Kent residents likely to lose over £12 million to scams in 2017

Criminals continue to target Kent residents with telephone, postal, doorstep and online scams causing devastation and financial hardship to victims.

Kent County Council (KCC) is working in partnership with Citizens Advice to warn people about the type of scams targeting Kent residents and the steps they can take to prevent themselves from becoming a victim.

As part of Scams Awareness Month, a national campaign encouraging people to report and talk about scams, KCC will be sending out messages on Twitter @kentprotect and Facebook – Public Protection #scamaware throughout July.

Public Protection will also be at the Kent Police Open day with a Cybercrime stand where people will learn how criminals steal money and identities and what steps they can take to protect themselves.

In April 2017 Public Protection received over 226 reports from Kent residents stating they had lost money to a Cybercrime with a combined loss of £1.1 million – but this figure is likely to be much higher as most people do not report an online crime.

Public Protections warns that even though you are 20 times more likely to be robbed at your computer screen than robbed in the street, people are still not doing enough to protect themselves from being a target.

Top cyber crimes targeting Kent residents:

• Advance Fee Frauds – Criminals send emails claiming you are entitled to receive some money but you have to send them a fee first to receive it e.g. you have won a prize, you are entitled to an inheritance or you will receive a tax rebate
• Online shopping & auctions sites – Criminals advertise goods on auction sites that do not exist and create fake websites to capture card details
• Computer software service/virus fraud – Criminals say you have a virus on your computer and send you antivirus software to download. The software is not antivirus but watches everything you do and sends it back to the criminals to steal your identity or use it against you
• Hacked accounts including social media accounts – Criminals hack accounts where security settings have not been set or passwords are easy to guess and they use the information they find to steal your identity or use it against you
• Romance Scams – Criminals befriend people and create fake stories to convince them to send money to help them out

Visit kent.gov.uk/scams to find out how you can protect yourself and your family from these crimes.

Public Protection will be in the ‘Stay Safer’ zone at the Kent Police Open Day on Sunday 2th July 2017, 10am – 4pm at Kent Police Training College – Maidstone, ME14 9DP.

Be a friend against scams, complete this simple online awareness session which will help you to spot a scam.

Kent County Council is supporting the Citizens Advice Scams Awareness month in July.

Scams and Cyber crime can have a devastating effect on your business.

The internet offers businesses huge opportunities and benefits, but it also brings with it some risks.

Everyday there are cyber-attacks on UK companies, attempting to steal information and money or disrupt business.

It is increasingly important to manage these risks and protect businesses.

In just one month in Kent:

  • 33 businesses were targeted
  • 21 managed to spot the scam
  • 12 lost on average £10,000 each

Don’t lose money to criminals, make sure your business gets the basics right:

  • download software updates
  • use strong passwords
  • delete suspicious emails
  • train staff that work online
  • understand the risks to your business and manage them effectively

For information on the latest scams and how to avoid them go to kent.gov.uk/cybercrime

Is your business a ‘Friend against Scams?’

Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative that aims to protect and prevent people becoming scam victims.

If a business or organisation would like to be involved they can become a Friends Against Scams Organisation, which pledges to actively promote the Friends Against Scams initiative; for example by making all employees Friends Against Scams.

Kent residents likely to lose over £12 million to scams in 2017 was last modified: June 29th, 2017 by Thom Morris