Crooks have stolen more than 70 million rubles ($2.26 million) in online scams this year, with police catching 1 1/2 times more cyber crimes over the same period, police said Thursday.
And Alexei Moshkov, head of the Interior Ministry's technological crime department, told journalists that the real amount of money stolen could be even higher, as those who lose smaller sums of money are less likely to report crimes, Interfax reported.
The most common form of cyber crime is online credit-card fraud committed by well-organized criminal groups, Moshkov said, adding that police recently apprehended one such group and have opened a criminal investigation.
At the news briefing, Moshkov also called for changes to the law regulating anonymous Internet payment systems, which are used by online criminals to channel misappropriated funds into unidentifiable accounts.
The police chief said that responsibility for preventing cyber crime should also fall on the business community and that network providers should regularly warn customers about the latest threats.
According to a September report by security giant Symantec, more than 550 million people worldwide fell victim to cyber crime in the year preceding the study.