Digital Futures- Online Fraud and Cybercrime

‘Fraud and cyber-crime are now the country’s most common offences’ A headline of an article published in January 2017 by the telegraph. The article sheds light on how the web has changed crime today, stating that the most common crime in the country is online fraud, with an estimation of one in ten people being a victim of the online crime in the United Kingdom, cybercrime is now more prevalent in our society. The advancements in digital technology in the past twenty years and development of web 2.0 have led to the change of crime. Crime has moved into a digital age, criminals now can bounce their location between different servers so their locations aren’t given away while committing an act of cybercrime. Online crime can be hard to catch and a lot of these crimes of identity theft and fraud are committed abroad.

We have become a globalised society because the internet connects us together making communication easier across the world, however because of this it creates a larger outreach for scams and acts of fraud by increasing the amount of people a criminal will be able to bate into an online trap. In an article published in January 2017 by the Guardian interviewing KPMGs UK forensic partner Hitesh Patel stated ‘Through the rapid rise of technology and online platforms, more people than ever are being targeted by fraudsters who have unrestricted access to a larger pool of victims. However, we are also seeing the internet being used by consumers who are being tempted to obtain goods and services that they have, or perhaps should have, a fair idea are not legitimate.’ Because there are so many cases of fraud the government is more focused on educating people on cybercrime and how to prevent being a victim.

Even though cybercrimes like online fraud are on the rise it is often overlooked by the government and law enforcement, because online fraud is known as a ‘Low-value but high-volume crime’ as reported in the Guardian in June 2017 the article also stated that ‘Fraud is now the most commonly experienced crime in England and Wales, is growing rapidly and demands an urgent response. Yet fraud is not a strategic priority for local police forces and the response from industry is uneven.’ In 2016 cyber fraud made up 16% of all crimes in the UK, with 1.9m estimated instances of online fraud. However even though this is a common crime it is also incredibly hard to gather evidence and convict a criminal of cybercrime in court, with the sheer volume of crimes the law enforcement agencies like the police do not have the recourses to in research and investigate every case of fraud that gets reported, most of the cases also cross borders into different countries making it harder to convict criminals of online fraud.

 

Sourced From: 
-The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/19/fraud-cyber-crime-now-countrys-common-offences/)
-The Guardian, Source One (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/30/online-costs-public-billions-but-is-still-not-a-police-priority-says-watchdog)
-The Guardian, Source Two (
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jan/24/uk-fraud-record-cybercrime-kpmg)

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