Fraudsters cost Derbyshire £13.8million

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The police are supporting a campaign asking Derbyshire people to be vigilant online as it is revealed fraudsters cost the county £13.8million in the last year alone.

The figure released from Get Safe Online and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) shows the cost of fraud to the county in 2015/16 and includes cyber-crime.

The research also showed a gap in people’s understanding of what constitutes an online crime - 88 per cent of people who took part in the survey from the East Midlands said they had not been targeted by cyber-criminals in the past 12 months. However, 73 per cent had in fact been targeted in a variety of ways -

· 57 per cent received fraudulent emails or messages which have attempted to direct them to websites where their personal information could have been stolen

· 30 per cent reported being contacted by someone who was trying to trick them into giving away personal information

· nine per cent had their email or social media accounts hacked

· five per cent had been victims of ransomware.

Of those who said they had been a victim of cyber-crime, 43 per cent said they felt the matter was too trivial to report.

Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online, said: “It is clear from our survey that people are very concerned, and rightly so.

“The fact that over a third of people felt there was nothing that could have been done to stop them becoming a victim is alarming indeed - particularly when it’s so easy to protect yourself online. Also, as our research shows, people are losing large sums of money on average - £523 being the equivalent of a holiday abroad or the price of a new piece of technology in the home. As a result, it seems there is still a big education job to do.”

Protect yourself online by following a few simple steps -

· Review the passwords you use on your online accounts.

· Check your social media privacy settings. Make sure your information and updates are seen only by those you trust.

· Update your operating system and software programs/apps on your computer, mobile phone and tablet if you’ve been prompted to do so. It takes only a few minutes and with your mobile devices, you can even do it while you’re asleep.

For more information and advice see www.getsafeonline.org