Cyber crime and online fraud
The term cyber crime refers to a variety of crimes carried out online, using the internet through computers, laptops, tablets, internet-enabled televisions, games consoles and smart phones.
Cyber-enacted crimes can only be committed on the internet - stealing confidential information that’s stored online, for example. Other crimes which are carried out online, but could be committed without the use of the internet, such as sexual grooming, stalking or harassment, bullying, and financial or romance fraud, are called cyber-enabled crimes.
Why people commit cyber crime
Committing crimes online allows someone to hide their identity and location, which in some cases is thousands of miles away. People who commit cyber crimes are often well organised and believable online. Many cyber crimes are committed by offenders who may be thousands of miles away, which makes it difficult for police and other law enforcement agencies to bring them to justice.
If you’ve been tricked into handing over your personal details or goods, it’s unlikely that you will be able to recover anything stolen by the offender, unless a fraudulent payment qualifies for a refund from your bank or credit card company. If the offender is arrested, goes to court and is convicted, the court will have the power to order them to pay you compensation.
Protecting yourself online
If you’ve experienced cyber crime
Reporting cyber crime
Get in touch: we can help
- Gov.uk: consumer rights
- Get Safe Online
- Which? Consumer Rights
- My Support Space - Victim Support's online resource containing an interactive guide on online crime
- Metropolitan Police Service: Online fraud and cybercrime
- National Stalking Helpline
- Action Fraud: Report fraud
- Cifas identity protection
- DynaRisk - free online security scan