Online identity firm Garlik has released a report showing a total of 3.5 million cybercrimes in all forms were committed in the UK during 2007, a rise of 9%.
However, identity theft fell by 8%, and sexual offences dropped 2%. Most of the crimes related to fraud, along with abusive or threatening e-mails, the BBC reports. There was an increase in harassment, with over two million people the victims of abusive emails, false accusations or blackmail attempts.
The 250,000 incidents of financial fraud reported during the year meant a 20% increase over 2006, and that the crime had become more professional, with more than 19,000 illicit traders on the information black market identified.
The report warns that cybercrime will likely increase as the credit crunch bites harder. Garlik’s Tom Ilube said:
"It’s critical in this time of financial crisis that individuals are vigilant with their personal information, because as long as the credit crunch continues, we can expect to see a real growth in online financial fraud."
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