During 2008 cybercriminals adapted to the social and economic changes in the UK to exploit victims in new ways and commit over 3.6 million criminal acts online (one every 10 seconds), according to the third annual Garlik UK Cybercrime Report.
The report, which analyses publicly available data to build a comprehensive view of cybercrime in the UK, found that there is also a growing complacency amongst consumers, demonstrating poor understanding of their responsibility to protect their personal information against fraud.
One of the most significant changes in cybercrime has been the 207% increase in account takeover fraud, indicating that criminals have now shifted their efforts from opening new accounts with stolen identities to accessing existing accounts, says Garlik.
The report also highlights that online banking fraud has increased by a staggering 132%, with losses totalling £52.5 million, compared to £22.6 million in the previous year. This sharp rise can be mostly attributed to nearly 44,000 phishing websites specifically targeting banks and building societies in the UK.
"We fear that account takeover fraud will continue to increase in 2009 due to the decline of available credit and tighter credit checking by the banks," says Tom Ilube, CEO of Garlik.
Readers can download a full copy of the report from Garlik's website.