Just over half the people in Britain have been the victim of an online crime, or cybercrime, according to the latest survey of the issue by Get Safe Online, costing £670m a year in fraud.
The crimes include ID theft, hacking and illegally accessing and stealing from bank accounts, but a significant proportion of the crime is never reported because people are not sure who they should report the crime to, the report says.
That £670m is the figure for the top 10 internet-enabled frauds reported between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014. Clearly the actual full figure will be higher because not all crime is reported.
Of those who've fallen victim to cyber-crime, the Vision Critical poll suggests that only a third, 32 percent, actually reported the incident to the authorities.
The Get Safe Online survey also showed that just over half (53 per cent) of the population now sees online crimes as seriously as physical world crimes, ”destroying the notion that online crime is 'faceless' and less important than other crimes”, the report said.
As a result, more cyber-crime victims (54 per cent) wish to unmask a perpetrator but only 14 percent claim to have succeeded.
Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, hopes that "the considerable government resources now dedicated to fighting cyber-crime" will reduce this figure.
"The internet is undoubtedly a force for good but we cannot stand still in the face of these threats, which already cost our economy billions every year," said the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.