18th Aug, 2019

Safer Internet Day - cyber crime across West Mercia Police area drops by half

Bromsgrove Editorial 5th Feb, 2019

FINANCIAL losses from cyber crime have been cut by half across West Mercia, bucking the national trend where it has been on the rise, writes Louise Newton.

The amount of cash stolen from victims in the force area has dropped from £521,336 between October 2017 and March 2018 to £227,316 in the six months leading up to September.

The figures, released this week by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, showed reporting of cyber crime in the UK rose by eight per cent but fell in West Mercia by 1.7 per cent.

The biggest losses in the area came from the hacking of social media and email accounts – the crimes which were also the most reported.

In West Mercia 84 per cent of the crimes reported targeted personal and home devices for cyber fraud.

Businesses account for 13 per cent of reported crime and people aged between 40 and 49 were found to have suffered the most from cyber crime and 13 per cent of the reported crime related to business rather than personal accounts.

Det Insp Emma Wright from the force’s economic crime unit, said it was good news.

“However, we know that cyber crime is under-reported so we continue to encourage the public and businesses to report cyber crimes to Action Fraud – the national reporting centre.”

DI Wright also said the public should ensure they followed some simple steps to guard themselves against cyber crime.

People should have strong and separate passwords for their different accounts, install the latest version of apps and sofware as they have security updates to protect users and consider enabling the two-step login in process known as ‘two factor authentication’ where it is offered.

Anyone who falls victim to cyber crime should report it at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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