Police: Murders and robberies down, while cybercrime arrests up 200%.
Australian police have released statistics showing a spike in the number of cybercrime reports and arrests, as authorities and legislators grapple with the scale of the problem.
In the first quarter of 2017, the number of reported cybercrime stood at 11,775. In the same period of 2018, that number jumped by around 20%, to 14,189. In addition to this, NSW police have said that the number of arrests relating to malicious cyber activities, fraud and extortion more than doubled from 35, to 73.
We’ve obtained some statistics released by the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network, otherwise known as ACORN, which interestingly enough shows that the majority of cybercrime victims are actually aged between 20-39-years old, according to their April-June, 2018 report.
According to ABC journalist, Mark Reddie, “criminals are increasingly moving off the streets and on to computers, with traditional crimes like armed robberies falling across the state.”
Detective Superintendent Matt Craft has issued up a statement saying that “a traditional offender no longer has a balaclava and a shotgun, but rather they have a laptop and a briefcase - it’s never been more important to make sure your personal details are kept confidential.”
“It’s also really vital that people report cybercrime to police - we know that most of the time, people are too embarrassed to speak up, but it’s the only way we can stop more attacks.” He said.
Craft warned that the most common attempts to gain access to your account and/or your private information is through unsolicited emails.
“It might be an email saying you’ve won a holiday - click on this link, or a scare tactic where a fake email from your bank asks you to click on a link to sort out a problem… Never do this.” He said.
“What you should do is call your bank or energy provider to verify the email instead, and if it’s not legitimate, call police and we’ll have no problem tracking the criminal down.”
“Education seems to be key here - the more people talk about being scammed, the better protected we become because we know what’s out there.” Sam Shephard, a victim of cyber crime the ABC featured said.
Mr Shephard was fooled by a private listing on Facebook marketplace for a laptop. “A man provided me with an ABN and all these details - so it seemed legit. But once I had handed over $1,300, he blocked me and I lost all that money.” He said.
Just over a year ago, the NSW police force set up its first cybercrime squad, which has resulted in that 200% rise in arrests. Last year, a NSW woman became the first to be charged over alleged crypto-currency theft, with police now widening their scope of operations.