Cyber crime in Scotland: evidence review

A review of the evidence around the scale and nature of cyber crime affecting individuals and businesses in Scotland.

6. Glossary

Advance fee fraud Type of fraud where criminals target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.
Bank and credit account fraud Fraudulent access to bank, building society or credit card accounts or fraudulent use of plastic card details e.g. used to make a payment.
Card fraud Fraudulent activity carried out using bank, credit, debit and charge cards or card details.
Computer misuse Captures a number of crimes generally covered by the Computer Misuse Act 1990. Activities grouped under this label mainly centre around unauthorised access to and (sometimes subsequent) attacks on computer systems, networks and data.
Consumer and retail fraud Fraud related to criminals conning an individual into buying something, which is subsequently found to be fraudulent, often through a bogus phone call, email or letter. Examples include online shopping scams and fraudulent computer service calls.
Cyber-dependent crime Crime committed using computer, networks or other ICT technology. Digital systems are typically the targets of these crimes.
Cyber-enabled crime 'Traditional' crimes increased in their scale, reach or speed by the use of computers and the internet.
Cyber security Computer systems, networks and data are protected from and resilient to cyber threats.
Distributed Denial of Service Attacks ( DDoS) A method of taking an online service ( e.g. website) out of action by overloading or 'flooding' it with a large volume of traffic from multiple sources trying to access the website at the same time.
Fraud A crime in which some kind of deception (false representation) is used for personal gain e.g. money, goods/services, information etc. Fraudsters have become increasingly sophisticated and many types of fraud exist.
Hacking Where criminals break into computers, networks or websites to gain information or to stop an organisation from running as normal.
Identity theft/identity fraud Type of fraud that involves criminals accessing your personal information ( e.g. name, address, DOB, NI number) without consent and using it to impersonate you in order to open bank accounts, get credit cards, loans, and mortgages etc., in your name.
Indicative findings Are a sign or indication of findings but are not conclusive.
Misuse of facility fraud The misuse of an account, policy or product e.g. allowing criminal funds to pass through your account or paying in an altered cheque.
Malware, spyware and computer viruses Malicious software which infects computers, laptops, tablets or mobile phones, stopping them from working properly. In some cases the software also collects information or data saved on devices.
Online banking fraud When criminals gain access to and transfer funds from an individual's online bank account.
Other sexual crimes This is one of four categories used to present statistics on recorded sexual crimes- the others being 'Rape and attempted rape', 'Sexual Assault' and 'Crimes associated with prostitution'. The other sexual crimes category is made up of 41 specific crimes including Communicating indecently, Taking, possessing and distributing indecent photos of children, Sexual exposure, Public indecency and Causing to view sexual images or activity.
Payments industry Card issuers e.g. banks, credit card companies and card payment acquirers e.g. financial institution that processes credit or debit card payments on behalf of a merchant.
Phishing Type of fraud where criminals use fake e-mails or websites to obtain personal information and/or to get people to pay money.
Police recorded crime Crimes reported to, and recorded by, the police.
Random probability sampling All those within the defined population have equal chance of being selected to participate.
Ransomware A type of malware that prevents the use of a system or device, e.g. by locking the screen or by locking the users' files unless a ransom is paid.
Recorded crime/offence groups Crime groupings used to categorise police recorded crime statistics in Scotland. There are five crime groups and two offences groups.
Remote card fraud An individual's card details are fraudulently obtained and then used to undertake fraudulent purchases over the internet, phone or by mail order. It is also known as 'card-not-present' ( CNP) fraud.
Representative survey sample Small scale representation of the population from which it is drawn e.g. SCJS sample is adults aged 16 and over living in private households in Scotland.
Statistically significant/statistical significance Calculated statistically significant differences represent real differences rather than those that may have occurred purely by chance.
Unauthorised access Gaining access into someone's computer network without their permission, and then taking control and/or taking information.
Victimisation survey A survey that asks a sample of people whether or not they experienced any crimes over a fixed period of time. Includes crimes that were not reported to the police. The SCJS and CSEW are examples.
Weighted data Statistical procedure used to correct for unequal participation in surveys from different groups within the sample. Weighting applied so survey totals match known population totals.
Whaling Specific kind of malicious attack which targets people in positions of power and responsibility e.g. company executives, senior management etc.


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