CYBER criminals are having less success in Warwickshire.
And police chiefs in the county say it is down to raising awareness of the crime among residents.
Losses through cyber-related fraud in the county fell in the last six months by more than a half – from just over £274,000 to some £132,000 – according to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).
Nationally cyber crime losses were up by nearly a quarter in the six months from April to September.
Hacking into personal accounts, including social media and email, was the most common method victims were targeted.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “These figures show there is still much work to do to keep people safe from crime in the increasingly online world in which we live but do reflect the really positive strides we have made in the county over the past few years, with the value of the losses victims are suffering now reducing.
“Traditionally, our research has shown that cyber-crime has been under-reported, so increasing awareness has been a core part of the work to tackle criminal activity committed online.
“It’s pleasing that the reporting of incidents has increased as a result. This provides the police and other relevant agencies with increased information they need to trace and take action against what are often highly-sophisticated criminal enterprises.”
To avoid becoming a victim, people are advised to:
– Set strong and unique passwords for online accounts so if one account is targeted, the others should remain secure.
– Be safe on all devices connected to the internet, including mobile phones and tablets.
– Install anti-virus software and update it regularly across all devices to protect against virus-based attacks.
– Update device software as soon as it asks to reduce the risk of being hacked.
– Beware of links and attachments in emails from unknown senders which could contain viruses, or which ask for confidential information.
– Update privacy settings on social media accounts and do-not accept ‘friends’ requests from unknown users.
– Users should be aware how much of their personal information is online.
Visit www.cybersafewarwickshire.com for information and more advice on the latest threats and how to stay safe.