How to avoid becoming the victim of cyber crime

Online fraud warning
Online fraud warning
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As online retailers prepare for the busiest days of the year Nottinghamshire Police is supporting a campaign to prevent people falling victim to cyber crime.

The 12 online frauds of Christmas is a national campaign being shared by forces around the country.

Starting with Black Friday today (Friday 28th November 2014) it aims to highlight the dos and don’ts of online shopping.

So far in 2014 74 per cent of adults have bought goods or services online, and this December around 50 per cent of people in the UK are expected to use the internet to buy their Christmas presents.

While the majority of shoppers have presents delivered without a hitch there will also be tens of thousands of people who fall foul of criminals who specialise in tricking internet users with the promise of great online deals and big cash savings.

During 1 November 2013 and 28 February 2014 there were 14,066 reports of online shopping and auction fraud nationally. Two hundred and fifty six of these were linked to Nottinghamshire – with a total loss of £136,921.10.

As the campaign continues it will focus on advice around; opening emails that may contain viruses, money transfers, ticketing fraud, donating to charity and social media scams.

It will see forces working with a range of public and private sector organisations to flag up the threat of online frauds, identified by the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).

Nottinghamshire Police recently launched a cyber crime campaign with a new prevention website.

Detective Inspector Andy Baguley, head of fraud and financial investigation said: “Easy access to the internet has revolutionised the way we shop and pay for gifts. Unfortunately it has also made us vulnerable to crooks that specialise in creating online cons that lure people in with the promise of cheap deals and stress-free purchasing, or that corrupt our smartphones, tablets and lap tops with computer viruses.

“Many people think that the term cyber crime only refers to hacking, but in reality it is much broader. It generally refers to any offence that takes place online. It can be anything from being coaxed into sending someone money after meeting them on an online dating website, to a criminal accessing your smart phone data and apps through an intercepted public wifi area.

“Our key message to the public is that a large majority of cyber crime is easily preventable by making small and simple changes to the way we use internet technology. The new webpage will help you do this.”

Anyone who is a victim of cyber crime should call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

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