Incidents of cybercrime were the leading cause of calls to the police’s 1480 cyber safety helpline during the last three months of 2023, according to the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute (Pik).

Pik’s report into calls to 1480 during the final quarter of last year showed that the calls related to cybercrime included matters such as hacking and financial fraud or identity theft via social networks or email.

A total of 740 people called 1480 during that period, of whom 405 – just shy of 72 per cent – were calling regarding cybercrime.

Additionally, a total of 176 calls were made to the number regarding matters unrelated to the services the helpline provides.

Meanwhile, 61 calls were made regarding technical support and 26 calls were made regarding cyberbullying, while 12 calls were made regarding issues of data privacy.

At the same time, 31 calls were made regarding sexual extortion, while 12 calls were made regarding “incidents of non-consensual sending or receiving of sexually explicit [material].”

Almost two thirds of callers to the helpline were women, while 98 per cent were calling to report misconduct on the part of adults.

Pik also said that one notable phenomenon was people being cold called on WhatsApp’s video call function by people pretending to be working on behalf of the police, and said that for this reason, they ask the public to be “extra careful” and not answer video calls from unknown numbers.