Financial losses caused by cyber crimes surged by nearly three-quarters as the UK entered lockdown, according to the City of London Police.
The force, which runs the national Action Fraud service, said it received 3,916 reports of online incidents during the first month of lockdown alone – the equivalent of £2.9 million in reported losses and an increase of almost 72% compared to the previous month.
Cyber criminals struck in March as people able to work from home were ordered to do so during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We want to make the UK the safest place to be online and we’re working tirelessly to defeat cyber criminals,” said Ian Dyson, Commissioner of the City of London Police.
“Cyber crime is a growing trend, with total losses increasing.
“In particular, criminals are targeting social media users and online account holders in a bid to make money and steal personal details.
“We work closely with our partners, individuals and businesses to tackle the threat of cyber crime.”
It comes as the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) received more than 1.8 million reports in August from its own reporting service, which allows people to forward suspicious emails directly to the agency for further investigation.
Ciaran Martin, who recently left his role as the first head of NCSC, recently said cyber criminals and foreign spies had been quick to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic for their gain.