David Cameron, current prime minister in the U.K., has asked support to the Metropolitan Police and Scotland Yard, as well as professional private investigation agencies cyber forensic departments for assistant during the upcoming Olympic Games which will be held in London in July 2012. The prime minister has also asked the media to warn and educate the population, and visitors for possible scams via the internet, using the Olympics to defraud victims.
The British government expects strong economic benefit from the Olympic Games. That and summer time, should light up the Britons’ gloomy mood out of the hard economic time they’ve been facing for the past years. For those looking for tickets, or travel deals online, private investigators say the risk for fraud is up sharply, as criminals also hope to cash in on the event.
Along with the security services, U.K. private investigators foresee a big threat as the U.K. is the second country in the world for percentage of citizens connected to the internet, just below the U.S. Besides the regular cyber attacks to the government and financial institutions, experts fear phishing scams, card frauds and identity theft as main concerns, not to mention cyber terrorism. “There were over 12 million cyber attacks during the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and the internet was not as popular then as it is today”, says Francis Maude, Minister of the Cabinet Office also in charge of security services, in a recent conference at the International Center for Defense Studies in the Republic of Estonia, Baltic region. The number of scams is expected to be high.
In the conference, Mr. Maude also pointed out that the internet is a powerful source of income to the U.K., as it generates 6% of the country’s GDP, import- export operations through e-commerce, which makes this country a perfect target for internet fraud usually performed by foreign criminals mainly in West Africa and Southeast Asia. International private investigators urge caution in all international business deals which involve a company or person via the internet.
Cyber crime has cost Great Britain over £650 million in the last four years alone, and the British government is investing an estimate of £400,000 on the Get Safe Online campaign focused to provide the population with education, information and advice on internet safety in response.
A recent survey by the Department for Cyber Security in the U.K. revealed that intellectual property theft is also a crime of major concern, as large organizations have been hacked nearly on a weekly basis, and some businesses face an average of one hack per month in England.
Summer and Olympic games are a very good excuse to visit the Queen and spend some time chilling out eating fish n’ chips in front of the Thames, but it is also time to be vigilant and if possible, verify before you shop or plan to reserve travel plans online. When in doubt, contact a reputable UK private investigator to conduct an in depth background check or UK due diligence.
All the best,
© 2012 S. Birch