Nearly six million fraud and cyber crimes last year, ONS says

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The Office for National Statistics is reporting that almost six million fraud and cyber crimes were committed last year in England and Wales

Here is how the BBC is reporting the news:

It estimated there were two million computer misuse offences and 3.8 million fraud offences in the 12 months to the end of March – suggesting fraud is the most common type of crime.

Most related to bank account fraud.

It is the first time fraud questions have been added to the official Crime Survey for England and Wales.

The figures are separate from the ONS headline estimate that a total of 6.3 million crimes were perpetrated against adults in the year to March – a 6% fall in the number of crimes compared to the previous year.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales asks people about crime they have experienced and includes offences not reported to police.

John Flatley, of the ONS, said: “This is the first time we have published official estimates of fraud and computer misuse from our victimisation survey.

“Together, these offences are similar in magnitude to the existing headline figures covering all other crime survey offences.

“However, it would be wrong to conclude that actual crime levels have doubled, since the survey previously did not cover these offences.”

The most common types of fraud experienced were bank and credit account fraud, with 2.5 million incidents, followed by “non-investment” fraud, such as scams related to online shopping, the ONS said…

Of the two million computer misuse incidents, 1.4 million involved a computer or internet-enabled device being infected with a virus.

The remaining 0.6 million crimes related to “unauthorised access to personal information” – such as hacking…

Policing minister Brandon Lewis said: “Fraud and cyber offences are not a new threat and the government has been working to get ahead of the game, committing to spend £1.9bn on cybersecurity and cybercrime over the next five years.”

He said they were “offences which we have always known were happening but were previously unable to quantify”.

“Having an accurate national picture will be crucial to inform future action,” he said.

More at Nearly six million fraud and cyber crimes last year, ONS says

Read the report in full, cyber crime sections starts page 37:

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