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Cyber Crime Compensation

Cyber crime is big news. It’s almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or turn on the television without hearing that an organisation has been hacked. Often with thousands of customers put at risk.

Cyber crime can have very serious consequences for the victims. This isn’t just about financial losses, but also includes the emotional distress and loss of privacy such crimes often involve.

In some cases, these hacks are massive news stories. But, as well as working on big group actions, every day, we also help people come to terms with smaller cyber crimes. And these cases have a severe and often lasting impact on them.

In many cases, cyber crimes are the result of negligence on the part of businesses and other organisations that hold victims’ personal data. This can make living with the impact particularly frustrating and upsetting.

If you have been the victim of a cyber crime due to security failures by an organisation that held your personal data, you have a right to claim compensation.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we have decades of combined experience in helping victims of cyber crime to claim compensation. We can do this for your financial losses, emotional distress and loss of privacy.

We understand that taking legal action over a cyber crime can be stressful, especially while you are dealing with the emotional impact of being the victim of a crime. That’s why we make sure you always know what’s happening with your case and remove the jargon from the process to keep things as simple and stress-free as possible.

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Where we believe you have a case for claiming compensation, we may be able to act for you on a no win, no fee basis, removing any financial risk for the process of making a claim.

Think you are entitled to cyber crime compensation? Use our simple and secure online claim form to share the details of your situation and we will get back to you shortly to let you know whether we can help.

To speak to a member of our team now about what to do if you have been a victim of cyber crime, please call us on 0330 041 5131.

Types of cyber crime claims we can assist with

Hayes Connor Solicitors can help you to claim compensation for a range of cyber crime violations including:

  • Identity Theft
  • Hacking
  • Phishing
  • Cyberextortion
  • Data Protection Breaches & Other Data Leaks
  • Fraud & Financial Crimes
  • Copyright Infringements
  • Online Harassment

What to do if you have been the victim of cyber crime

Reporting cyber crime

If you have been the victim of online fraud or identity theft, contact Action Fraud. You can do this online or via telephone. Action Fraud is the national fraud reporting service. It is the starting point for any police investigation into your loss.

For any other form of cyber crime such as online stalking, harassment, or fears about sexual grooming, you should contact the police directly.

If someone is convicted of a cyber crime, the court may order them to pay you compensation.

Where the authorities are not interested, we can assist with a private prosecution.

Seeking criminal compensation for cyber crime

If you want the court to consider awarding you compensation, you need to tell the police. You also need to give them details about any damage or distress you have suffered. The police will pass this information to the Crown Prosecution Service. It will then request compensation in court. However, in criminal proceedings, it can be difficult to persuade the prosecutor to seek a compensation order (following a conviction).

Making a private prosecution

Where the authorities are not interested, or where you do not want to make a criminal case, our cyber crime lawyers can help you make a private prosecution. With this approach, your case goes before a judge in a civil trial. Often these cases are settled out of court. Proceedings can be started quickly, without any uncertainty over whether the prosecutor will investigate the matter.

However, a wide range of factors will determine whether this is possible and how successful you are likely to be. This includes where the fraudster is, how many people suffered, and whether money is available for compensation. Many such cases result in out-of-court settlements.

Making a cyber crime compensation claim

Are you owed cyber crime compensation?

Cyber crime is difficult to avoid, even when you are taking all sensible precautions. It is often the result of an organisation failing to put the necessary prevention methods in place to keep your data safe.

To make matters worse, many companies are falling short of what we would expect when a failure in data privacy occurs. In our experience, companies are still responding with a pre-packaged “we won’t do it again” approach. This fails to recognise the full impact of the breach, which can be very significant for victims.

Where a company or organisation has failed to meet its obligations to keep your personal information safe under the terms of the Data Protection Act 2018 and other data protection rules, you will be entitled to compensation.

How to start a cyber crime compensation claim

Once you contact our cyber crime solicitors and we establish that you have grounds for compensation, we will take care of the claims process for you.

Our team cyber crime solicitors contact the company you hold responsible for failing to protect your data. Where we believe you were let down by their security processes, we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.

To get the claims process started, you can use our simple and secure online claim form to share the details of your situation and we will get back to you shortly to let you know whether we can help.

To speak to a member of our team now about what to do if you have been a victim of cyber crime, please call us on 0330 041 5131.

What is the key UK legislation relating to cyber security?

The key legislation to computer crime and cyber security in the UK is the Computer Misuse Act 1990. This is the act under which cybercriminals are prosecuted for cybercrime attacks, including hacking, cyber fraud, and ransomware attacks.

What is the law on cyber crime in the UK?

Cyber crime is the term used by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) used to describe specific types of crime. The Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy describes the following types of cyber crime:

  • Cyber-dependent crimes – Crimes that can only be committed through digital devices. This includes where the device is the tool for committing the crime, or the target of the crime. For example, malware and hacking.
  • Cyber-enabled crimes – ‘Traditional’ crimes that are increased in scale or exacerbated by the use of a digital device. For example, cyber fraud and identity theft.

Anyone convicted of a cyber crime offence could face serious penalties, including prison sentences. Victims of cyber crime could also be in a position to make a claim for any losses they have faced, such as claiming compensation for identity theft or internet fraud.

Who regulates cyber security in the UK?

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is the UK’s ‘technical’ authority for handling cyber threats. It forms part of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

What is considered cyber fraud?

Cyber fraud (also referred to as internet fraud) involves any form of dishonest activity carried out via a computer or online network that results in a dishonest advantage. The advantage gained from internet fraud is often financial and at the expense of an innocent victim.

Which forms of cyber crime are the most common?

In 2022, the most reported cyber crimes included:

  • Phishing
  • Personal data breaches
  • Non-payment or non-delivery
  • Extortion
  • Identity theft
  • Credit card fraud
  • Ransomware
  • Malware
  • Overpayment fraud

Being the victim of any of these crimes would require tailored cyber crime legal advice. This is something our team can provide.

What compensation can you get for cyber crime?

Financial losses

Cyber crime can result in both financial and identity theft. And the result of either of these can be devastating. With enough information, cybercriminals can apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts.

Distress, anguish and anxiety

Even if you haven’t lost out financially after a data breach, this doesn’t mean that there is “no harm done.” A personal data breach is a 21st-century version of being burgled. If a criminal came into your home and stole your private information, you would be distressed. So why should you feel any less upset at having your online data taken?

Being the victim of a crime can have a significant impact on you mentally and physically. Everyone reacts differently, but for some people, the effects can include a lack of sleep, feeling ill, unsettled or confused. Stress can also affect your friends, your family and your job.

Loss of privacy

You do not have to have experienced harm as a direct result of a data breach and subsequent cyber crime. If a company does not protect your data in the way it is legally obliged to do, and you have suffered a loss of privacy, you can make a claim. A common example of loss of privacy is if your email address was stolen or otherwise put at risk.

Understanding the full impact of the cyber crime is not always immediate

Cyber crime can lead to your personal and sensitive data getting into the wrong hands. Often through the creation and spreading of viruses, hacking, and the use of counterfeit software, In the worst cases, this can lead to you falling victim to financial fraud and identity theft.

At Hayes Connor, our internet crime solicitors deal with hundreds of different types of data hack cases. And one thing that has become apparent to our solicitors is that the full impact is often unclear until months after the initial violation.

We have seen cases where the financial losses only start to occur three to six months later with stolen data batched and used over time. According to one report, the stolen personal data of UK citizens is selling for as little as £10 on the dark web. The data offered provides more than enough information for hackers to commit cyber crimes.

Claiming compensation for company negligence leading to cyber crime

Over the last few years, mobile phone networks, tech firms, retailers, and banks have all hit the headlines due to data security breaches. In many cases, these offences happened because of poor IT and data management practices.

So, as well as going after the criminal, you can also make a cyber crime claim to hold these organisations to account for such breaches.

Claiming Credit card compensation following cyber crime

If you pay for something using a credit card and are the victim of fraud, you are entitled to an extra level of protection.

Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, customers who have a claim against a seller for breach of contract or misrepresentation may also have an equal claim against their credit card company. Just as importantly, you can pursue a claim against both parties at the same time.

Purchases of between £100 and £30,000 made wholly or partially with a credit card are protected under the act. We’ll advise you on whether you can claim compensation from your credit card company for any losses.

How to stay safe following data privacy hack

Here are a few steps to help protect your personal information following a data hack:

  • Change your passwords on all your accounts.
  • Register with a suitable fraud prevention service.
  • Consider a credit freeze until the matter is resolved.
  • Beware of fraudsters who attempt to gather personal information (phishing).
  • Keep an eye on your credit score for any unexpected dips (register for updates).
  • Let the credit reference agencies know of any activity that was not down to you.
  • Register with the CIFAs protective registration service. This will slow down credit applications made in your name with additional verification checks made to ascertain that the applicant is actually you.
  • Contact your bank/credit card provider immediately if you are worried that your financial details are at risk.  Ask them to keep a close eye on your account and request a new card.
  • Look out for any bills or emails showing goods or services you haven’t ordered, or any unfamiliar transactions on your account. Alert your bank or card provider immediately if there is any suspicious activity.
  • Report any suspected phishing attempts to the police and relevant authorities (Action Fraud).

For more advice on how to keep your data safe, follow our #NotJustHackers campaign on Twitter and Facebook

Start your cyber crime claim today

At Hayes Connor Solicitors we help you to claim compensation and steer you through the aftermath of a cyber crime – minimising the impact on you as much as possible.

With strict time limits in place for cyber crime claims, it’s important to act now to make sure you don’t miss out on your right to claim.

You can find out more about our expertise and how we handle claims here. To have your claim assessed for free, you can use our secure online claim form. Or to speak to our cyber crime solicitors, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0330 041 5131.