An online crime is committed every ten seconds in the UK, according to a new survey.

The UK Cybercrime Report, commissioned by online security firm Garlik, found around 300m offences were committed on the web last year.

Almost 90% of them are estimated to have gone unreported because victims were not aware that they were covered by law or that the police would be willing to investigate.

The study (pdf) also found:

  • There were an estimated 90,000 cases of online identity fraud last year, with 40% of identity frauds being carried out with personal / address information found online.
  • There were 207,000 cases of online financial fraud in 2006, up 32% on 2005.
  • ‘Card not present’ fraud also increased, from £183m in 2005 to £212m last year.

The report attributed the increases to the availability of personal details stored online, as well as the increase in web users – many of which are not aware of steps needed to protect themselves on the net.

A House of Lords committee recently recommended more government action on the issue of online fraud, saying it was unrealistic to leave security to individuals.  

Related stories:
Online verification schemes see increased adoption