Complaints about cybercrimes and particularly about password theft and illegally accessing social media have increased as indicated by statistical data presented regarding the services provided by the 1480 helpline.
According to the data, during the third quarter of 2022 (July 1, 2022, until September 30, 2022) 797 people called the helpline 1480. Out of these calls, 135 (16.9%) were not related to the services provided by the line.
Regarding the other 662 calls that had to do with the line’s services, 406 callers (61.3%) were female, and the rest were male. The vast majority of the callers were adults (99.5%).
Most calls reported cybercrime (53.17%), such as hacking, and financial fraud.
Callers mainly mentioned that they received messages fraudulent messages from “friends” who were hacked asking them to send a verification code to their mobile to regain access to their account thus also providing access to the callers’ own accounts as well.
In these cases, the helpline guided the callers to regain control of their accounts, advising them to be careful when asked to provide passwords or social security numbers.
Additionally, a large number of calls (20.39%) referred to digital literacy/education.
Another large number of calls referred to the way to protect personal data (8.16%) and incidents of cyberbullying (6.04%).
All citizens can contact the 1480 line for free (Monday-Friday 09:00-13:00 and 15:00-18:00 and Saturdays 10:00-13:00), send an email to [email protected], or report their complaints by completing a form online (https://www.cybersafety.cy/helpline-report) or through chat (https://www.cybersafety.cy/helpline-chat).
The helpline provides advisory and support services to children, young people, parents, and teachers regarding the safe and ethical use of the internet and of digital technologies.