13,949 cases of cybercrime recorded in the Netherlands in 2022

The number of recorded cases of cybercrime decreased slightly in 2022 compared to a year earlier, but the damage and consequences are enormous in the Netherlands. The police registered 13,949 incidents last year. This is a decrease of 2% compared to 2021, when there were 14,166 declarations. The number of reports of online crime fell by 28%. The police will continue to focus on prevention, disturbance and investigation.

Cybercrime is about crime where information and communication technology (ICT) is both the means and the goal. For example, hacking, committing DDoS attacks or installing ransomware. This is malicious software that criminals use to hold files or computers hostage and then demand money from the user to unblock them. Cybercrime must not be confused with digitized crime. In addition, criminals use a computer or phone to commit crimes, such as friend-in-need fraud or bank help desk fraud. Digitized crime fell by around 20,000 reports last year.


(Source Police NL – 2023)

Theo van der Plas is national program director Digitization and Cybercrime at the National Police. This program aims to translate the digitization of society into policing


“Thanks to targeted information, fewer and fewer victims of crime seem to be in need.” “Our investigations are also to blame. And the prosecutor’s office demands severe sentences, which the judge also imposes. But other cybercrimes are emerging: bank helpdesk fraud or boiler room fraud with so-called investments, where the victims have lost thousands, sometimes tons of money. Unfortunately, and becomes digital crime of this time‘- answers Theo van der Plas, program director Digitization and Cybercrime within the police.

The decrease in the number of reviews must therefore be seen in the right perspective. “It is an encouraging development, but the police figures are still alarmingly high. And they don’t tell the whole story’Van der Plas nuances. “More and more companies, but also municipalities and public institutions are falling victim to ransomware. Enormous sums are demanded. And sometimes also paid, although we as police advise against this. We cannot immediately see this worrying trend reflected in the figures, because unfortunately not all cases are reported. For example to prevent image damage. But the impact is enormous. Affected businesses are often out of business for extended periods of time and affected public bodies are temporarily unable to provide services to citizens. There is an increase in serious, internationally organized crime in this area.’

With the Ransomware Taskforce, the police emphatically focus on combating this. Private companies, government agencies and the National Cyber ​​​​Security Center (NCSS) are also part of the task force. Van der Plas:Together we are looking at how we can frustrate this criminal chain’s business model. For example, by disrupting their communication options. We do this in an international context, because the perpetrators work all over the world. Sometimes also from countries where we do not have access. This makes detection more difficult. Based on our operational insights, we also provide entrepreneurs and public institutions with information on improving the security of their ICT in collaboration with the Digital Trust Center. In this way, we increase digital robustness.’

Photo Amstelveen
(Source Erik van ‘t Woud / Police NL – 2020)

Floor Jansen, criminologist, social scientist and cyber security expert, is the team leader of the prevention team of the Dutch police. This team, called the Cyber ​​​​Offender Prevention Squad – or COPS. COPS operates under the banner of the High Tech Crime Team of the national unit


POLICE OFFICERS. The police also observe that young people in particular are increasingly turning to cybercrime at a younger age. Presumably because it is a relatively accessible form of crime, where the victims remain invisible to them. Therefore, the police emphatically target vulnerable young people to prevent them from slipping further away. This is done under the banner of the Cyber ​​​​Offender Prevention Squad (COPS), a police team where several areas of expertise have been brought together. ‘We investigate which factors play a role in committing cybercrime and devise interventions to prevent or break cybercriminal careers’, says Floor Jansen on behalf of the police. She founded COPS two and a half years ago.

The initiatives of this team range widely: from general information such as public campaigns to a targeted approach to vulnerable young people and first offenders. “We develop, test and evaluate our interventions,” says Jansen. ‘We are working closely with our operational police team to strengthen the effectiveness of their criminal investigations.’ This has led to several interventions such as online games that playfully make young people aware of the risks and consequences of cybercrime, workshops for vulnerable young people and their parents, stopping conversations with first offenders and convicted young cybercriminals who follow a program to prevent recidivism as part of their sentence. appearance.

With this approach, the Dutch police are an international forerunner in the prevention of offenders. Jones: ‘We have set up an international i-cop network and exchange knowledge with Europol. We also work with other police departments and private parties. The police are fully committed to preventing, disrupting and detecting cybercrime.’

Cybercrime is a crime, involving a computer or computer network. The computer may have been used in the commission of the crime or it may have been attacked. Cybercrime can harm someone’s security or finances.

Computer fraud is the use of a computer to remove or alter electronic data or to make unauthorized use of a computer or system. If computer fraud involves the use of the Internet, it can be considered Internet fraud.

Cyber ​​terrorism can be broadly defined as an act of terrorism committed using cyberspace or computer resources. Acts of deliberate, large-scale disruption of computer networks, particularly personal computers connected to the Internet, by means such as computer viruses, computer worms, phishing, malicious software, hardware methods or programming scripts can all constitute cyber terrorism.

Cyber ​​extortion is a form of extortion that occurs when a website, email server, or computer system is exposed or threatened with attacks by malicious hackers, such as denial-of-service attacks. Cyber ​​extortionists demand money in exchange for a promise to stop the attacks and provide “protection”.

Cybersex trafficking is transporting victims and then live streaming forced sexual acts or rape via webcam. Victims are kidnapped, threatened or tricked and transferred to “cybersex dens”. The caves can be located anywhere the cybersex traffickers have a computer, tablet or phone with an internet connection.

Cyber ​​warfare is the use of cyber attacks against an enemy state that cause damage comparable to actual warfare and/or disrupt vital computer systems. Some intended outcomes may include espionage, sabotage, propaganda, manipulation, or economic warfare. Also look around the website Fraudehelpdesk and see current warnings.

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