingly willing to report sexual crimes.