‘The 12 online frauds of Christmas’ launched by Lincolnshire Police

Lincolnshire Police.

Lincolnshire Police.

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This festive season, Lincolnshire Police is running ‘the 12 online frauds of Christmas’ campaign to protect the public from falling victim to cyber-fraudsters.

Kicking-off on ‘Black Friday’ which marks the start of the busiest four days of internet shopping of the year, Lincolnshire Police are launching the campaign to raise awareness of a dozen online frauds that have the potential to ruin your festive fun.

Sgt Ian Jarman of the Economic Crime Unit said: “I am keen to ensure the people of Lincolnshire do not fall foul of criminals trying to take their money at this time of year and would urge people to consider the advice provided here. With the Christmas period coming up please protect your money and personal information when purchasing items on-line. If you are a victim, please report this to Action Fraud.”

Working in partnership with the City of London Police, which is the National Policing Lead for Fraud, Lincolnshire Police are starting the campaign by shining a light on the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of online shopping.

So far in 2014 74% of all adults nationwide have bought goods or services online, and this December around 50% of UK citizens are expected to use the internet to buy more than half of their Christmas presents.

While the majority of us will have our presents delivered to our doorstep or into our email account without a hitch, the sad reality is there will also be tens of thousands of people across the UK whose Christmas will be damaged, and in some cases destroyed, after finding out they have fallen foul of heartless criminals who specialise in tricking internet users with the promise of great online deals and big cash savings.

Then on December 1, ‘Cyber Monday’, the force will be focusing on the hazards of opening Christmas e-Cards sent via email which, unknown to the recipient, may be carrying a virus (malware) that can embed itself and then corrupt your smart phone, tablet or laptop.

And then, every 24 hours for the next ten working days, Lincolnshire Police will be working with 37 other local police forces and a range of public and private sector organisations to flag up the threat of ten more online festive frauds, identified by the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). The December running order is:

Nov 28: Online shopping fraud

Dec 1: Christmas e-cards

Dec 2: Auction fraud

Dec 3: Holiday fraud

Dec 4: Loan and investment scams

Dec 5: Ticketing fraud

Dec 8: Donating to charity

Dec 9: Mobile malware/malicious apps

Dec 10: Money transfers

Dec 11: Social media scams

Dec 12: Dating/romance scam

Dec 15: Mobile payments

To spread the word far and wide about ‘The 12 online frauds of Christmas’ campaign the force will be talking to local people and sharing top safety tips via traditional and social media and through their own community engagement teams. More internet safety advice can also be found at www.getsafeonline.org and www.cyberstreetwise.com

They also urge anyone who has had the misfortune to fall victim to one of the dozen festive frauds, or any other type of cyber-fraud, to report to Action Fraud – the City of London Police-based national reporting centre - on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk

If you would like any further advice or information, please email Crime-reduction@lincs.pnn.police.uk