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Cyber crime

Cybercrime relates to crime that takes place online.

There are two overarching areas of cybercrime:

  • Cyber-dependent crimes which can only be committed through the use of online devices and where the devices are both the tool to commit the crime and the target of the crime.
  • Cyber-enabled crimes are traditional crimes which can be increased in scale by using computers.

These crimes take on a number of different formats and can include:

  • hacking and use of the dark web
  • trolling on social media
  • phishing
  • identity thefts

The aims of these activities may be to:

  • commit sexual offences such as grooming or sharing indecent images
  • control or disrupt computer systems
  • steal money, information or data

The dark web is used by criminals to trade illegal items online and is made up of a number of untraceable online websites. Specific software and search engines must be used to access the websites. 

Cyber-enabled fraud

This is when fraudsters use the internet to gain sensitive personal information through phishing attempts. Criminals often pretend to be a company and trick a victim into using a malicious website or installing malware on their device.

A phishing attempt can be sent to a range of ‘targets’ at the same time which enables criminals to gather enough information about a victim to take their identity and commit fraud.

Personal details can be also be used to obtain documents such as passports or driving licences, open bank accounts or credit card accounts, or take over existing bank accounts.

Criminals can also use the internet to carry out intellectual property fraud. This can include the creation of counterfeit goods to sell online, either billed as genuine or clearly fake, or the setting up and running of websites pretending to be genuine retail outlets.

Intellectual property fraud includes streaming content owned by someone else online, for example, a new cinema release or live sports matches.

Further information

Further details and support visit can be found on the Wiltshire Police and Action Fraud websites.