Cyber crime - the facts
Online fraud is now the most common crime in the country with almost one in ten people falling victim, the latest figures from the annual Crime Survey of England and Wales have revealed.
More than five and a half million cyber offences are now thought to take place each year accounting for almost half of all crime in the country.
But just a fraction of offences are reported to the police because victims either feel embarrassed or believe little can be done to catch those responsible.
How can I protect myself?
Taking basic security precautions when online can prevent you falling victim to cybercrime.
No bank, retailer, HMRC or other reputable organisation will ever contact you by email and ask you to enter all of your personal and financial details online. If you receive a message like this, report it to the legitimate organisation, delete it.
If possible, arrange for paperless bills and statements.
Do not share account information with friends, family or other people.
Ensure your anti-virus software is up to date.
Install an anti-spyware package and always use a firewall.
For information and advice on protecting yourself online visit www.getsafeonline.org.uk or www.cyberaware.gov.uk
How do I protect my organisation?
Trust no one. Any account can be compromised and malicious links can be sent from the accounts of friends on social media or colleagues. Never open attachments in emails from someone you don’t know.
Don’t click on links in emails from senders you don’t know. Instead, roll your mouse pointer or finger over the link to reveal the actual sender. If they’re different, it’s a scam. Even if you get an email that seems to come from someone you might know – but it seems unusual – the sender may be a fraudster who’s spoofed their address.
If in doubt, call (but don’t email) the sender.
Never respond to requests from suppliers requesting changes to bank account details without going through a process to check the legitimacy of their request.
November is Fraud Awareness Month. Watch out for further tips and advice from the Counter Fraud Team to protect you and your organisation against fraud. Don’t let the fraudsters get away with it!
If you have any concerns regarding fraud, bribery or corruption, please contact your Counter Fraud Specialist, Liz Coleman on 0115 8835320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To report fraud or attempted fraud and to report potential scam messages or emails which affect you as an individual, you can contact Action Fraud. For more information please visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk