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Almost One In Two Requests At Cybersafety Helpline Concerned Cybercrime Incidents

Almost One In Two Requests At Cybersafety Helpline Concerned Cybercrime Incidents

Almost 1 in 2 requests received at a Helpline during the 2nd quarter of 2022 (from 1 April 2022 to 30 June 2022) is related to cybercrime, according to an announcement by the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute.

It is added that from April 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022, a total of 597 people contacted the Helpline 1480. 173 calls (29%), from the total number of calls, concerned requests for information about the pandemic and relevant benefits by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance.

Of the 424 incidents relevant to the Helpline services, 37.7% (160 people) were boys/men and 62.3% (264 people) were girls/women. In terms of caller profile, the majority of people who called for help and support 96.5% were adults (409 people). Only 15 people, out of a total of 424 callers, i.e. 3.5%, were minors (up to 18 years old), who used the 1480 Helpline to report personal difficulties on the Internet.

Regarding the reasons for contacting the Helpline, most requests were related to cybercrime incidents (47.2%), i.e. dealing with breach of privacy (hacking), financial fraud, etc., the announcement states. An increased number of related reports concerned the interception of codes and illegal access to Social Media. Callers reported receiving messages from profiles belonging to their group of online friends urging them to either invest in various cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin) by clicking on links to websites where they would have to fill out their social media account login details, or participate in purported contests, with malicious content that allowed third parties to gain access to their accounts.

Additionally, a large number of calls to the Helpline 1480 related to issues falling under the digital literacy/education category (13.0%).

At the same time, a significant number of calls concerned protection of personal data (12.3%) as well as incidents of online bullying (11.8%).

It is noted that, during this period, a number of incidents concerned sexual harassment (3.8%) (sending or sharing unsolicited content and comments, impersonating people with the intention of damaging their reputation, through sexual harassment, etc.), as well as incidents which involved sexual extortion (2.8%).

All citizens can contact the Helpline 1480 by calling, free of charge, the number 1480 from Monday to Friday, between 9.00 - 13.00 & 15.00 - 18.00, and Saturday 10.00 - 13.00, or by sending an email to [email protected] as well as via an electronic form         ( https://www.cybersafety.cy/helpline-report ) or via chat ( https://www.cybersafety.cy/helpline-chat ).

Source: CNA

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