What to do if you become a victim of online fraud
Routine online shopping and banking transactions should not pose any problems for people using the Internet, however the World Wide Web has vast scope for criminality, and fraudsters have been quick to exploit the opportunities it provides.
Here are some of the risks:
- Emails purporting to be from banks, credit card companies or other financial institutions such as PayPal, that direct you to fake websites where they try to extract essential security information from you, (known as Phishing)
ADVICE: Never follow links in emails. Instead go to the official site and login as usual.
- Emails, that contain attachments that carry a virus or Trojan payload.
ADVICE: If you don’t know the sender, never open an attachment.
- Websites that download tracking cookies, adware, Malware or viruses directly onto your computer.
ADVICE: Install antivirus software that will check all sites you visit.
- Transactions with strangers via Ebay that turn out to be fraudulent.
ADVICE: Never, ever send money via Western Union or other transfer service. Never allow a buyer to pay more for an item than expected, and never send them the ‘change’, as their original payment will always bounce.
Always install good Anti virus, firewalls and anti-phishing software on your computers and activate email-scanning too.
If you think you have been de-frauded online, report it to your local police station. Essex police has a fraud department that will liaise on your behalf with the appropriate authorities and internet companies to try and bring the criminals to justice. This includes foreign forces and Interpol.
Ebay and PayPal also have their own dispute resolution services and offer some protection to their users.
Peter Caulfield, Uttlesford Crime Reduction Advisor & Architectural Liaison Officer
Essex police, East Street, Saffron Walden, CB10 1LX 01376 556233
General Non-Emergency Number – 0300 333 4444 and ask for the person or department you require.
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