The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has reported an increase in reports of nuisance calls, texts and emails in the first half of 2021 in comparison to 2020.

According to official figures analysed by litigation firm Griffin Law, in the first half of 2021, the ICO received an average of 13,295 reports of nuisance calls, emails and texts per month, in comparison to just 8,680 per month throughout the whole of 2020.

The gap was even larger when comparing the total number of reports in the first half of 2020 (38,269) with 2021 (83,558) - an increase of 116%.

Majority of these reports in 2021 were related to Telecoms services, such as broadband, tv or phone, averaging just over 2,000 per month. This was followed by communication relating to banking and accident claims. Whilst in contrast, accident claims was the most frequent type of nuisance contacts in 2020.

It is believed that these figures are linked to the rise in social engineering scams and attack since the start of the pandemic. Ed Blake, area vice president EMEA for Absolute Software, told Infosecurity: ”’Nuisance’ contact has become synonymous with malicious cyber-attack attempts, which usually starts with a phishing, spam or malware email or text, sent to a recipient under the guise of a legitimate service or brand name.

“This is not to say that all reports of nuisance contact have malicious undertones, but it is certainly something that end-users and business decisions-makers must be aware of, particularly as the remote working climate has increased the cyber threat facing businesses.”