Editorial

More than two third of Brits would contact the police over online identity theft

Half of Brits would also contact the police if they were being blackmailed for money in a ransomware attacks, says new research

Posted 14 January 2021 by

More than two out of three Brits would contact the police if their personal data was stolen online, according to new research by Prolifics Testing

The study analyses data from the European Commission, which surveyed 27,607 Europeans to find out which European country is most likely to contact the police if they fall victim to online identity theft and online banking fraud.

It shows that if they had their personal data stolen online by cybercriminals, 68 percent of Brits would contact the police, and more than half (53 percent) would also contact the police in the case of online banking fraud.

This compares to an average of 70 percent of respondents from across Europe who would contact the police if they fall victim to online identity theft. Swedes (92 percent) are most likely to contact the police if they fall victim to online identity theft, followed by the Dutch (86 percent).

Half of Brits (50 percent) would also contact the police if they were being blackmailed for money in a ransomware attacks, to take back control of their device.

Additionally, 28 percent of Brits would contact the police if they experienced a cyberattack which prevented them from accessing essential online services such as banking, and if they received suspicious emails requesting sensitive information such as account logins (26 percent).

65 percent of Europeans would report it to police if they were a victim of online banking fraud. Just like online identity theft, Swedish citizens (82 percent) are the most likely in Europe to contact the police if they fall victim to online banking fraud with Slovakians the least likely to contact the police, where only 48 percent of citizens would do so.

Other cases of identity fraud

If Brits fell victim to online shopping fraud the majority would contact the website or vendor (44 percent) to notify them and resolve the issue as opposed to the police.

Similarly, if Brits discovered their email or social media account was hacked most would inform the respective email/social media provider (33 percent) and hope they can safely recover their account.

In the situation of finding malicious software on their device, the primary action by most Brits would be to contact their internet service provider (ISP) (20 percent) to rectify the compromised device safely.