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Assessing the trends, scale and nature of economic cybercrimes: overview and issues

Levi, Michael ORCID: 2017. Assessing the trends, scale and nature of economic cybercrimes: overview and issues. Crime, Law and Social Change 67 (1) , pp. 3-20. 10.1007/s10611-016-9645-3

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Trends in police-recorded and (where they exist) household survey-measured cybercrimes for economic gain are reviewed in a range of developed countries – Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK and the US - and their implications for criminal policy are considered. The datasets indicate a substantial rise in online fraud – though one that is lower than the rise in online shopping and other ‘routine activity’ indicators - but it is not obvious whether this is just displacement for the fall in household and automobile property crime, nor how much overlap there is between the offenders and past ‘offline’ offenders. Nor do the data indicate whether the frauds result from insiders or outsiders, or are collusive. The direct and indirect costs of cyberfrauds are examined, and it is concluded that there is no satisfactory basis for the larger estimates of cost, but it is undeniable that those costs are large enough to merit concern. There remains a problem of what metrics are appropriate for judging the threat and harm from cybercrimes, and their impact on national and human security. There is not a sharp division between these larger national security issues and cyber attacks on banks, businesses, and the spear phishing of individuals with important knowledge of system vulnerabilities in the public or the private sector. Rather there is a punctuated continuum in the interplay between private, corporate governmental and wider social risks.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cybercrime; fraud; global trends; cost; harm; national security; human security; routine activities
Publisher: Kluwer
ISSN: 0925-4994
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 October 2016
Date of Acceptance: 9 August 2016
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 16:14

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