This Christmas, the City of London police who run Action Fraud, supported by police forces across the country, are launching a national awareness campaign to help prevent people from becoming victims of online shopping fraud as well as other types of fraud which people fall victim to during the seasonal period.
Over 30 days from Black Friday to Boxing Day, the ‘Advent Calendar of Christmas Fraud’ will offer advice and tips on how to beat the fraudsters this Christmas.
New figures released show that last year, victims reported losing over £10 million to fraudsters when shopping online for Christmas presents. The largest loss was one victim who lost £86,000 when he tried to purchase a boat from a fraudster on Ebay.
Figures for last Christmas show that 12,142 people said that they had been a victim of online shopping fraud during the Christmas period. 133 people said that they had been defrauded on Black Friday, with another 115 falling victim on Cyber Monday.
Fraudsters use these days to target shoppers, with analysis showing that mobile phones and footwear were the items most popular for victims to be defrauded buying.
Approaches via social media
Young people are increasingly being approached by fraudsters on social media channels who offer seemingly great Christmas shopping deals. Last year more people than ever reported that they had been initially approached on Instagram with a 64% increase compared to the year before.
Analysis of Action Fraud reports from last Christmas showed that items such as home electricals, mobile phones and jewellery were the most common items which fraudsters offered to victims.
Taking down websites used to commit fraud
City of London Police analyses all Action Fraud reports and tries to prevent more people falling victim of fraud by requesting the suspension of the websites, bank accounts and phone lines that fraudsters use to commit their crimes.
Last year 418 websites were disrupted by the team which was a 67% increase on the year before. Phone lines used by fraudsters were also disrupted by the team with 93 being taken down during December.
Complete the new 2016 Cyber Crime survey, so we can see the full scope of Cyber Crime in Warwickshire, and across West Mercia and the West Midlands – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RegionalCyber16
For more information about our work, please visit www.safeinwarwickshire.com/cybercrime
Cyber Aware 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.
ThinkUKnow is a national website which offers tailored advice to young people about online safety concerns. There is also a section on there if you are a parent/carer or a teacher who is concerned about a young person’s safety online.