Cybercrime & Fraud update – 27 July 2021

The latest Office for National Statistics cybercrime and fraud statistics have been published. They show the position for the 12 months ending March 2021 compared to the 12 months ending March 2020 (i.e. before COVID).

The figures for the latter period show 1,749,000 incidents of cybercrime, up 99.7% – an unprecedented increase for any type of crime in such a short period – and 4,640,000 incidents of fraud – an increase of 26.3%.

There is also now evidence of Artificial Intelligence being used by what are ‘cybercrime businesses’ to identify target organisations where there is the combination of the most vulnerabilities (and so requiring the least resource to attack them) and the greatest gain to be made (in pensions either through the theft and sale of beneficiary data or through the payment of ransoms after ransom ware attacks).

Sadly, it has to be said the increases revealed by these figures are only likely to get worse. With incidents of both cybercrime and fraud taking place in the pensions sector, EVERY pensions administrator and pensions scheme should review their protection. Being protected against what was happening a year or two years ago is not good enough – we need to be protected against the extent and nature of what is happening now. And like organisations have an audit of the correctness of their accounts, a fresh review is a good idea.


Jim Gee, Partner and National Head of Forensic Services
Crowe UK LLP – PASA Experts for Cybercrime & Fraud