Cyber criminals have ditched big money scams in favour of ‘silent stealing’ during pandemic, according to a report from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank. The paper said a phenomenon dubbed “silent stealing” – where threat actors con people out of as little as £10 – has begun on a mass scale as criminals are “going down market” from big money scams. Individual victims are less likely to report the loss of a small sum of money, while it is difficult for police and banks to know whether they are dealing with a single fraud or a big criminal operation worth millions of pounds, according to the research. Sneha Dawda, one of the authors, said silent stealing has become so popular because the high level of breached data available online makes it easy for criminals to buy people’s personal details and use them for fraud. RUSI last month warned fraud has reached “epidemic levels” and called for the crime to be prioritised as a national security issue with a greater role for the intelligence services.