Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *
Reload Captcha

Data Shows Hundreds of Victims Blackmailed for Bitcoin in the U.K.

Written by  Mar 20, 2020

In 2018 and 2019, the U.K. police forces received a total of 562 reports of blackmail for Bitcoin, research from Parliament Street think tank has shown.

The information, obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), showed that blackmail was the most common attack using Bitcoin.

More than 500 cases of Bitcoin blackmail registered in the U.K.

While Bitcoin and crime have often gone hand in hand, the past few years have mostly been plagued with major exchange thefts and wallet hacks. However, the latest research from the Parliament Street think tank has shown that, in the United Kingdom, Bitcoin blackmail is still rampant.

The report analysed police data from 2018 and 2019, which showed that police forces in the country received 562 reports of blackmail for Bitcoin. The official figures were obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), a law that gives people the right of access to information held by government agencies of the Commonwealth.

A total of 13 police forces responded to Parliament Street’s request, which showed that the North Yorkshire Police was the force with the most reports of bitcoin-related crimes. In 2018, they only had 6 accounts, but that number rose to 115 cases last year, representing a 1,817 % increase.

Advertisement

Cybersecurity Essentialsamazon uk

Victims of digital financial crime suffer greatly

The next two constabularies with the highest accounts were Hertfordshire, which provided information of 82 bitcoin-related crimes, involving blackmail and Leicestershire which had 21 incidents. Lincolnshire Police, on the other hand, had only 8 counts of bitcoin blackmail reported over 2018 and 2019.

Parliament Street’s research found that blackmail had the most harmful effect on victims both financially and emotionally. A large percentage of cases involved phishing, where criminals would extort the victim in order to keep their information private. Threats, intimidation and high-pressure tactics are classic signs of a scam, the think tank noted.

cryptojackingAlso see: What is Cryptojacking?

Andrew Martin, the CEO of Retail Financial Consulting, told us that these incidents underline the risks associated with online currencies, which are often an easy way for anonymous third parties to extort money from victims. Martin called on the banking sector to recognise that a push towards a cashless society was forcing people into alternative investments.

He said: “Restricting consumer access to cash limits choice, leaving many people in our society behind and in an increasingly dangerous online world, this can only be a bad thing.“


Peter Flynn

Creator and director of IT Security Centre UK.

I have worked in the IT industry for many years and developed my IT security skills in particular. As this area has always been of interest to me and is more important now than ever.

Contributors

We would like to invite IT Security Professionals from the UK to join our other contributors in providing high quality articles for our website.

To enhance IT Security Centres credentials and to offer an opportunity for other IT Professionals and IT Companies to share their work, information and ideas.

We are always happy to hear from other IT Security Professionals and look forward to your incite. please contact us for more information.

Popular News

Jun 13, 2020 IT Security News

Microsoft announces major issue in Windows 10 June 2020 updates

On 9th June, 2020, Microsoft released cumulative updates for supported versions of Windows 10 including version 2004, ve...

Jul 23, 2020 Cyber Security

Many cyber attacks on UK sports industry says report

At large percentage of sporting institutions, organisations and teams in the UK have suffered a security incident in the...

Jun 25, 2020 IT Security News

NCSC catch a million phish

The National Cyber Security Centre has received the millionth submission to its Suspicious Email Reporting Service. ...

Jun 16, 2020 Internet of Things

Ripple20 Bug Exposes Millions of IoT Devices

Exactly how many of the devices that include Ripple20 bugs are directly hackable via the internet remains far from clear...

Jun 27, 2020 IT Security News

Apple devices to get encrypted DNS

Apple this year will boldly go where its peers have gone before by implementing support for encrypted DNS in iOS and mac...

Jul 03, 2020 IT Security News

Increasing number of UK business PCs are vulnerable

A rising number of business PCs are at risk of malware infections, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Ava...

Jul 21, 2020 IT Security News

Businesses underestimate disruptive auto bot traffic

Business leaders say about 15% of their web application resources are taken up in dealing with the impact of automated b...

Jul 21, 2020 Cyber Security

UK number two country for targeted cyberattacks

The UK is the second most frequent target of “serious” cyberattacks, according to a new report from cybersecurity fi...

Jul 17, 2020 IT Security News

How to protect your Gmail account

Technology is constantly changing and at a pace which is hard to keep up with, but 'safety first' always applies. ...

Jul 27, 2020 Cyber Security

Nearly Half of Employees in The US/UK Make Cybersecurity Mistakes

A new report from email security firm Tessian reveals that 43% of US and UK employees have made mistakes resulting in cy...

Aug 12, 2020 Cyber Security

NHS hit by thousands of malicious emails at Covid-19 peak

NHS staff reported a wave of malicious emails at the height of the UK’s Covid-19 crisis in March and April 2020, accor...

Aug 11, 2020 Cloud Security News

Global security teams struggle to keep pace with cloud threats

Misconfiguration, unauthorised access and account hijacking are common threats to public cloud environments, which are n...

Advertisement
Symantec Home 120x60

Advertisement