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02 Mar 2016
CBS safety monitor 2015: 1 in 9 people falls victim to cybercrime

There are some interesting figures on cybercrime in this year’s Safety Monitor, published by Netherlands Statistics (CBS). Cybercrime is a type of criminal activity or a crime that involves the Internet, a computer system, or computer technology. The annual CBS report says that one in nine people in the Netherlands fell victim to some form of cybercrime last year.

In 2015, 11,1 procent of the Dutch population indicated they had been victims of one or more cybercrime offenses, ranging from identity theft and online shopping fraud to hacking and cyber bullying. The first three are types of fraud are reported to Fraud Help Desk on a daily basis.

Identity fraud
Identity fraud involves the unauthorised use of personal details for financial gain. This includes skimming (the copying of a debit card or credit card) and phishing/pharming (the copying of payment information over the internet).

In 2015, 0.6 percent of the Dutch population fell victim of identity fraud. That is less than in previous years. The decrease is mainly due to a lower incidence of skimming. The number of victims of phishing or pharming did not go down compared to the previous year. In 2015, one identity fraud incident occurred per 100 inhabitants, which indicates that only a few people fall victim to this type of fraud more than once.

Online shopping fraud
This type of fraud involves either non-delivery of goods or products ordered on the internet or sellers not receiving any payment, according to the definition used by Statistics Netherlands. In 2015, 3.5 percent of the Dutch population reported they had been scammed while buying or selling goods or services online. This is about the same percentage as in 2014.

The number of people affected by sales fraud is higher: 3.4 percent. Online purchase scams only duped 0.1 to 0.2 percent of the population. There were four such scams per 100 inhabitants. There is little repeat victimization in cases involving sales or purchase scams either.

CBS defines hacking as breaking into or logging onto a computer, email account, website or social media account with malicious intent. 5.1 percent of the Dutch were duped by hacking in 2015, a similar figure compared to 2014. On average, eight scams were reported per 100 inhabitants. On average, people tend to fall victim to this type of cybercrime more than once.

The CBS has found that men are more likely to be affected by cybercrime than women, particularly by hacking. Young people are more often duped than older people, except for identity fraud. This applies to people from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Another finding is that highly educated people are more vulnerable to identity theft, online shopping fraud and hacking scams than people with a low education.

When it comes to young people, 20 percent of the 15-17 age group fell victim to cybercrime last year, against 16 percent for 18 to 24-year-olds. More underage girls tend to fall victim to cybercrime than underage boys.

Reports to the police
About 13 percent of all cybercrime cases are reported to the police or other authority, like Fraud Help Desk. In about 8 percent of the cases, an official report was filed with the police.