Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner and Cheshire police are supporting the Get Safe Online cyber campaign encouraging people to ‘Do The Right Thing’ and report cybercrime.
The campaign, which is running throughout May, will inform why it is important to report any online fraud, identity theft or abuse and how reporting online crime could help protect others from victimisation. It will also explain how and who to report to, depending on the type of online crime experienced.
Police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, said: “Cybercrime has both an emotional and financial impact on its victims. It can not only wipe a victim’s bank account, it could also have a profound effect on their mental health or wellbeing.
“We know that crime is increasingly moving online and we need your support to help catch cyber criminals. Any piece of information you have could be significant in tracking down a perpetrator of cybercrime and bringing them to justice.”
Detective sergeant Chris Maddocks who heads up the Cheshire police cybercrime unit said: “Reporting online crime means the perpetrator could be tracked down, other people protected and more sinister crimes such as people trafficking and terrorism could be disrupted. It doesn’t matter how insignificant you may think an online crime you’ve suffered is – even if you’ve lost £10, think of all the thousands of £10s that the fraudster has gained from other victims.”
Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing crimes in the UK and can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, job or location. It now accounts for 48 per cent of all recorded crime.
Cybercrime (online crime) can be reported in the following ways:
• Financial fraud – report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you report fraud to a police force, you will be asked to make your report directly to Action Fraud. If the fraud has been committed via or in the name of a platform such as a dating, holiday booking or letting website or app, report it to the platform you know to be authentic.
• Identity fraud – if it has involved your online banking, credit/debit cards or cheques, report it to your bank who will investigate the case and report any criminal activity to law enforcement. Any other kind of identity fraud should be reported to the relevant organisation or website where it was perpetrated, who may also ask you to contact the appropriate law enforcement organisation.
• Abuse – Report any kind of abuse to the social media network or operator of the forum, game or chat service on which it appears. Many of these services have a ‘report abuse’ button. If the abuse contains hate content, incites radicalisation or other illegal activity or threatens physical harm, report it the police.
DS Maddocks concluded: “Whether it be financial fraud, identity fraud or abuse, reporting online crime is essential for many reasons, not least because it helps police and other law enforcement agencies build a picture of threats and trends. However, we also encourage people to follow our 5Cs guide to online safety which could go a long way to helping prevent them becoming a victim of cybercrime.”
Do The Right Thing is a Get Safe Online campaign, supported by many UK police forces, and runs from 1-30 May. Further information can be found at www.getsafeonline.org/whyreport
Find out more about the 5Cs guide to online safety at https://www.cheshire.police.uk/advice-and-support/internet-safety-and-security/our-5cs-guide-to-staying-safe-online/