Make sure you don't become a victim of online fraud

Six men have been arrested after fraudsters claiming to be from Barclays Bank targeted pensioners. P

Six men have been arrested after fraudsters claiming to be from Barclays Bank targeted pensioners. Picture: PA/Dominic Lipinski - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has highlighted the prominent types of cybercrime within the county and is offering advice and identifying areas to implement preventative measures.

Data from Action Fraud highlighted that in Cambridgeshire, there were 6,320 reports of cybercrime and fraud between December 2020 and December 2021.

Consumer fraud was the most common type of cybercrime and fraud in the region during that period, with more than 2,400 reported cases.

Nigel Sutton, the constabulary's Fraud and Cyber Security advisor, says his division has to prioritise dealing with the common types of cybercrime and he explains that phishing communication as one of the main enablers for fraud.

Nigel said: "Phishing communication is trying to deceive the recipient to believe that they’re genuine and to take a course of action. This definitely catches people out, especially businesses."

Phishing communication usually involves a cyber attacker impersonating a reputable entity to trick you into responding and giving them what they want to enable the fraud. This includes bank account detials.

“It causes fear, anxiety and stress and gets people sometimes, not always, to click on the link, and off they go and reveal their private information," explained Nigel.

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Nigel added that courier fraud, computer service fraud and romance fraud are also prevalent in the county and the public should be vigilant.

Many of the scams and fraudulent activity residents in Cambridgeshire experience are "enabled by the internet" through means such as text or telephone calls.

Action Fraud highlighted that in Cambridgeshire, 67 per cent of cybercrime and fraud reported in 2021 was cyber-enabled.

Nigel said: "I really do wish if only I could reach out to every nook and cranny of Cambridgeshire with what is some relatively basic advice. We’re not asking people to be IT professionals. We’re just giving them a range of very achievable security that actually, on the whole, the majority of crime you’ll be protected from."

Nigel encourages residents to visit the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) website for the readily available advice and information.

This includes controls and steps provided by the NCSC as part of their cyber aware campaign.

Nigel said: “If you implement these control measures on your mobile phone, your laptop and your computer, you will help protect yourself from the majority of cyber-related crime."

Some of the steps are as simple as ensuring you have different passwords for different sites and backing up your data.