Commissioner says ‘stay vigilant’ on Safer Internet Day
Published: 8 February 2022
Today, 8 February 2022, marks Safer Internet Day. Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire John Dwyer is reminding people to remain vigilant, and to take a minute to check something is legitimate if it seems wrong.
Cyber crime is one of the fastest growing crimes and fraud offences in particular have become more regular as criminals have becoming more sophisticated. Their skills have been excelled as a result of the pandemic moving many of our interactions online.
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
“In my Police and Crime Plan, I mentioned cyber crime and online scams specifically as part of my priority to prevent and tackling crime because of the growing threat they pose.
“It’s vital that people take basic steps to protect themselves online, and for the police to play their part in raising awareness.
“I will encourage the Constabulary to work with key partners like Action Fraud to develop more dedicated anti-fraud campaigns, and I will work with the Northwest Fraud Forum and other local bodies to identify and tackle new fraud issues.”
People have become more reliant on online services, and this increased during the pandemic, which saw the withdrawal of high street bank services and increased demand for online services such as shopping and streaming.
Cyber criminals even exploited the pandemic itself, contacting people in a bid to extort money out of them based on their concerns about the virus.
John Dwyer added:
“The internet can be a fantastic resource for people to use. It can help us stay connected to one another, shop, bank and many other things. What I’m asking today, on Safer Internet Day, is that people remain vigilant to keep it that way.
“If you receive an email, text message or phone call that doesn’t feel right to you, then make sure you check it out. A legitimate company won’t mind you hanging up the phone or ignoring the message so that you can contact them directly yourself.
“Talk to older members of your family especially about cyber crime and how to spot the signs. Offer to help them if they’re unsure how to verify the person on the other end of the communication, and always report fraud and cyber crime to the police.”
Tips to stay safe from cyber criminals
Never open attachments or links in emails you suspect aren’t from a legitimate source
Don’t give out personal information unless you are 100% sure who you are talking to. Remember organisations such as your bank or the police won’t contact you and ask for personal details.
Contact companies directly if you think you’ve been contacted suspiciously. Find a number for the company from a bill or the internet and contact them. A legitimate company won’t take offence if you do this. A cyber criminal will provide you with a fake phone number, or not disconnect the call to convince you they’re legitimate.