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If you’ve been a victim of a cybercrime, here’s how to report it

Criminals will use every opportunity they can to defraud innocent people. They will continue to exploit every angle of the Covid-19 pandemic as more people shop online this festive season.

Detective Sergeant Jon Cooper said: “I’m sure most of us will be ordering items online this month and we simply want people to be aware of the very simple steps they can take to protect themselves from handing over their money or personal details to criminalsI would ask the public to talk to each other; especially elderly and vulnerable friends and family and warn them of the risks and how they can protect themselves.

“Law enforcement, government and industry are working together to protect people, raise awareness, take down fraudulent websites and email addresses, and ultimately bring those responsible to justice.

“If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via

Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cybercrime.

They provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.

When you report to Action Fraud you will receive a police crime reference number. Reports taken are passed to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

Steps you can take to prevent yourself from cyber crime

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment.

They can contact you by phone, email, text, on social media, or in person.

They will try to trick you into parting with your money, personal information, or buying goods or services that don’t exist.

If you are approached unexpectedly remember to:

  • Stop: Taking a moment to think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
  • The police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to a different account. They will also never ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN.
  • Do not click on links or attachments in unexpected or suspicious texts or emails.
  • Confirm requests are genuine by using a known number or email address to contact organisations directly.

To keep yourself secure online, ensure you are using the latest software, apps and operating systems on your phones, tablets and laptops. Update these regularly or set your devices to automatically update so you don’t have to worry.

More advice on how to keep prevent cybercrime is available here from the National Cyber Security Centre also here from Take Five to Stop Fraud