North Yorkshire Police has today launched the next part of its six-month awareness campaign to help the public protect themselves against online fraud.
Almost all frauds now use computers or technology in some way, with criminals taking advantage of the anonymity of the online world to steal from their victims.
Online fraud covers everything from online shopping, holiday fraud, romance and dating fraud, ticketing fraud, online banking and much more.
In many cases criminals will search the internet to find insecure devices, send emails containing malicious software and set up fake websites.
Between April 2017 and September 2017, 14% of victims of fraud in North Yorkshire reported that that they had been defrauded online.
The force hopes that this part of the campaign will help to highlight some of the methods that fraudsters use to deceive their victims online and help the public to recognise and protect themselves against them.
Speaking about online fraud, Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, Head of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Fraud and Economic Crime Unit said:
“Online fraud is one of the biggest enablers of fraud both in North Yorkshire and right across the country.
“Every month we receive reports of people being deceived out of their hard-earned money online but a few simple security measures can reduce your chances of becoming a victim.
“This part of our ‘Take Five North Yorkshire’ campaign will provide guidance on some of these crimes and highlight some of the steps that our communities can take to protect themselves against online fraud.”
Six ways you can protect yourself online:
- Be wary about the personal information you post online, ensure you check your privacy settings on social media sites.
- Ensure your password is strong using three random words e.g. ‘boatfishtulip’.
- Have a strong separate password for your email account, if available set up 2 factor authentication.
- Use anti-virus software on all devices and update regularly.
- Back up your important date regularly using an external device of cloud storage service.
- Secure your tablet or smartphone with a screen lock.
More details about the campaign and advice on how to keep safe from fraud can be found at northyorkshire.police.uk/fraud or by following North Yorkshire Police on Facebook and Twitter.
If you are a victim of fraud
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, call North Yorkshire Police on 101 or report it to Action Fraud by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. In an emergency or if a crime is in action dial 999.
If you have any information regarding those responsible for such crimes, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.
To request a visit
As part of the ‘Take Five North Yorkshire’ campaign North Yorkshire Police is inviting community groups, services and other organisations, in particularly those that support the elderly and vulnerable, to request for a representative from the force to visit and deliver a fraud prevention session and answer any questions.
To request for a visit please contact email@example.com and provide the following details:
- Name and position of visit organiser
- Full name of group / organisation
- Full address of group / organisation
- Email address of visit organiser
- Contact number of visit organiser
- Number of people you’d like us to speak to
- Age range of audience
For more details about organising an event please visit: northyorkshire.police.uk/fraudroadshow