LANCASHIRE Constabulary is running ‘The 12 online frauds of Christmas’ campaign to protect thousands of people across the county from falling victim to cyber-fraudsters.
Kicking-off on ‘Black Friday’ (28 November 2014), which marks the start of the busiest four days of internet shopping of the year, the force will be doing all it can to raise awareness of a dozen online frauds that have the potential to ruin people’s festive fun.
Working in partnership with the City of London Police, which is the National Policing Lead for Fraud, Lancashire Constabulary will be looking at the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of online shopping.
So far in 2014, 74% of all adults nationwide have bought goods or services online, and this December around 50% of UK citizens are expected to use the internet to buy more than half of their Christmas presents.
The majority of people will still have presents delivered to their doorstep or into their email account without a hitch.
However, the reality is there will also be tens of thousands of people across the UK whose Christmas will be damaged, and in some cases destroyed, after finding out they have fallen foul of heartless criminals who specialize in tricking internet users with the promise of great online deals and big cash savings.
Following ‘Black Friday’, the focus will be on ‘Cyber Monday’ (1 December 2014) and the hazards of opening Christmas e-Cards sent via email which, unknown to the recipient, may be carrying a virus (malware) that can embed itself and then corrupt their smart phone, tablet or laptop.
Over the following two weeks, Lancashire Constabulary, along with other forces and organistaions, will look at the threat of ten more online festive frauds, identified by the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).
Throughout ‘The 12 online frauds of Christmas’ campaign officers will be talking to local people and sharing top safety tips via traditional and social media. More internet safety advice can also be found at http://www.getsafeonline.org/ and http://www.cyberstreetwise.com
Lancashire Constabulary Detective Superintendent Lee Halstead, head of cyber crime, said: “So many people will be doing their shopping online this Christmas and we want to make sure they don’t fall victim to cyber-fraudsters and their scams. People need to understand the threat of cyber-crime and what they can do to stop themselves becoming a victim.
“Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting loads of tips on our social media channels on how to stay safe and we would urge people to follow us and take the advice on board.
“If anyone falls victim to one of the dozen festive frauds, or any other type of cyber-fraud, they are encouraged to report it to Action Fraud – the City of London Police-based national reporting centre – on 0300 123 040 or at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.