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Rise in cybercrime targets online buyers

Reports of cybercrime targeting would-be online buyers are on the rise Keystone

The amount of suspected cybercrime being reported is on the rise particularly for attempts to defraud buyers and sellers on auction and advertising websites.

This content was published on March 26, 2015 - 15:03
swissinfo.ch, swissinfo.ch

The Federal Office of PoliceExternal link said it received 10,214 reports of cybercrime in 2014, up 11% on the year. Of particular concern were attempts to lure buyers into making online payments without sending them the merchandise, according to officials on Thursday.

Another rising target is small and medium-sized businesses. According to police, criminals are going to considerable lengths to get information on how companies and their employees pay for items. Last year, victims lost several million Swiss francs because of this type of fraud.

Although last year was the second in a row in which the number of sexual-based cyber offenses were reported to have declined, police said the trend could reflect perpetrators’ growing use of private P2P networks and the so-called Darknet which are less visible to the public.

From among 396 reports of pedophile content online, the police said that for the first time the vast majority of those reports – 307 – came from covert investigations in private communities rather than monitoring open source P2P networks.

Authorities carried out 27 undercover operations in chat rooms or on closed-source P2P file-sharing sites, resulting in the arrest of two paedophiles at a meeting with children they were grooming to become victims, according to police.

Another case involving a man using a webcam to connect with an undercover agent posing as an underage girl resulted in a referral to cantonal authorities.

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