WEEKLY FRAUD UPDATE FROM WEST MERCIA POLICE – ECONOMIC CRIME UNIT – 17/10/2023
This week we are sending out a message with a difference. Whilst this new campaign is aimed at school communities, along with a competition for students with a great prize to be won, we really need the support of grandparents, parents and teachers alike to get young people involved.
Over half of all crime is now online fraud and its growing. It is the most likely crime students and local communities alike will suffer. It is having a devastating impact on victims and wider society with links to terrorism and organised crime.
However, unlike most crime there are some simple measures people can take to stop all but the most sophisticated attacks. In collaboration with the University of Worcester we have launched a new campaign called #3StepsToProtect. We want to encourage people to take three simple steps to protect themselves from fraud and online harm.
We recognise that for certain sections of the community, such as the elderly, some might struggle to follow the technical steps they need to take. We want to ask your students to help their grandparents and elderly neighbours follow #3StepsToProtect.
Worcester University have helped us create a very short video that sets out what the 3 steps are and encourages younger people to help protect their elderly relatives. By promoting the #3StepsToProtect campaign, we hope to empower young people to play an essential role in safeguarding their loved ones. Please encourage young people to get involved in this campaign.
The #3StepsToProtect campaign focuses on three key steps that can significantly enhance online security:
STRONG PASSWORDS – Encourage your loved ones to create strong, unique passwords for their online accounts. We recommend 3 random words along with number and special characters to increase complexity.
TWO STEP VERIFICATION (2SV) – Help your relatives enable two-step verification for their accounts wherever possible., this adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of authentication, such as a code sent to a mobile device.
STOP AND THINK – Teach your elderly family members to pause and carefully consider any requests for personal information or financial transaction s they receive online. Encourage them to verify the legitimacy of such requests before taking any actions.
You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/9W1GIGr_3MU
We would greatly appreciate your assistance in promoting the #3StepsToProtect campaign within School assemblies / tutor periods/ newsletters/ social media sites etc. We believe that by reaching out to young individuals like that we can create a ripple effect of awareness and protect our community from fraud.
Furthermore, we invite students between the ages of 10-16 to participate in a competition associated with the campaign. By designing a poster for the #3StepsToProtect campaign, students can not only help spread the message but also stand a chance to win a pair of Sony wireless ear buds. The winning poster will be used by West Mercia Police to promote the campaign across our force area.
Please send your submissions no later than Friday 3rd November 2023 to fraudprotect@westmercia.
Please encourage your students to share the #3StepsToProtect video with their relatives. Together, we can make a significant impact in ensuring the safety and well-being of our community. We deeply appreciate your support in raising awareness about the #3StepsToProtect campaign. By working together, we can make a difference and protect our loved ones from online fraud.
Please feel free to share these messages with any vulnerable friends, relatives or neighbours.
Take Five to Stop Fraud
STOP: Taking a moment to stop and 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 for a scam and report it to Action Fraud
• Avoid disclosing security details
• Emails, Phone Calls and Texts may not be authentic
• Always make direct contact with any organisation by using a genuine phone number
• Stop and Challenge any unexpected requests
• Protect others by reporting Fraud and Scams
If you’ve fallen for a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk
Scam Text messages can be forwarded to 7726 to help phone providers take early action and block numbers that generate spam on their networks.