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PCC urges public to remain vigilant around online scams

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, is urging residents to remain vigilant around online scams. Online scams can present themselves in many ways such as fake email addresses masquerading as trusted companies and false links to malware.

Speaking on personal online security, Peter McCall, said: “Technology is advancing quickly as is our knowledge on it however criminals are also learning to use online means to target unsuspecting victims.

“Something as simple as an email can lure us in and this is where the danger lies.

“I would urge anyone to stay alert when online – if you think an email, link, social media post etc. is suspicious then it probably is a scam so please report it to the police on 101 and action fraud on 0300 123 2040.

“Simple actions can protect you from fraud such as never giving your bank details out online or on the phone, be selective about what you share on social media and never click in to a link that you are suspicious of.

“For more information on scams and tips on how to protect yourself visit www.getsafeonline.org

DC Jon Hill said: “These days, this type of crime could hit most of us.

“If you shop online, use social media or use email to communicate you could fall victim to an online criminal if you do not take care.

“However, there are ways to protect yourself.

“Some simple steps include watching out for scam messages.

“Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

You can report any email you believe suspicious simply by forwarding it to report@phishing.gov.uk

“When shopping online, if you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first – and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase.

“If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.

“Ransomware is another threat – and a key priority for businesses to protect themselves against.

“This form of malicious software prevents you from accessing your computer.

“It is vital companies make regular backups of important files that are not connected directly to the network or their devices.

“Keep your operating systems and apps updated and ensure you use anti-virus software, keep it turned on and up-to-date.”

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