Warwickshire Police is marking scam awareness month during July by raising awareness of identity crime, with the message ‘there’s only one you; keep it that way’.
Obtaining a person’s identity, in the form of their personal details, gives criminals the opportunity to commit identity crime, such as fraud. Fraudsters may be able to take over someone’s existing bank accounts, open new ones, obtain credit cards, loans and mobile phone contracts, order goods and get genuine documents in that person’s name.
Identity fraud was the largest fraud carried out against individuals, nationally, according to the Annual Fraud Indicator 2016, estimated at £5.4bn a year.
Warwickshire Police is urging people to be aware of the risk of this type of crime and to make sure they follow some simple steps to reduce the chances of falling victim.
“Cyber space provides numerous opportunities for fraudsters to get their hands on the personal data of unsuspecting people, often without them even realising. The good news is that there are simple steps that everyone can take to help protect themselves. We want people to be as well versed in looking after themselves in the virtual world as they are at keeping their belongings safe in the real world. Online cyber security should be as automatic as locking up homes and vehicles, for example.”
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector (T/DCI) Tim Bower
July’s awareness drive is being rolled out under the alliance’s #BeCyberSmart campaign, and is placing a particular focus on phishing, malware, passwords, antivirus and the importance of shredding documents containing personal details.
S Shred documents containing personal details before throwing them away.
M Make sure passwords are nonsensical. Use letters, numbers and symbols.
A Always use legitimate and up-to-date antivirus software.
R Remain vigilant. Think before you input or email your personal details.
T Think Phishing. Could that email be from a fraudster trying to get hold of your personal details?
If you have been a victim of fraud report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 20 40 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
For more information about our Cyber Crime work, please visit www.safeinwarwickshire.com/cybercrime
Be Cyber Streetwise is a cross-government campaign, funded by the National Cyber Security Programme. They aim to measurably and significantly improve the online safety behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses (SMEs).
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.