Common Types of Cybercrime to Look Out For

The cyber-world has greatly expanded in the last two decades. Today, the globe is much more connected than a physical village, allowing us to do a lot over the internet. We now have social media platforms, cloud storage, e-wallets, and online payment options that have made life significantly easier.

But with that convenience has come the need to store valuable personal and financial information on the internet. So naturally, this has attracted its fair share of different types of cybercrime. In fact, cybercrime is probably one of the biggest criminal enterprises in the world. Today, fraudsters and hackers can quite easily access a victim’s financial and personal information.

This information is then used to steal funds from the victim or blackmail the individual into giving in to the cybercriminal’s demands. Therefore, individuals and organizations must know about the various types of cybercrime and how to protect themselves against cyber fraud.

How does cybercrime occur?

Cybercrime is a crime where a computer is used as a tool to commit an offense or is the object of the crime. It occurs when a cybercriminal uses a device to access a victim’s personal information, government information, or confidential business information. They then use this information to steal from the victim or sell it online to other fraudsters and hackers. It’s also a cybercrime to use another device to disable users, businesses, or government devices.

In this increasingly connected world, the threat of cybercrime is more prevalent than ever. This is where our cybersecurity services come into play. At Privin Network, we specialize in providing comprehensive cybersecurity solutions designed to protect personal and business data from being compromised.

Common types of cybercrime today


There are three major categories of cybercrime;

  1. Property: Property cybercrime involves the criminal illegally possessing an individual’s personal or financial details. It’s a little similar to real-life theft or robbery, only this time; it happens within the cyber world.
  2. Individual: This involves an individual distributing illegal or malicious information online. Crimes like distributing pornography and cyberstalking fall under this category.
  3. Government: Now, this is a little too serious. It may not be as common as the other two, but a crime against the government is as serious as terrorism. Moreover, such attacks are typically executed by rival nations or terrorist organizations.

Understanding which sectors are most vulnerable and the specific strategies for defense can further enhance our preparedness against these digital threats. Learn more about the 5 Top Industries Vulnerable to Cybercrime and PI Defense Strategies.


Ever received an email that just didn’t feel right? You might have, at least once, received an email from a “Prince” promising a fortune. These aren’t just spam; they’re phishing scams.

Disguised as legit requests, they aim to snatch your passwords or credit card info. These scams are cunning, relying on moments when you might be less cautious. Phishing involves using spam emails, or other forms of communication, to trick the recipients into doing things that undermine their security or that of the organization they work for. Typically, phishing messages contain links to malicious sites or have infected attachments. They may even be as broad as to as receiver to reply with confidential personal or financial information.

Spear-phishing is a more targeted form of phishing that tries to trick certain individuals into compromising the security of the organization they work for. The messages are typically crafted to look like they come from a trusted source, like the company’s CEO or head of a department.


Cyberstalking is one of the most intimidating types of cybercrime out there. The criminal, known as a cyberstalker, follows their victim online. They keep track of the victim’s online activity, looking for vulnerabilities that allow them to harvest information about the user, harass them, and make threats.
Unfortunately, children also fall victim to this kind of cybercrime. Stalkers, usually adult predators and pedophiles, have been known to prey on innocent children browsing the internet. They thrive on attacking inexperienced web users and can be found in chat rooms, websites, discussion forums, social media, and email.

Distributed Denial-of-Service (DOS) attacks

Cybercriminals use Denial-of-service (DOS) attacks to bring down a network or system over the internet. The whole point of DDoS is to deny service to the intended users of the system or service. During an attack, hackers spam the system with multiple requests, causing the resource to crash or slow down so much that no one can use it.

Cybercriminals usually use the threat of a DDoS attack to demand money from the targeted company. They may also use it as a distraction to occupy the attention of cyber security teams as another type of cybercrime takes place.

Malware attacks

Ever been locked out of your computer? That’s ransomware in action. It locks you out until you pay up. And it’s not just individuals; businesses can be crippled too.

Take, for example, the recent case of a New York hospital. A single attack froze their entire system, demonstrating just how disruptive this can be.

These types of cybercrime use computer viruses and other types of malware to attack computer systems and networks. Once a computer (system) is infected, the malware can then steal confidential data or damage and erase data in the device. In some cases, the computer is completely hijacked and used to carry out other criminal activities.

May 2017’s WannaCry ransomware attack is a good example of such cybercrimes. The attack used ransomware to target and affect vulnerabilities in 230,000 computers across 150 countries. Victims were locked out of their files. Each received a message demanding that they pay a Bitcoin ransom if they wanted to regain access. In to, the attack causes $4 billion in financial losses worldwide. In addition, the attack caused $4 billion in financial losses worldwide.

Use reliable antivirus software and other comprehensive internet security solutions to protect your computer systems from malware and phishing attacks. These allow you to scan, detect, and remove/block potential threats before they become a problem. That said, remember to keep your antivirus software updated at all times to enjoy the highest levels of protection.

Identity theft and Credit Card Fraud

Identity theft and Credit Card Fraud

In identity theft cases, the criminal gains access to a user’s confidential information. They then use this information to steal funds or participate in tax, health, or insurance fraud while assuming the victim’s identity. For instance, cybercriminals will open a phone or social media account in your name and use it to plan a government activity or to claim benefits.

Identity theft is closely linked to other types of cybercrimes. For example, hackers will use tricks like phishing and malware attacks to access a victim’s credentials. A more common type of identity card is credit card fraud, where pre-approved credit cards fall into someone else’s hands.

Prohibited/illegal content

This form of cybercrime involves the sharing and distributing illegal or inappropriate content that is typically considered highly distressing and offensive. Such content includes videos with intense violence, sexual activity between adults, materials advocating for terrorism and child exploitation materials.

This usually looks like a threat demanding payment to keep sensitive information private? This is online blackmail. Often, cybercriminals might claim they have compromising information or media, pushing victims to pay up out of fear.

Emerging Cyber Threats in 2024

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) become integral to our digital lives, they also pave new paths for cyber threats. From AI-powered phishing to exploiting IoT vulnerabilities, the cyber threat landscape is evolving rapidly. It’s crucial that we understand these emerging threats and take proactive steps to protect ourselves in this ever-changing digital frontier.

AI-Powered Cyber Attacks

As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies become more sophisticated, cybercriminals are leveraging these tools to enhance their attacks. AI-powered cyber attacks can automate the creation of phishing content that is highly personalized and more convincing, making traditional security measures less effective. Additionally, AI can be used to develop malware that adapts to avoid detection and to conduct social engineering attacks at scale.

How to Protect Yourself From AI-Powered Cyber Attacks?

To counter AI-powered attacks, organizations should invest in AI-driven security solutions that can predict and neutralize threats before they materialize. Regular security training for employees to recognize sophisticated phishing attempts is also crucial.

IoT Device Attacks

The Internet of Things (IoT) has significantly expanded the attack surface for cybercriminals. Many IoT devices lack robust security features, making them easy targets. Hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities to gain access to wider network systems, steal personal information, or launch large-scale Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks.

How to Protect Yourself From IoT Device Attacks?

Secure IoT devices by changing default passwords, regularly updating firmware, and isolating them on separate network segments. Consider using security solutions specifically designed for IoT environments.

Supply Chain Attacks

Supply chain attacks occur when a cybercriminal infiltrates a system through an outside partner or provider with access to systems and data. This type of attack can have cascading effects, impacting multiple organizations at once. Notable examples include the SolarWinds attack, which highlighted the potential scale and impact of such vulnerabilities.

How to Protect Yourself from Supply Chain Attacks?

Organizations should conduct thorough security assessments of their suppliers and implement strict access controls. Continuous monitoring of network traffic for unusual activities can also help detect anomalies that may indicate a breach.

CyberCrime Statistics

Cybercrime is pretty bad. Individuals and corporations in the United States lose billions of dollars to cybercriminals each year. In fact, global cybercrime damages are predicted to reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. To put this into better perspective, here is a look at some terrifying statistics about this issue;

  • A report on cybersecurity predicted that the cost of cybercrime would reach a massive $9.5 trillion in 2024 and exceed $10.5 trillion in 2025
  • Phishing attacks increased by a whopping 1,265% in 2023, thanks in part to the growth of generative AI
  • An Apple sponsored independent study found that breaches reached an all-time high for the first nine months of 2023, coming in at 20% more than any other year for the same period.
  • Identity fraud losses tallied a total of $20 billion in 2022 and affected 15.4 million U.S. adults, according to data
  • Two out of ten Americans have dealt with ransomware attacks.
  • 53% of consumer PCs and 50% of business PCs that were infected by malware got re-infected within the same year.
  • The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received a record 880,418 complaints in 2023, which is nearly a 10% increase from 2022.
  • In 2020, according to the FBI, there were 791,790 suspected cybercrimes. This was an increase of more than 300,000 cyber crimes from the previous year. It’s important to note that cybercriminals don’t discriminate. They attack anyone and anything, as long as they are vulnerable.
  • ISS, a Denmark-based company, suffered a cyber attack in February 2020. That single attack cost the company upwards of $50 million.
  • Fraudsters from China hacked the servers of the US Office of Personnel Management in 2015. The hackers made away with the personal information, including fingerprints, of more than 20 million people.
  • In 2014, Home Depot was hacked by cybercriminals who gained access to the credit card numbers of approximately 56 million customers.
  • In 2013, Target fell for a cyber fraud scam that compromised the credit card numbers of approximately 40 million customers.

These big corporations spend millions of dollars each year on cyber security, yet they still fall victim to cybercrime. Want to protect yourself against cybercrimes? Take precautionary measures like using a VPN, having two-factor authentication installed and avoiding opening emails from unknown senders. If you want to know more about how to protect yourself against cyberthreats, read our detailed guide on what to do if you are a victim of cyberthreats.

Need Help Enhancing Your Cybersecurity?

Cyber crimes will probably be around for as long as the internet exists. But as long as you’re familiar with the types of cybercrime fraudsters and what to do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim, you should be relatively okay. However, navigating the complexities of cyber threats and implementing effective defenses can be challenging without expert guidance.

If you or your organization need help improving your security posture, don’t wait until you are a victim of cybercrime. Contact Privin Network today for a free consultation.

Our team of cybersecurity experts is equipped to assess your current security measures, identify vulnerabilities, and tailor a robust defense strategy that meets your specific needs.

Contact us today for a cybersecurity consultation and learn how we can help you stay secure in this digital age.

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