Police and Get Safe Online team up to protect Derbyshire residents against identity theft

Posted on 25th June 2014

Derbyshire Constabulary are working alongside Get Safe Online to protect the Derbyshire public from falling victim to scams involving identity theft.

Police are supporting Get Safe Online’s Social Engineering campaign as they launch series of informative online videos to raise awareness of identity theft after reports revealed how the scam has cost victims over £21 million this year alone.

Social engineering, similar to that of identity theft, sees fraudsters deceiving victims into handing over their personal or financial information. Examples of this include phishing emails, fraudulent phone calls asking people for personal or financial information, or phone calls from fraudsters impersonating computer technical support agents.

The short online videos offer information and advice around what to look for with fraudulent emails and phone calls and how the public can take steps to protect themselves from the crime.

Tony Neate, Chief Executive of Get Safe Online, said: “It’s important that the public are aware of what social engineering actually is, as there are so many types which can lead to the theft of your money or identity.

“It can be easy to fall prey to social engineering, as schemes can be elaborate and highly convincing, with approaches usually made by somebody you think you should trust or appears to be in authority.

“It’s not just individuals who are likely victims, it’s also businesses. We hope that by raising awareness of how to avoid becoming a victim of social engineering through our online videos and activity with our partners, we can help prevent it from happening to others.”

Detective Inspector Rob King, Head of the Derbyshire Economic Crime Unit said: “Fraudsters can be highly convincing but thankfully there are steps that we can all take to protect ourselves, family and friends from falling victim to identity theft.

“Firstly, always be wary of people requesting confidential or personal information and ensure that you never reveal your personal or financial data including usernames, passwords, PINs or other forms of ID.

“Remember that your bank or building society will never ask you for your password or banking details over the phone or through email so end all communication and report suspicious activity to Action Fraud.”

Other crime prevention advice includes:

  • Ensure that the organisation or website are genuine before supplying card information for payment;
  • If you receive a phone call requesting confidential information, verify it is authentic by asking for a full and correct spelling of the person’s name and a call back number;
  • Check the number matches the contact number on the relevant website. Even then, the criminal may have used special software to display the authentic number;
  • If you are asked by a caller to end the call and phone your bank or card provider, call the number on your bank statement or other document from your bank – or on the back of your card. However, be sure to use another phone from the one you received the call on to ensure that a fraudster is not on the line by having kept the call open. If you cannot access another phone, be sure to hang up for at least five minutes before you dial out, or call a friend (whose voice you recognise) before making another call;
  • Do not open click on links or open email attachments from unknown sources.

For information around frauds and scams visit the dedicated Stamp out Fraud in Derbyshire webpage at www.derbyshire.police.uk/stampoutfraud.

To watch the videos or more information on social engineering scams visit www.getsafeonline.org/socialengineering.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.