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Police educating over-60s about online fraud

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STAFFORDSHIRE Police are trying to educate as many people in Staffordshire over the age of 60 about how to spot a scam online.

The latest data from the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, Action Fraud, shows that those aged between 60 and 79 are most likely to fall victim to scams like phishing and romance fraud.

Staffordshire Police are spending the next week trying to educate people in that age group of how to spot scams like handing over bank details and tips on how to protect yourself when dating online.

Online dating has become increasingly popular, especially with the over-60s looking for partners later in life. Unfortunately police are seeing a growing number of these people fall victim to fraudsters that are trying to steal their money and/or identity.

Victims of phishing, where someone poses as a company you use to try and convince you to hand over valuable personal details or money, are also on the rise, with those aged 60 and over particularly vulnerable.

Superintendent Amanda Davies, director of intelligence at Staffordshire Police, said: “People of any age should be able to enjoy the internet and all that it offers without being targeted by criminals. Unfortunately this is just not the case and so we want to educate those most likely to become victims on how they can avoid it.

“I hear too often of victims being misled and losing money after placing their trust in someone they have met online. It is wrong to prey on the vulnerable, so we work closely with neighbouring police forces and partners like Action Fraud to stop those trying to defraud innocent members of the public. Simultaneously we focus heavily on distributing crime prevention advice to prevent people falling prey to this in future.

“If you are not sure about something you receive or it doesn’t look legitimate, or if you are talking to a stranger online and they start asking too many probing questions, trust your instinct and report it. Either contact the owning website directly or contact Action Fraud if you think someone is trying to defraud you.”

Over the next week Police will be running a targeted Facebook campaign aimed at those most likely to be victims and signposting them to advice on how to spot the signs. The first half of the week will be about spotting the signs of phishing and other scams, the second half will be focused on advice around romance fraud.

Their key advice links can be found below:

5 ways to spot a scam: https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/cybercrime/spotascam

Romance fraud advice: https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/article/8620/Romance-Fraud

For wider advice on the different types of fraud and for details on who to contact, go to https://actionfraud.police.uk/ or find them on social media.

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