Over 40% of Belgians were victims of phishing, in which people are lured to fake websites to scam them, according to the Safety Monitor 2021 survey, conducted by the federal police in cooperation with local police, the Federal Interior Department and local governments.
The survey, whose results were released on Thursday, shows that computer-related crime is the most common form of criminal act: 40.1% of its nearly 100,000 respondents were victims of phishing, 33.3% were confronted at least once with Internet scams, and 8.3% fell victim to hackers.
These figures include both attempts and cases in which the criminals were able to effectively obtain bank information or data and/or steal money.
Phishing, online scamming and hacking are some of the least reported crimes. Just 10% of victims of internet fraud reported the crime over the past year. For phishing the figure was 6.6% and for hacking 9.5%.
To this end, the police wish to encourage people to report such crimes, for example by further expanding and promoting non-urgent reporting through the Police-On-Web portal.