LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO: Some 45% of consumers have fallen victim to cybercrime, yet almost two-thirds (65%) chose not to report the incident to the authorities, a new survey has revealed.

That is according to a key finding by research firm Opinium, which polled 3,457 consumers across the US and eight European markets on behalf of MarkMonitor, a US software security company.

The European markets surveyed included the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands, and the poll also revealed that one-in-six consumers have lost funds to online fraud, with a fifth (20%) losing in excess of £1,000.

As reported by IFSEC Global, the most common types of fraud were false requests to reset social media account passwords (20%) and emails that impersonate legitimate companies in an attempt to solicit personal information (17%).

Of particular note for brands, the survey also found that a full 71% of consumers said they believed such events damage an organisation's reputation, two-thirds (65%) thought they diminished trust in a brand, while 53% said they wouldn't engage with the brand in future.

Also relevant is the finding that consumers said they regard social media channels (16%) and social media advertising (14%) as the least trusted channels.

"Cybercrime is affecting both brands and consumers, and is only set to rise as our use of the internet increases," said Mark Frost, CEO of MarkMonitor.

"As a result there needs to be a multi-layered approach to online brand protection, to ensure customer trust, reputation and bottom line are maintained," he continued.

"This research demonstrates that consumers are not only aware of the severity of cybercrime and the tactics employed, but also the effects these attacks have on the brands themselves. Yet despite these high levels of awareness, they are still falling victim to cybercrime."

Data sourced from IFSEC Global; additional content by Warc staff