Second Annual Cyber Crime Survey Launches In Warwickshire – Safe In Warwickshire

As part of the national Get Safe Online Day, Warwickshire County Council and key strategic partners today launched their second annual cyber crime survey to assess the impact that online crime is having around the county.

The cyber crime survey – which can be found here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RegionalCyber16 – is being run by the Warwickshire Observatory and asks people to share their experiences of online crime through a series of questions.

Source: Second Annual Cyber Crime Survey Launches In Warwickshire – Safe In Warwickshire

PayPal “Your Account Will Expire in Less Than 24 Hours” Phishing Scam Email – Hoax-Slayer 2G

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Email purporting to be from PayPal claims that your account will expire in less than 24 hours unless you click a link to update your account information.

Source: PayPal “Your Account Will Expire in Less Than 24 Hours” Phishing Scam Email – Hoax-Slayer 2G

Blue screen of death with a support number? Beware the malware scam

A new tech support scam displays a fake blue screen of death (BSoD) in an effort to trick users into installing malware on their Windows computers.

The threat, which Microsoft calls SupportScam:MSIL/Hicurdismos.A, builds off a long lineage of tech support scams. Some of those ruses have even mimicked other Windows features, including the update process, to try to trick users into purchasing unnecessary software.

Source: Blue screen of death with a support number? Beware the malware scam

Warwickshire Police – Protect 2016

The spotlight is on us. Why not take a look?

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of officers and staff at Warwickshire Police might be like, or the sort of work which goes on every single day in your community?

We want you to have a real insight into how the police operate where you live and see the work we do 24/7 to keep you and your family safe. So, for 10 days this autumn we are opening the window on policing.

Source: Warwickshire Police – Protect 2016

Make the clicks which count this Get Safe Online Day

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Becoming the victim of an online crime can be just one click away, but so is the simple advice which can help protect you. That’s the message from Warwickshire Police during Get Safe Online Day, which is being marked across the country today (Tuesday October 18), and as part of the force’s ongoing #Be Cyber Smart campaign people are being urged to make the clicks which count.

It comes as figures from Get Safe Online and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) reveal that £10,960,1171 was lost in the county as a result of fraud, including cybercrime, in 2015/16. Nationally, this figure rose to £10.9 billion over the same period which equates to approximately £210 per person over the age of 16 living in the UK2, but represents only reported fraud and cybercrime to Action Fraud.  However, a specially commissioned survey to mark Get Safe Online Day3, reveals that the UK figure is likely to be much greater, with respondents who had been a victim of online crime alone losing an average of £523 each – this being more than the average weekly earnings figure for the UK4 which currently stands at £505. In addition, 39 per cent of people who said they’d been victims of online crime said they hadn’t reported the incident – meaning the overall amount of money lost by the UK could be even more.

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Bower, who is the business lead for cybercrime for Warwickshire Police, said: “Cybercrime is undoubtedly on the rise, but the good news is that knowledge really is power when it comes to both individuals and businesses protecting themselves. Warwickshire Police is committed to tackling cybercrime, in liaison with our partner agencies. We also place a great emphasis on raising awareness of the ways in which people can protect themselves, by holding and attending community events, for example, as well as through our #Be Cyber Smart campaign. “Research has shown that many losses are preventable by following some simple advice and this year, to mark Get Safe Online Day, we are urging everyone to take just a few minutes out of their day to make the clicks that count. There are some excellent online resources which are well worth clicking on, including Get Safe Online and our own campaign. Even if it’s just for five minutes before work, in a lunch hour, during a bus journey home or during the adverts of a favourite programme we are urging everyone to have a quick look at some top tips.”

Making the wrong click can result in problems for internet users. For example, fraudulent emails, otherwise known as phishing emails, which appear to come from someone you know can prompt you to click on a link to a website which installs a virus on your computer. This can result in your private information being stolen by criminals or your computer being infected by ransomware – a type of malware which enables criminals to remotely lock a computer, informing the owner that it will not be unlocked until a sum of money is paid.

The Police and Crime Commissioners for Warwickshire, West Mercia and the West Midlands have joined together with Warwickshire County Council and key strategic partners today to launch a cybercrime survey to assess the impact that online crime is having around the region. The West Midlands and West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioners have now joined the survey that originated in Warwickshire last year.

The cybercrime survey – which can be found here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RegionalCyber16 – is being run jointly by the three Police and Crime Commissioners and the County council.

More information and advice from Get Safe Online can be found here https://www.getsafeonline.org/

To find out more about the #Be Cyber Smart campaign go to www.warwickshire.police.uk/becybersmart or www.westmercia.police.uk/becybersmart

Basic security measures for all computer users include:

S Shred documents containing personal details before throwing them away.

M Make sure passwords are nonsensical. Use letters, numbers and symbols.

A Always use legitimate and up-to-date antivirus software.

R Remain vigilant. Think before you input or email your personal details.

T Think Phishing. Could that email be from a fraudster trying to get hold of your personal details?

 

Victims of fraud or anyone suspecting they may have fallen victim, should contact Action Fraud on www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or call 0300 123 2040.

For more information about staying safe online and the scams to look out for go to www.getsafeonline.org

  1. Calculated as the amount of money lost in 2015/16 to fraud and cybercrime. This figure represents incidents reported to Action Fraud by those over 16 and with a valid UK postcod.
  2. Calculated according to most recent adult population (over 16 years) estimates from ONS: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/articles/overviewoftheukpopulation/february2016
  3. Survey conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Get Safe Online with 2,000 UK AdultsCalculated according to latest ONS figures for earnings and working hours which put the UK average weekly earnings at £505: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours

Second annual cybercrime survey launches in Warwickshire, West Mercia and the West Midlands

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The Police and Crime Commissioners for Warwickshire, West Mercia and the West Midlands have joined together with Warwickshire County Council and partners today to launch the second annual cybercrime survey to assess the impact online crime is having around the region.

The West Midlands and West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioners have now joined the survey that originated in Warwickshire last year.

The cybercrime survey – which can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RegionalCyber16 – is being run jointly by the three PCCs and the county council. The survey will ask people to share their experiences of online crime through via 36 questions. The information will help Police and Crime Commissioners get a better picture of online crime in their areas and shape services accordingly.

Last year, there was a very high response rate to this survey, which found the following:

More than half of respondents were targeted by phishing scams, with one in 10 going on to become victims. One in five people who spend more than seven hours a day online will become a victim of cybercrime. As age increases, knowledge of online crime risks reduces slightly, while the feeling of being at risk increases significantly. Under 18s are the age group most targeted for online harassment or bullying with female respondents targeted twice as much as males.

Nearly one third of parents have neither applied online restrictions nor spoken to their children about internet safety.

4% of respondents have no idea how to protect themselves online. “I did not think anyone could help” was the number one reason for not reporting cybercrime, followed by “did not know who to report it to”. Last year’s survey also suggested that 82,200 people fell victim to online crime in the last 12 months in Warwickshire alone, while nearly a quarter of a million people in the county felt at risk online. Worryingly, around 2.4 percent of the respondents to the first survey had no idea to protect themselves online.

This latest survey will seek to examine how the picture has changed across the region over the past 12 months and whether residents are more aware of the dangers that can be posed online and the things they are able to do to minimise these risks.

Philip Seccombe, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire, said: “Fraud and other offences committed via the internet are now among the most common types of crime that people fall victim to, as criminals have increasingly shifted their focus to an online, digital world. Tackling this growing area of crime is something that Warwickshire Police and partner agencies are fully committed to and there is continuous work to shape the current and future policing response to cyber-enabled crime. Warwickshire Police has launched the #BeCyberSmart campaign with West Mercia Police to raise awareness of the practical steps people can take stay safe online and tackling cybercrime is also major part of my Police and Crime Plan. Among a range of other initiatives, I have funded two cybercrime advisors off the back of last year’s survey results. Employed by Warwickshire County Council, the advisors are going out delivering key messages to vulnerable communities to help increase awareness of online safety. This second annual survey is another excellent opportunity to help promote the simple ways in which people can increase their cyber security.  I’m delighted that we are able to work together as a region to look at this issue and I hope to see a good response from all areas.”

David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I am pleased we are coming together to tackle this issue. Crime is changing not falling and cybercrime is an increasingly important issue that affects individuals and businesses alike. As well as getting a better picture of how it impacts people across the region we also will be promoting preventative measures that in many cases will protect people from cybercrime. My Assistant Commissioner Ashley Bertie heads up cybercrime in the West Midlands force area and over the coming months he will be leading on a series of events to help individuals and businesses protect themselves online.”

John Campion, West Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Cyber is an emerging area of crime and it is important to understand how it is impacting our communities if we are going to be effective in tackling it. This survey will help ensure we listen to our communities and can focus our work on the biggest priorities. We must have an agile, dynamic approach to cybercrime though to ensure our work keeps pace with new cyber threats.”

Councillor John Horner, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said: “The scale of cybercrime in Warwickshire uncovered by last year’s survey was truly shocking. While we hear the term frequently these days and most people have been aware that it is a growing threat, the numbers of victims uncovered by the survey show that cybercrime is something that has the potential to affect everyone. Cybercrime is a growing community safety issue as victims can be seriously affected, not just financially but also emotionally, with feelings of depression, and sometimes worse, as a result. The economic impact on local businesses of cybercrime is also something that cannot be underestimated. Warwickshire County Council will be watching closely the results of this latest survey to see how the picture has changed over the past 12 months.”

Cllr Phillip Johnson, Chair of the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added: “Many people don’t realise they have become a victim of cybercrime, are too embarrassed to come forward or simply do not believe that anything can be done about it, meaning that the scale of the problem has until now been hard to quantify and somewhat hidden from view. Armed with the data from last year’s survey, we now have a more accurate picture, which has allowed us to target resources more effectively. It’s clear that cybercrime and internet fraud are booming and, in Warwickshire, we have already invested in a range of initiatives to tackle cybercrime. We hope this latest survey will raise awareness of the issues so that people can take practical steps to avoid becoming a victim.”

Take part in the second annual cybercrime survey here:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RegionalCyber16

Forty Year Old Electric Blanket Was Still in Use! 1 in 3 Electric Blankets Fail Tests!

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A forty year old electric blanket that was still in use was one of 85 electric blankets that failed safety tests carried out by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards.

Trading Standards Officers tested 259 electric blankets belonging to older people living across Warwickshire and found that 85 or 33% failed tests.

Warwickshire County Councillor John Horner, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “We know that faulty electric blankets are a contributory factor in many house fires each year. I’m delighted that this annual safety campaign continues to be popular with Warwickshire residents.”

Safety tests revealed that many of the electric blankets failed because of faults to switches or damage to internal wiring. Some had been the subject of a product recall by the manufacture that the owner was not aware of and some were simply too old.

Electric blankets that are more than 10 years old carry an increased fire risk because as they age, the unseen wiring within them will begin to deteriorate. Some that are very old, such as the forty year old blanket, may also lack overheat protection, built in to modern blankets to stop them from overheating if a fault occurs.

Trading Standards Officers were also able to provide 150 older people visiting the testing stations with personal safety packs containing advice on scams and doorstep rogue traders. Representatives of Age UK and Act on Energy also attended to offer older people information and advice on benefits and energy efficiency.

Warwickshire County Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added: “Warwickshire Trading Standards remains committed to helping to ensure that unsafe products are not being used in the home, and elderly and vulnerable people are protected.”

Residents from across Warwickshire brought their electric blankets in to one of five testing stations located across the County. Trading Standards also ran a group collection service for those unable to attend the testing stations in person.

There were a range of reasons for blanket failures:

• Some blankets were very old. Consumers should consider replacing their electric blanket if it is more than ten years old. Old electric blankets, even if they are still working carry an increased fire hazard risk because as blankets age, the unseen wiring within them will deteriorate. Some very old electric blankets will not have over heat protection, designed to stop them overheating and catching fire if a fault occurs.

• A few relatively new electric blankets had been the subject of product recalls by the manufacturer. In these cases the blanket was failed and the consumer was advised to return the electric blanket to the retailer to be rectified. To check an electric blanket or other electrical item against product recall lists, please visit: www.esc.org.uk/recall

• Some electric blankets failed because of faults to switches or damage to internal wiring. Electric blankets do degrade over time due to constant use and wear and tear, but consumers can prolong the life of their electric blanket by following the instructions for use and storage.

The electric blanket testing campaign has now finished but owners can check the safety of their own electric blankets by looking for the following warning signs:
• the fabric is worn or frayed
• there are scorch marks anywhere
• the tie tapes are damaged or missing
• the flex is worn or damaged
• any connections are loose
Remember older blankets in regular use are much more likely to have one or more of the above faults. If your electric blanket is more than 10 years old, industry guidelines suggest you should replace it. An old BEAB safety mark (a round symbol) is an indication that the blanket is more than ten years old.
For more information visit: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/electricblanket