Cybercrime affects nearly a third of Brits a year

In a new survey conducted by Neighbourhood Watch, nearly a third of Brits revealed they have been victims of cybercrime in the last 12 months.

The most common scams are committed by telephone or text (23.0%), followed by email scams (20.9%) and social media or computer accounts hacked (6.2%).

Information and guidance on identifying and avoiding cybercrime are readily available from organisations including the NCSC and Neighbourhood Watch. Still, the scammers use increasingly sophisticated methods to scam people of their money and personal data.

Almost half (47.9%) of people surveyed see cybercrime as an equal threat to them as physical crime, and 36.9% see it as more of a threat than physical crime, however, nearly a fifth (14.2%) say that they would not report cybercrime incidents.

Luis Corrons, Security Evangelist for Norton said: “In today’s connected world, we often share personal information online. While you should always share cautiously, there are ways to be fully empowered online without compromising your safety, privacy or identity.

“Practising general caution and having security software on your devices is imperative. Tools such as Norton Genie can help people detect potential scams. It’s also hugely important that when you are targeted by an online scam, you report it to Action Fraud. You can report fraud online and find further advice on protecting yourself and others.”

According to the survey, cyber-attacks led to 15% of those surveyed saying that they have lost money, with nearly a quarter (17.2%) losing up to £2,000 and over a fifth (14%) losing more than £2,000.

The study also revealed the emotional impact of being a victim of cybercrime, with over a third of people surveyed (37%) saying they felt unsafe, 30.9% saying they felt anxious or depressed as a result, and some saying their personal relationships and professional reputations were damaged.

John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch added: “Neighbourhood Watch was founded to help people protect themselves and their communities. While traditionally people view Neighbourhood Watch as largely focused on physical crime, over recent years our members recognise the very real threat that cybercrime poses to themselves, their friends, family, and neighbours.

We’ve heard countless stories from our members about the increase in scams, phishing and hacking they’ve been subjected to, with a significant portion of our membership feeling more at risk of cybercrime than physical crime. Our Cyberhood Watch Ambassadors play a vital role in supporting our members to know how to spot, report and avoid falling victim to cybercrime. They also empower our members to enjoy the internet and online services happily and safely.”

Members of the public can register for free to join Neighbourhood Watch.