Cybercriminals feel the pinch

A new report from Javelin Strategy & Research shows that in these tough times, even the cyber criminals are hurting

Tags: Cyber crimeFraud
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Cybercriminals feel the pinch (Shutterstock)
By  Mark Sutton Published  February 12, 2009

A new report from Javelin Strategy & Research shows that in these tough times, even the cyber criminals are hurting. The report says that while fraud and identity theft increased by 22% from 2007 to 2008, the average amount gained by the criminals fell by 31% - putting the average cost to the consumer of a fraud incident at around $496.

Which of course means that cyber criminals are going to have to do more to 'earn' their money, and that means more threats to us as users and consumers.

The past two weeks have already seen warnings from both Qtel and Etisalat about phone scams that are targeting the region, and we've had quite a few reports from readers that have been targeted by these scams. One development that stands out for me was that the scammers spoke in Urdu - which shows that online criminal operations are setting up in more geographic regions, and, once again refining their techniques to go after new opportunities.

We are also seeing the persistence of existing scams - the fake websites offering jobs with UAE ministries in particular seems to keep coming back over and over again, playing on the perception of the UAE as a place to get rich...

The Javelin report also shows that thieves are acting much quicker than before, with the average time between data theft and financial exploitation of the data falling to within one week for 71% of all thefts.

All of which shows the need for governments, telcos, the industry and other concerned parties to do more to raise awareness of threats among the general public. It's not an easy task, as you can't really force common sense into people, but in times of economic uncertainty, the temptation to believe that you can get something for nothing is all the more tempting.

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