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Victim Support responds to ONS Crime Survey for England and Wales

21 July 2016

Mark Castle, Chief Executive for Independent charity Victim Support, says:

“These figures show the staggering scale of fraud and cybercrime in England and Wales - with one in ten people now falling victim. As a charity that reaches out to almost 50,000 fraud victims a year, we know the serious impact these crimes can have. As well as possible financial losses, fraud can leave people feeling violated, lacking in confidence and ashamed. 

“There is a clear need for strong and consistent awareness raising campaigns, to help prevent people being taken in by often sophisticated scams. It is essential that all police officers are trained in a basic awareness of fraud and cybercrime prevention, and in the provision of practical advice, to help tackle these offences. 

“Victim Support works closely with the City of London Police, the lead for all forces on fraud, is an active member of the Home Office’s Joint Fraud Taskforce, and supports organisations such as Cifas, Cyberstreetwise and Get Safe on Line - helping ensure that fraud victims get the support they need and the respect they deserve to help them move beyond these often devastating crimes.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:

Victim Support’s top five tips to protect yourself from fraud and cybercrime:

  • Ensure that you have a strong password and use different passwords or phrases for different accounts.
  • Install anti-virus on all your devices and regularly update the software as well as your operating system to keep pace with online threats.
  • Keep your social media privacy settings under review to ensure that only people you want to share your updates with can view your channels. But “don’t set and forget” as changes to the software may unwittingly change your privacy settings – check every couple of weeks.
  • Make sure that when hiring a car, if you bluetooth your mobile phone to a vehicle that you delete the phone profile before you hand the car back. The same applies to selling your vehicle as some audio and navigational systems can retain your data which could end up in the wrong hands.
  • Remember, if it looks too good to be true – stop and think – it could be fraud!

Ends

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