UK victims lost £8 million to hackers in 2020

London flagged up as the UK hacking crime capital

London is the UK hacking crime capital, according to new data released by GAME. This reveals that. Brits are losing £8 million a year to hacking criminals who commit fraud and extortion. As more of us spend time online, the new figures reinforce the need to improve security further around personal data.

The research has mapped out the UK's hacking hotspots, highlighting the regions that are losing the most money to the crime. As the UK coronavirus lockdown was enforced, April saw a 68% increase in reported cases on the previous month. 3,800 cases were reported in April, up from 2,296 in March. As the second full lockdown was enforced in November, cases shot up again by almost 15%, with 2,641 cases of cyber-dependent fraud crimes being reported by victims.

With entire industries and life moving online, so did cybercrime, peaking with the surge of less experienced users and digital fraud awareness. The top scam-related searches on Google were around Paypal scams (up 49% since lockdown) and Amazon scams (up 84% since lockdown), showing that people making online purchases were targeted.

The UK's capital takes first place for British hacking hotspots, with 4,348 reported cases. London hacking crime cost victims a whopping £4,031,900 in 2020, with criminals targeting victims through social media and email, personal computers and extortion.

Home to 1,993 cases in the past 12 months, the West Midlands saw £727,100 lost to cybercriminals, placing the region in second place in the index, closely followed by the South East where residents lost £534,900.

Welsh victims lost £250,000, but, due to its larger population, fell lower down the index, with smaller losses per capita. Residents of Northern Ireland were subjected to 303 cases, with a loss of £14,133, and Scotland only lost £606 across 355 cases.

At the lower end of the scale, the Isle of Man and Guernsey both had no money lost through hacking crimes in the last year.