North Yorkshire Police (NYP) has launched a campaign in the fight against Cybercrime.
The campaign, which will run throughout October, aims to raise awareness of the threat of this complex type of crime and encourage people to be more vigilant.
Information about the most common online threats and scams in North Yorkshire will be published via social media channels, along with prevention advice.
Modern technology such as mobile devices and international computer gaming is now a part of everyday modern society.
Demand for quick time information, purchasing and instant online social activity is widespread across the globe – as is, unfortunately, the opportunity for Cybercrime. More and more criminals are exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activities.
So far in 2015, there have been 480 Cyber-related incidents reported to North Yorkshire Police. The incidents include fraudulent online sales, identity theft and online Child Sexual Exploitation.
In addition, the number of reports made by North Yorkshire residents to Action Fraud from 1 January 2015 to 31 July 2015 is 844. The total cost to the victims is £1,800,198.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Walker, Head of Cybercrime at NYP said:
“North Yorkshire is just as vulnerable to Cybercrime as anywhere else in the country and the public need to understand that.
“The number of reported incidents is significant and whether of personal, financial or sexual nature, the fact is that this type of crime is a real increasing threat.
“For example, one in four adults in the UK have fallen victim to identity fraud, and some of these live and work in North Yorkshire. Many people do not realise the scale of this problem and it is important to encourage people to take steps to ensure their own safety online.
“Don’t give criminals the ammunition to target you online. Really think about the information you are posting on social media such as Facebook and Twitter and the data you are providing when making bookings or purchases online. The modern day criminal has the technology and ingenuity to piece together data and personal information in order to target you via the internet.
“By taking a few simple security measures and thinking carefully about what information you are putting online, the chances of becoming a victim of cybercrime can be reduced dramatically.”
NYP has recently bolstered its resources to tackle this fast moving type of crime. All frontline detectives, intelligence officers, dedicated investigators and other specialist departments are receiving Mainstream Cybercrime Training.
In addition, NYPs new Cybercrime Unit is now in operation. This small team has been established to assist officers who are dealing with complex cyber-related cases and need specialist support. Officers within the unit also engage with partner agencies and members of the community to raise awareness of Cybercrime and offer prevention advice.
NYP will be hosting a live Cybercrime web chat at 5pm on Monday 19 October. Member of the public are encouraged to join this key online event and further details will be issued in due course.
Anyone who is worried they might have been a victim of Cybercrime is encouraged to contact the police for advice and support.
For more information about how to prevent becoming a victim of cybercrime, and for general online safety advice, visitwww.northyorkshire.police.uk/cybercrime
Thursday 1 October 2015.Last modified: June 13, 2016