Trends in and characteristics of cybercrime in NSW
||Ilya Klauzner and Amy Pisani
||Bureau Brief No. BB165
||Cybercrime, Victims, Policing
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To examine the trends, major characteristics, and the police response to cybercrime in NSW.
We extracted data from the ReportCyber Application Platform (RCAP), a national cybercrime reporting system operated by the Australian Cyber Security Centre. Data was analysed over a three-year period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2022 and was restricted to incidents where the victim resided in NSW. We separate cybercrime into five offence categories: cyber-enabled fraud, identity theft, cyber-enabled abuse, online image abuse (OIA), and device. We conducted a descriptive analysis on the victim, suspected perpetrator, and report characteristics to report on trends and characteristics of reported cybercrime. We estimated an ordinary least squares regression model to identify factors correlated with a referral to police of reported cybercrime.
Over the three years to June 2022, there were 39,494 reports of cybercrime where the victim resided in NSW, and more than $404 million reported lost. Cybercrime reports increased by 42%, with all cyber offence categories increasing except cyber abuse. Increases in cyber enabled fraud and identity crime, spurred a corresponding increase in reported cybercrime-related financial losses by individuals. Most victims were individuals (89%), male (53%) and over 25 years of age (87%); however, differences in victim type were observed within offence categories. While a high proportion of victims have evidence about the incident (94%), the majority did not know their perpetrator and therefore few reports included suspect details (28%). The majority (71%) of reports were closed by police in RCAP with no further investigation undertaken. Reports were however more likely to be referred to police when the incident involved a victim aged 17 years or younger, the suspect was known to the victim, money was lost, or an OIA offence was indicated.
Our results show that cybercrime in NSW largely follows the same increasing trend that has been observed in national cybercrime studies. However, the statistics we report here only offer a partial view of reported cybercrime in NSW as we do not capture data reported directly to police or other national reporting systems. There are clear benefits in ongoing public reporting of cybercrime trends both at the national level and separately for individual states and territories, which could be enabled by integrating reporting systems and enhancing police data.