Reports of cybercrime being committed by people on the autism spectrum often imply that autism may be more prevalent among cybercriminals than the general population, although this remains unproven. In an online survey of 302 participants, we found that autistic individuals (n = 25) were more likely to report engagement in cybercrime than non-autistic individuals, but this relationship was not mediated by advanced digital skills or deficits in theory of mind. Furthermore, independent of autism diagnosis, autistic traits were not significantly associated with self-reported cyber-criminality. We propose that there may be additional factors moderating the relationship between autism, autistic traits, and cybercrime, such as specific autistic characteristics, understanding of cybercrime, and willingness to disclose criminal activity.
- Autistic traits