Protecting local residents from online fraud and scams remains a key priority for Cheshire Constabulary, and Macclesfield MP, David Rutley, met recently with Detective Constable Andrew Kevan, part of the Force’s team countering cyber crime across the county, to give his support to this important work.
Every year, several million cases of fraud and computer misuse are reported to the police, a number that is likely to increase as criminals find increasingly sophisticated and creative ways to target their victims. That is why Cheshire Constabulary’s ongoing action to help people understand issues like identity theft and ransomware attacks, and the often serious consequences of these crimes for the individuals and businesses affected, is so vital.
Detective Constable Kevan talked David through the police’s ‘Stop, Think, Protect’ strategy, which encourages residents and business owners to pause if they receive any contact online or on social media that don’t feel right, and to remember the ‘Golden Rules’. These are: to never give out personal details or passwords; to never be rushed into agreeing to any online transactions; and to make sure they have strong anti-virus and anti-ransomware protection installed on their devices, as an additional protection.
David was encouraged to hear that the police are working hard to reach as many different groups and ages as possible to share these important messages. In recent weeks, officers have spoken with over 3,000 pupils at schools across Cheshire, and want to meet with more, including those in and around Macclesfield. The police also remain a strong partner to local charities and groups representing older people, helping them to raise awareness of the threat of scams and what can be done to prevent them.
Looking ahead, Detective Constable Kevan is especially keen to meet with local business groups, including those representing smaller and medium sized firms, to make sure that they have the advice and information they need to protect themselves, and their customers, from the harm of cyber crime.
Anyone who is concerned that they may have fallen victim to a scam, or who wishes to report any fraud incident, should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or through their website, www.actionfraud.co.uk. They can also approach Cheshire Constabulary directly, either online at www.cheshire.police.uk, or by calling 101.
Speaking after his meeting, David said, “It’s vital to crack down on cyber crime and those who perpetrate it. Victims face not just emotional distress, but potentially serious financial hardship from these callous actions. So I welcome Cheshire Constabulary’s proactive work in sharing the simple steps we can all take to protect ourselves and our families and friends online, and I strongly encourage local businesses, charities and schools to get involved in this important campaign.”