back to article If there were almost a million computer misuse crimes last year, Action Fraud is only passing 2% of cases to cops

Action Fraud (AF) is referring fewer computer misuse cases to police investigators despite official statistics showing nearly a million offences were reported last year. In the 12 months to June this year, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) reckoned that the number of computer misuse crimes had fallen – but also …

  1. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    So if I get a virus I'm supposed to ring AF? And is PC Plod going to come around and look at the dodgy sites I've visited to see where I might have got it from? That's not happening (for so many different reasons!!!!).

    1. ssieth

      Yeah - it's almost like the structures put in place aren't suitable to handle the crimes they've been put there for.

      That said - 2% referral is pretty terrible given how few people will actually bother reporting anything. I think we can assume that reports are going to be very much biased towards people who have rather more severe problems than a mild virus infection and as a result we can assume that a fair amount of quite serious stuff is being ignored by AF.

  2. Chris the bean counter

    Action Fraud

    Is a fraud

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Action Fraud

      Only if it's reported to the police by action fraud

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Action Fraud

        No, They are not gatekeepers - fraud does not depend on their say ao.

  3. Caff

    credit card

    Would the credit card companies not have pretty good stats of the amount of fraud transactions they have refunded?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: credit card

      How much overlap is there between computer misuse crimes and credit card refunds? Some, yes, but I suspect not that much.

  4. N2 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Call me an old cynic

    But how many of that 2% actually get actioned or followed up?

    When someone opened a new gas account in my deceased brothers name, West Midlands police had very little interest, despite following procedure with AF.

    Has he made a complaint in person? they asked.

    Well, not unless he's been ressurected was my frosty reply.

  5. Craig100

    Chocolate teapot

    It's a joke. My builder's email account was compromised so in reply to my email asking for bank details to send him a 2K deposit, I got a sensible reply with someone else's bank details (so it turns out!). Money went missing. My bank and his bank were pretty useless. Action Fraud just said basically they get a report like this every 11 seconds so what did I expect them to be able to do about it!!! Well, for a start, requisition logs from the email providers, work through the IP addresses, match up the receiving bank account with an individual. If you can't do that then the receiving bank is at fault as far as I'm concerned and should have refunded the amount as they'd obviously opened an account without checking ID, etc. The same thing happened a few weeks later with email, no money went this time as I was wise to it, but could I get them to get on a very hot trail? Absolutely not interested and VERY difficult to get to talk to them. Waste of space if you're expecting action. I think they just collect data and that's it.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Chocolate teapot

      And if it is happening every 11 seconds, then it is clearly a major problem that needs dealing with

      1. N2 Silver badge

        Re: Chocolate teapot

        Agreed,

        But passing bank details by e-mail should set the alarm bells ringing!

  6. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Why waste your time?

    What is the point of reporting crime to Action Fraud, or even your local police? Take hours filling in forms and explaining to then how email headers often contain useful info, and nothing happens. Last time I reported an attempted fraud to my local fuzz (the usual, send money to bitcoin a/c X or I release the videos) - I didn't even get a reply. And their reporting form wouldn't let me send the email headers anyway.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waste of space

    Myself and another medical provider were ripped off by a scammer. We both did some digging and found out there were many more victims and over two weeks found out the guys real name, nhs employee number, address, vehicle details, bank accounts and details from all those he duped. Police said take it to AF....who after five attempts turn round and said there was nothing to go on. I got a refund after he was presented with the evidence, I believe a few others took a more direct route.

  8. KCIN

    It's pretty simple. It's about manipulating the crime statistics.

  9. sitta_europea Bronze badge

    More like INaction.

  10. Ol'Peculier

    We have a problem with fake sites scraping product content and images from our site and buying expired domains with a fairly recent page rank, so sites like bobsgardensersofsuffolk.co.uk suddenly starts selling clothing.

    We get people that have bought our products from these sites and, obviously, they don't arrive so we get asked about them. When trying to talk to Action Fraud about the ability to take these sites down we were told to "contact an IT in order to try and get the site taken down". When we pushed they said "you will have to contact an Independent IT team to see if they can help you somewhere like PC World may be able to assist"

    Absolute joke.

  11. Mr. Flibble

    I tried once

    Not going to bother again.

    Yes, it was low priority - someone from "Microsoft" saying my windows had expired etc etc, but their stupid web form didn't bother asking any relevant questions that could help in a potential investigation.

    Waste of time. I just think its for gathering stats, not actually trying to fix anything.

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